Fathers often do not realize that they have no custodial rights to a child until that child is legitimated and a court order has been entered providing a father with specific rights. Many fathers (and mothers) believe that when a father’s name is listed on a birth certificate, it gives him certain rights to his child; it does not. In order for a father to have a legal right to establish a relationship with his child he must legitimate the child and obtain custody and/or parenting time rights pursuant to a court order.
Mothers often need representation in legitimation actions as well. A mother has a right to object to the legitimation of her child by the father. In those actions where legitimation is appropriate and granted, a mother wants to make sure that the custody and parenting time aspects of the case are resolved in a manner that is in the best interests of her child. If a child support obligation has not already been established, all of the issues related to child support can be addressed in a legitimation action.