As Georgia divorce attorneys, we often advise single fathers struggling to establish and maintain visitation rights with their children by legally establishing paternity. Sometimes this advice is met with concerns over the imposition of child support, but as the case of Chris Brown vs. Nia Guzman shows, nothing should stand in the way of a father seeking legal custody or visitation with his children, not even the fear of increased child support.
Once news that Chris Brown fathered a beautiful daughter during his short lived relationship with Nia Guzman, social media and celebrity news outlets such as TMZ have followed the story very closely. From the very beginning, Brown expressed his desire to have a relationship with his daughter. However, as Brown became more active in his daughter’s life, stories began to surface suggesting Nia Guzman was interfering with Brown’s visitation and demanding Brown pay increased child support.
Because there was no court order addressing paternity, child support, custody and visitation, Brown and Guzman continued to butt-heads over child support and visitation – that is, until Brown filed a paternity action. When Brown filed the legal action earlier this summer, he filed it in Houston, Texas, because Guzman and the couple’s daughter were both living in Houston at the time. In his petition, Brown asked the judge to establish paternity, determine child custody and visitation, and set a fair child support amount.
Prior to filing his paternity suit, Brown paid Guzman about $2,500 per month in child support, even though no court order was in place. Once Brown initiated his paternity suit, Guzman responded by asking the court to award her sole custody, only allow supervised visitation between Brown and his daughter, and set child support at $15,000 per month. Despite Guzman’s request, Brown maintained $2,500 per month was a more reasonable child support amount, and the presiding judge eventually agreed with Brown. In a temporary order issued by the presiding judge, the court awarded Guzman $2,500 per month in child support. Shortly afterward, in late September, the couple reached a mediated agreement concerning custody, visitation, payment of child support arrears, and their child’s last name. According to the terms of their agreement, Brown and Guzman will share joint physical and legal custody, Brown will be granted copious unsupervised visitation, and their child’s name will officially be Royalty Brown.
Although seeking court intervention is potentially risky, as seen with the positive outcome in this case, the rewards often outweigh the risks for single fathers who seek to enforce their legal custody and visitation rights. If you are a single father here in the Atlanta Metro area who is tired of experiencing drama every time you exercise visitation with your minor child, consider solidifying your legal relationship with your child by filing a legitimation action in Georgia.