Providing information and resources for self-representation


You may file a Petition for Legitimation in Gwinnett County if:

  1. The child’s mother/guardian lives in Gwinnett County; or
  2. The child’s mother/guardian’s whereabouts are unknown and you and the child reside in Gwinnett County; or
  3. The child’s mother/guardian lives outside of the state of Georgia and lived in Gwinnett County within the past 6 months.

The mother/guardian and I agree on child support. Do I still have to complete a child support worksheet and child support addendum (order)?

Yes. All petitions for legitimation must be accompanied with the child support order.  This is also true if you are already paying court-ordered child support.

The mother/guardian and I live together. Do I still have to complete a Permanent Parenting Plan?

Yes. All cases involving child custody filed in Gwinnett County must be accompanied with a Parenting Plan. If you are only asking to legitimate (not asking for custody/decision-making rights), you may file your action without a parenting plan.

The mother/guardian and I agree to a joint 50/50 parenting plan. Do the forms on this website include paperwork for our type of arrangement?

No. A joint 50/50 physical and legal custody plan can vary from family to family. You should consult with a private attorney for assistance in drafting a parenting plan to meet your family’s particular needs.

Will I have to pay child support if I have “joint custody”?

Yes. Joint custody generally means Joint Legal Custody. This is your right to have regular contact with the child, make decisions, and access records.

If your goal is to have more parenting time than standard visitation (alternating weekends, alternating holidays and two or more weeks for summer vacation), then it is recommended you consult with a private attorney.

I understand that by filing legitimation the court will decide my duty to support the child and will enter an order establishing my right to visitation. What forms do I file?

 Forms and Instructions

Legitimation – UNCONTESTED

The mother/guardian will sign a consent to legitimation. You both agree to child support and parenting time.

Legitimation Packet – Contested

The mother/guardian needs to be served by a Sheriff deputy and will not sign an acknowledgment or consent.

Legitimation by publication

You and the child reside in Gwinnett County and the mother/guardian’s whereabouts are unknown.

Respond to a Legitimation case filed against you