Paternity and Legitimation
Fathers have a very special role in the lives of their children. Unfortunately, the laws are not favorable to fathers when a child is born out of wedlock. When a father is not married to the mother of the child, the father has no legal rights to that child until he obtains an order of legitimation from the court. However, fathers have many rights, including the right to be a custodial parent, to be involved in the child’s life, and to make important decision regarding the child. The legitimation process is necessary to establish custody and visitation with the child.
Many times in our office, we meet with fathers who never sought a court order for legitimation. Their children are US citizens and may be able to assist the father to obtain lawful status. Immigration requires proof of the parental relationship. When the parents of the child never married, this process is much more difficult.