Skip to main content

Can I serve a Georgia petition for legitimacy of my child on the child support office since I don't know where the mom lives?

Atlanta, GA |

I am forced to pay child support but have been unable to see my child, so I want to have the court order visitation.

Attorney Answers 4


  1. Short answer is no. Personal service has to go the the child's mother.

    Darrell B. Reynolds, Sr.
    Attorney and Counselor at Law
    drey1954@cs.com
    404-636-6616

    "Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none."
    - William Shakespeare

    NOTICE – 1) This email does not create an attorney/client relationship. In order to create an attorney/client relationship with this office it is necessary to enter into a written contract agreed to by both parties. 2) This email is intended only for the person(s) listed in the To: and CC: lines. It is not intended for anyone else and any reliance upon this email by other parties is at their own peril. 3) This e-mail, and all attachments transmitted with it, may contain confidential, proprietary, or legally privileged information that is intended solely for the individual(s) or entity(ies) to which it is addressed. If you are not an intended recipient, then you are not authorized to read, distribute, copy, or otherwise use any or all portions of this e-mail or any attachment. If you have received this e-mail in error, please notify the sender immediately by e-mail or by telephone at 1-404-636-6616, and delete all copies of this e-mail. Thank you.


  2. First, you need to hire a family law attorney to represent you.

    To answer your question, you cannot serve CSE as an agent or proxy for your child's mother, because CSE would not be a proper party, nor are they legally an authorized representative of a person receiving or paying child support to accept service of legal docs on that person's behalf. If you have not yet filed the action, I advise hiring an attorney and have a private investigator try to locate the mother, because the less you have to get the court involved, the better. Plus, you cannot proceed with an action involving children without the other party being properly served, nor is a court in Ga authorized to issue judgments re: children if there is service by publication (vs. personal service).

    Based on past experience with CSE in Ga, I have a strong feeling that the only way (short of consent) that CSE would give up the name and address of the recipient would be if ordered to do so by a court. Notwithstanding, if there are legitimate reasons for not disclosing said information (e.g., concern for safety of the child and/or recipient parent, clear that such a domestic action would not be in the best interests of the child, etc., and this is not a comment on your case or yourself), you may not be able to get even a court to order the disclosure.


  3. No. You cannot serve anyone with an initial pleading except the actual defendant.

    I hope this information helps answer your question(s).

    ~ Kem Eyo

    The above answer is a general explanation of legal rights and procedures. It does not constitute legal advice. Nor does it establish an attorney-client relationship between the individual posting the question and the attorney providing the answer.


  4. You cannot serve the state, and since the case cannot be done by publication you must find the mother. To do this right you'll need to hire a private investigator and a lawyer. Good luck!

    If you find this answer helpful, please mark it here on AVVO as helpful. In answering you, I am attempting to communicate general legal information and am not representing you (and am not your lawyer). Do feel free to call me at 404-768-3509 if you wish to discuss actual representation (the phone call also does not retain counsel; that requires an office visit and appropriate paperwork). In that a forum such as this provides me with limited details and doesn't allow me to review details and documents, it is possible that answers here, while meant to be helpful, may in some cases not be complete or accurate, and I highly recommend that you retain legal counsel rather than rely on the answers here. (You can also email my office at geaatl@msn.com . An email also does not retain my office, but can help you get an appointment set if you prefer not to call). I am happy to discuss possible representation with you. Any information in this communication is for discussion purposes only, and is not offered as legal advice. There is no right to rely on the information contained in this communication and no attorney-client relationship is formed. Nothing in my answer should be considered as tax-advice. To ensure compliance with IRS Circular 230, any U.S. federal tax advice provided in this communication is not intended or written to be used, and it cannot be used by the recipient or any other taxpayer (i) for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties that may be imposed on the recipient or any other taxpayer, or (ii) in promoting, marketing or recommending to another party a partnership or other entity, investment plan, arrangement or other transaction addressed herein. I am also required to advise you, if your question concerns bankruptcy, that the U.S. Congress has designated Ashman Law Office as a debt relief agency that can help people file bankruptcy.

Child support topics

Top tips from attorneys

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer

Browse all legal topics