Legitimation

Family Law Workshops in Cobb County, Georgia

Some individuals do not have the desire or ability to hire a lawyer to represent them in a traditional fashion, but they may need legal help with a particular issue or portion of their case. 
The Cobb County Bar Association’s Family Law and Younger Lawyers Sections have worked together to provide a number of attorneys who will offer specific, limited legal services at set rates.  Information on this type of legal assistance will be provided to workshop participants. 

This workshop will assist you with the following case types:
* Divorce            * Paternity/Legitimation            
*Contempt         * Modification

Navigating through the legal system can be extremely difficult.  Each case is individualized by its own set of facts; however, there are some basic rules that all cases must follow which this workshop will address. 
No workshop can teach you everything you need to know about representing yourself in any legal action, but this workshop is designed to answer some of the basic questions you may have:
    What information do I need in order to file?   
    Are there mandatory forms that I need?
    How do I schedule my case for a hearing ?       
    What are the operating  procedures of the Court?

Forms for these case types will be available for purchase at the seminar. 
The cost for the forms are $15.00 per packet. Cash Only—Exact Change Required

For further information, please call the ADR office at (770) 528-1812.

2007 Schedule
Date
Time
Thursday, November 8th, 2007 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.



The location for all classes will be:

Cobb County Superior Court Building
(Building "D" 6th floor Jury Assembly Room)
30 Waddell Street
Marietta, GA 30090-9642
Driving Directions | Marietta Square Map

Parking is provided in the jury parking lot on the north end of Waddell St.

SOURCE: Clerk of Superior Court of Cobb County

Legitimation in Georgia

What is a "legitimation"?

Legitimation is a legal action which is the only way, other than by marrying the mother of a child, that the father of a child born in the State of Georgia may establish legal rights to his child.

Who may file for legitimation?

Only the father of a child may file a petition seeking to legitimate his child.

What is the legal effect of legitimation?

An order of legitimation creates a father and child relationship legally between the petitioner and his child. An order of legitimation establishes that the child may inherit from this legal father and vice versa. An order of legitimation allows the legal father to be listed on the child’s birth certificate as such. An order of legitimation is the only way that the father of a child born out of wedlock can be recognized as the legal father of a child and therefore can petition for custody and/or visitation with this child.

If custody is to be an issue, you must still file your legitimation first, and get the Order of Legitimation signed. Once your child has been legitimated by the Court Order then you may file another action for custody. The exception to this rule is if the mother is deceased, there is no other legal parent or guardian, or the mother consents to custody. If you are already listed on the child’s birth certificate as the father, but you and the child’s mother were not married to each other, you must still file a petition with the court to legitimate your child.

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QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ABOUT LEGITIMATIONS

WHAT IS A "LEGITIMATION"?

Legitimation is a legal action which is the only way, other than by marrying the mother of a child, that the biological father of a child born in the State of Georgia may establish legal rights to his child.


WHO MAY FILE FOR LEGITIMATION?

Only the biological father of a child may file a petition seeking to legitimate his child.


WHAT IS THE LEGAL EFFECT OF A LEGITIMATION?

An order of legitimation creates a father and child relationship legally between the petitioner and his child. An order of legitimation establishes that the child may inherit from his legal father and vice versa. An order of legitimation allows the legal father to be listed on the child’s birth certificate as such. An order of legitimation is the only way that the father of a child born out of wedlock can be recognized as the legal father of a child and therefore can petition for custody and/or visitation with this child.

If you are already listed on the child’s birth certificate as the father, but you and the child’s mother were not married to each other, you must still file a petition with the court to legitimate your child.

Effective July 1, 2005, requests for custody and/or visitation may be included in your petition for legitimation.


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Biology trumps De Facto Fatherhood – In the Interest of C. L.

In the case of In the Interest of C. L., a divided Georgia Court of Appeals reversed the Oconee County Juvenile Court’s grant of joint custody of C. L. to Jeff Newell, her biological father, and Ralph Lloyd, her legal father, and directed the juvenile court on remand to award custody to Newell, holding that the juvenile court erred in its application of the child’s best interest standard in determining custody of C. L., since Lloyd, who has raised C. L. since shortly after her birth, was not one of the limited number of related third parties, who may seek custody from a legal parent pursuant to OCGA § 19-7-1 (b.1) and he had no rights to custody after the superior court granted Newell’s legitimation petition.

Approximately two weeks after her birth, the juvenile court granted custody of C. L. to Lloyd, C. L.’s mother’s husband; within two months, the Superior Court granted Newell’s petition for legitimation, after a DNA test confirmed Newell’s paternity, without determining whether it would be in C. L.’s best interest, and transferred the case to the juvenile court for the custody determination; and, applying the child’s best interest standard, the juvenile court awarded joint custody to Newell and Lloyd, with primary physical custody to Lloyd and visitation to Newell. The Court noted the existence of a gaping hole in Georgia’s family law regarding custody between a biological father and a legal father that only the legislature can fix.

