Obtaining Visitation Rights Using Paternity Testing in Atlanta

Fathers wanting to obtain visitation rights to children born out of wedlock in Atlanta need to first use DNA testing to establish paternity.
Nina Fenton
Published on

Here’s a quick run down of how to obtain visitation rights using paternity testing for all of our Atlanta readers!

It’s important to know what your parental rights are if you are an Atlanta resident and are interested in obtaining visitation rights for any of your children who are born out of wedlock. According to the Georgia Department of Human Services, unwed mothers are the sole person with the right to custody of the child unless the biological father has gone through the process of legitimating the child. This can be done easily enough, though, and will require a legal paternity test to be conducted, which can be done at Health Street’s DNA Testing locations in Atlanta, Georgia.

Georgia law is very specific in their requirements to secure visitation rights. It is not sufficient that the man has been named the father in the birth certificate unless he has also signed the Acknowledgment of Paternity application. Otherwise, you as the father will need to ask for a court order legitimating your rights and responsibilities as a father before you can obtain visitation rights for a child born out of wedlock. Once paternity is established, the court will expect you to pay child support and can order visitation rights if it feels that this is in the best interests of the child.

Legal Procedures for Applying for Paternity Testing in Atlanta

Georgia law allows the mother, father, grandparent or anyone else responsible for caring for the child in question to request legal paternity to be established. It is important to not that whomever requests the court to issue an order for paternity testing is responsible for the costs incurred during the process.

Establishing legal paternity can be done in three different ways:

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Both the mother and father voluntarily sign an acknowledgment of paternity form. The form is then entered into what the Department of Human Resources calls the putative father registry, documenting the paternity status of the father for future action to be taken.
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Those enabled by state law begins the process of establishing paternity by way of filing a petition with the Superior Court or the State Court.
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The Department of Human Resources is capable of filing a petition to establish the paternity of a child, which will ultimately be decided upon by the Office of State Administrative Hearings. The proposed father is able to contest the claims of paternity in this case and request a trial be conducted in the state’s Superior Court.

When is Paternity Testing Advisable?

Paternity testing is advisable in cases where there is a doubt about the true biological father of a child. This can happen in the case of children born within wedlock as well as those born to unmarried parents. If the man assumed to be the putative father has a doubt about whether the child is his, he can ask for a paternity testing to establish the paternity of the child.

Sometimes, unwed mothers are unsure of who the biological father of their child is. In this case too, a paternity test can establish the real father of the child with ease. Unwed mothers can also ask for a paternity testing in order to get a court order for child support issued to the father of the baby.

How is a Paternity Test Carried Out?

Carrying out a paternity test is just about as easy as it gets. All it takes is a little DNA from the necessary parties and *Viola* you’ve just established paternity…after an accredited lab processes the test, of course.

The process of getting your DNA tested goes a little something like this:

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Allow the lab to collect the necessary DNA samples from the mother, father and baby. The DNA samples are most often collected using a cotton swab on the end of a stick. The swab is rubbed on to the cheeks of the father and child and the DNA collected from this.
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The lab will then analyze the samples and determine if there is a match.
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In order for the test to be considered legally valid, the lab must establish a strict chain of custody of the samples.

Not too overwhelming, right? There may be times when it is not possible to collect cheek swabs of one of the parties involved. In cases like this, an alternative specimen DNA test can be performed. Samples of hair or nails are then collected in place of a cheek swab and the DNA extracted from the samples for use in comparison. A typical DNA test for paternity provides a result in a week and can be used in court as evidence to prove or disprove paternity.

What Happens After Paternity is Established?

After paternity is confirmed and the child/children in question is legitimated, the judge presiding over the case will then review any outstanding petitions for visitation, child support, name changes and/or adding the father to the existing birth certificate. Filing a petition for legitimation does not automatically guarantee that any of the aforementioned petitions will be drafted, so it is important to be proactive and submit any and all petitions desired.

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Nina works hard to be a voice to the voiceless whose stories about drug testing, DNA testing and paternity deserve to be told. It is her goal to always come from a place free of judgment and full of compassion.

WRITTEN BY

Nina works hard to be a voice to the voiceless whose stories about drug testing, DNA testing and paternity deserve to be told. It is her goal to always come from a place free of judgment and full of compassion.

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