Having a child is one of the most exciting experiences in anyone’s life. Parents take many steps to protect their children, but often overlook one key thing: making sure to legally establish paternity. Both the mother and the father can benefit from legally determining paternity in the state of Georgia, and it is something that should be done as quickly as possible to avoid issues down the road. The following are five things that all parents should know about this process.
Signing a Birth Certificate Isn’t Enough
Many people are under the false impression that if the father signs the birth certificate, they are automatically the legal father. While this is a good first step, the birth certificate isn’t going to be enough to stand up in court, should it even become necessary.
Sooner is Better than Later
When a couple is together, they often think that it is unnecessary to legally establish paternity. While it is true that as long as you remain together there may not be any conflict, this is actually the ideal time to go through the process. If you wait until a breakup, it can add a lot of conflict. In addition, it takes time to determine paternity, which may mean delays in fathers being able to visit and bond with their children.
Either Parent Can Begin the Process
Establishing paternity will impact both the father and the mother, and either party is able to initiate the process of having it legally determined. Even if the other party doesn’t want to move forward or comply with the process, the courts can (and will) demand that they participate.
Establishing Paternity is an Easy Process
Establishing paternity isn’t an overly complicated process, as long as it is handled correctly. The courts will order the mother, father and child to conduct a DNA test, which will provide the results that will be used.
You Only Get One Chance
One of the most important things to understand about legally establishing paternity is that you typically only get one chance. Once the courts have gone through the process, the results will be set from that point forward and there is little that can be done to change them. This is why it is so important to ensure everything is handled correctly. To get help establishing paternity in Georgia, please contact The Price Boyd Law Firm to discuss your options and begin the process right away.