Presiding Judge Gary Andrews dissented, to argue that Lloyd had standing to seek custody under OCGA § 19-7-1 (b.1) as a "parent," and the juvenile court correctly decided the case under the best interest of the child standard.

SOURCE: Fulton County Daily Report

Legitimation in Georgia

What is a "legitimation"?

Legitimation is a legal action which is the only way, other than by marrying the mother of a child, that the father of a child born in the State of Georgia may establish legal rights to his child.

Who may file for legitimation?

Only the father of a child may file a petition seeking to legitimate his child.

What is the legal effect of legitimation?

An order of legitimation creates a father and child relationship legally between the petitioner and his child. An order of legitimation establishes that the child may inherit from this legal father and vice versa. An order of legitimation allows the legal father to be listed on the child’s birth certificate as such. An order of legitimation is the only way that the father of a child born out of wedlock can be recognized as the legal father of a child and therefore can petition for custody and/or visitation with this child.

If custody is to be an issue, you must still file your legitimation first, and get the Order of Legitimation signed. Once your child has been legitimated by the Court Order then you may file another action for custody. The exception to this rule is if the mother is deceased, there is no other legal parent or guardian, or the mother consents to custody. If you are already listed on the child’s birth certificate as the father, but you and the child’s mother were not married to each other, you must still file a petition with the court to legitimate your child.

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Love, marriage and the Baby Carriage

The following article by Stephanie Ramage appears in The Sunday Paper:

Teachers and some other parents often comment on the civility of my ex-husband and me. I have been fortunate in the fact that I do not have an ex-husband who takes delight in making my relationship with my child difficult—there are some ex-husbands and ex-wives whose lives seem to revolve around that. I am also lucky in the fact that my ex-husband is now married to a very nice woman who gets along well with my son and doesn’t feel threatened by me.

The most difficult aspect of the equal-joint custody arrangement that my ex and I worked out years ago (on our own, without an attorney) was the way that I was judged for agreeing to share my child’s time with a man from whom I was divorced. A lot of people simply shrugged off the fact that he is my child’s father. They didn’t grasp that that fact alone—in the absence of any bad habits or dangerous behavior, of course—was reason enough to ensure that he’d able to maintain a real relationship with our son. They failed to understand that the child is more important than the union that produced him.

I have heard women say, “People will think there’s something wrong with me if I don’t get full custody” even though they themselves think that their ex-husbands are excellent fathers. As is always the case, it’s the child who suffers most from such lopsided thinking.

This cultural bias has its roots in the courts. We, as a culture, tend to judge as our judges judge. So when judges award parental rights to one parent and not to the other, some think that the court must have seen something wrong with the non-custodial parent. But that is misleading. First, many attorneys are simply not familiar with the option of equal-joint custody and do not have confidence in the court’s approval of it. Sometimes, wonderful parents end up with the smaller slice of the child’s time simply because the judge or the attorneys think that two people who’ve divorced are unlikely to be able to manage a shared-custody schedule. I can say from experience that one’s ability to be a spouse and one’s ability to parent are not one and the same. Terrible husbands and wives quite often are great fathers and mothers.

It’s a shame that our courts don’t put more faith in the possibility of equal-joint custody. It is one option that allows both parents to be fully involved in a child’s life. But when it comes to family law, our legislature and our courts seem bent on applying punishment rather than applying the healing balm of dignity, equality and peace.

This is also true in cases which do not involve divorce. In Georgia, as in many other states, if a woman is not married to the biological father of her child, that father’s rights are abridged. That is, the court sees a marriage certificate as more legally binding than a biological accident. But marriage can be as ill-considered as any one-night stand. And, for children, there is no difference between Mom and Dad having a legal document that binds them and not having one if both parents love that child. Unmarried, divorced or married, a parent is a parent—and children need good parents, whatever their marital status might be.

Georgia’s legislature takes up family law issues every session. No doubt more legislation aimed at control over our unions and families will be thrown at us by the General Assembly again this year. Already, House Bill 3 seeks to require the consent of the biological father before custody of a newborn is transferred to a third party. It might slow the adoption process, but it might be a way of recognizing the dignity of a parent who would otherwise be ignored because his union with the mother was not sanctioned by the state. It could also have repercussions for other legislation governing custody. If the child is, in fact, more important than the status of the union that produces the child, then biological parents should be granted every right granted to married parents.

SOURCE: The Sunday Paper