Atlanta, GA asked in Child Custody, Domestic Violence, Family Law and Child Support for Georgia

Q: Can I have a petition for legitimation, custody and child support dismissed ...

On the grounds of a family violence protective order is in place for 1 year for not only myself but both minor children ages 10 &12??

I know i have to respond to this petition and im trying to do so correctly as i dont have legal counsel, cant afford counsel... however he does! If thats not reason to dismiss how can i respond to this petition showing its not in the kids best interest as he was not only abusive in front of the kids but he is

manipulative, narcissistic and a compulsive liar who only wants to hurt me. In the past he has taken the kids from as well and even though he had no legal rights to them and he was told that by the courts kept them away from me anyway stopping all communications between me and them for months before i finally got them back.

2 Lawyer Answers
Alake Colwell Furlow
Alake Colwell Furlow
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Dacula, GA
  • Licensed in Georgia

A: A judge is unlikely to dismiss a legitimation action by ruling on a motion to dismiss. Although you say you can't afford counsel, if the father has hired counsel, I would suggest you use credit, or anything you can to get the funds together to hire an attorney. If you do not consent to the legitimation you are going to have to put on your case in chief as to why the Court should not grant the action to legitimize and recognize him as the legal father. Also, I assume he's asking for possibly joint legal custody & some visitation and again, without an attorney, it is going to be hard for you to show the Court why his prayer for relief should not be granted. Further, we can't give you a step by step on here as to how to prove your case. This is going to be something you are likely to be unsuccessful with if you represent yourself. I wouldn't even file the Answer myself because it is unlikely to explain to the Court why the relief the Plaintiff is seeking should not be given. Start looking for an attorney ASAP.

Tessie D. Edwards
Tessie D. Edwards pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Licensed in Georgia

A: Unfortunately, you will not be able to get the petition dismissed based solely on the protective order being in place. The father has the right to legitimate the children and obtain legal rights and visitation (after the protective order expires) with the children unless you can show the court it is in the children's best interest long term, meaning after the protective order has expired, for them not to have any visitation with their and that is difficult to do in most cases. The courts may, however, order the father to have supervised visits with the children for a specified period or require him to attend extensive anger management classes as well as parenting classes before allowing him to have access to the children. Lastly, you may want to consider reaching out to Legal Aide to see if they can assist you in your case.

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