My Child’s Father Won’t Support his Child, What Can I Do?

Most clients that call our office want a quick and easy answer to their Family Law issues. None are more pressing than when Paternity is involved. Our first question regarding paternity involves- is he  the legal father? That usually is followed with an answer of he is on the birth certificate doesn’t that count? Or we were never married but he is on the birth certificate. Unfortunately for this issue there is only one simple answer that we can provide: You need to file an action for paternity to make him legally responsible to support the child OR we need to file a case with DFACS to make him pay.

Paternity is covered under various statutes in Title 19 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (O.C.G.A.). Paternity itself is defined under O.C.G.A. 19-7-40 where:

  1. The superior and state courts of the several counties shall have concurrent jurisdiction in all proceedings for the determination of paternity of children who are residents of this state. The state courts shall have such concurrent jurisdiction notwithstanding any contrary provision of local law. Parties to an action to establish paternity shall not be entitled to a trial by jury.
  2. Whenever the Department of Human Services seeks to establish paternity of a child, the Office of State Administrative Hearings shall have authority to adjudicate the issue of paternity, pursuant to Chapter 13 of Title 50, the “Georgia Administrative Procedure Act”; provided, however, that if the putative father demands a trial in the superior court, it shall be the duty of the judge to cause an issue to be made and tried at the first session of the next term of court succeeding the putative father’s demand for trial. The administrative determination shall have the same force and effect as a judicial decree.

This means that the parents are married before the child is born. The provision in the remainder of O.C.G.A. 19-7-X involve how someone can seek paternity if they are not married prior to the child’s birth.

It doesn’t matter where you find yourself in Georgia all issues with Paternity involve the O.C.G.A. and navigation of its proverbial waters to get the results you want.  An experienced attorney and their team can absolutely make this journey easier and provide you with ease in your already complex and troubled situation.

If you need help with paternity you need to seek the help of a Family law attorney. A Family Lawyer and their staff can assist you in navigating the clouded waters of the Georgia Code and reach your resolution faster than attempting it on your own. Should YOU find that you either don’t want to face the court alone or simply feel that you need help from an attorney then give our office a call regarding your situation. Each situation is different from the other and requires a evaluation of all the information in order to properly mount your petition or mount a response.

Our office has 24 hour response lines and can answer your questions and help you. Give our team of Family Lawyers a call at 404-445-8494.

Michael D Barber
Georgia Lawyer specializing in DUI, Drug Charges & Criminal Defense