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What rights do my childs father have if he was married at the time of conception?

Hinesville, GA |

I didnt find out that my sons' father was married until 5 days before i had him. I really need to know what rights does he have at this time. I would also like to know if i can file for sole custody with visitation to him. At this time my son is 19months (born 17 June 2011) and his father has never attempted to spend time with him. My sons father does not make an effort to see him unless i nag and he has NEVER come to get him to spend time or the night. He has actually told me that he wanted to sign over his rights (because he doesnt want to pay child support, which i had enforced earlier this year). Im am a desperate single mother in need of answers.

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Since you already collect child support, there is really nothing more that you can initiate. It is up to him to seek to legitimate the child and seek visitation. You cannot force him to do that. Until he does so, he has no legal rights to the child, and you are the sole custodial parent with all rights to decision making for the child. Of course, if he files anything at all, you need to retain an experienced custody attorney to protect those rights.

    I am exclusively a family law attorney, practicing primarily in the metro Atlanta, Georgia trial courts. However, I handle appeals from anywhere in Georgia.


  2. You ALREADY have sole custody. Until and unless he seeks to legitimate the child (and succeeds) he has no rights at all to teh child but does have a duty to pay support. As a general rule, unless you get married and a future spouse wants to adopt the child, he cannot "sign over his rights."

    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.


  3. Because your son's father has not legitimated the child and was not born to you, by operation of law, you are the child's only legal parent and have sole custody. You don't need to do anything at all. The father is obligated to pay child support, and you should faithfully follow up with Child Support Services at any time he stops paying.

    He has zero visitation rights whatsoever, so he is not entitled to see your son at all unless you allow it. It sounds like the problem though is that you WANT him to have a relationship with his son, and he really wants to pretend the whole thing never happened (understandable if he's married). You might want to redirect your efforts toward making sure that your son has positive male role models around and other family members around to care for and support him.

    Good luck!
    Christie Ayotte

    I am not your attorney and we do not have an attorney-client relationship. This answer is based only on the information you provided; new facts not shared here could change the answer. Relying solely on the internet for legal information, while convenient, can have disastrous consequences.

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