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3 Need-to-Know Facts About Paternity in Illinois

 Posted on February 08, 2022 in Family Law

Park Ridge paternity lawyerBeing a parent comes with its own array of practical, financial, and sometimes, legal difficulties. If you are a mother or father in Cook County, you may have questions and concerns about paternity. Paternity is the legal relationship between a father and his child. In some cases, paternity is presumed by law and no further action is required to establish the legal father-child relationship. Other times, the parents will need to take certain actions to establish the rights and responsibilities that come with being a father.

You May Need to Take Action to Establish Paternity

If the mother and father were married when the child was conceived and/or born, paternity is presumed. This means that Illinois automatically assumes that the mother’s husband is the father of her baby. However, if the parents are unmarried, paternity may need to be established through a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (VAP). Paternity can also be established through a court order or administrative order through the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS). Sometimes, DNA paternity testing is needed to confirm the father’s biological relationship to the child.

You May Not Be Able to Get Child Support Until You Establish Paternity

Raising a child is expensive. Illinois expects both parents to contribute to a child’s financial needs even if the parents are unmarried or divorced. If you are a parent who is not currently receiving child support but you want to get an official child support order, you will need to make sure paternity is established. Once paternity is established through one of the means listed above, you can petition the court for child support. Child support is calculated based on both parents’ net incomes.

Establishing Paternity Allows Fathers to Seek Parenting Time

There are many benefits associated with establishing paternity. In addition to giving the child access to child support, inheritance, health insurance, and social security benefits, establishing paternity encourages a closer father-child relationship. If you are a father who wants to spend more time with your child, establishing paternity is the first step toward gaining parental rights—including the right to parenting time (formerly called visitation).

Contact a Cook County Family Law Attorney

The Chicago paternity lawyers at The Law Office of George J. Skuros represent both mothers and fathers in paternity actions. We can help you establish paternity, petition the court for child support, seek parenting time, and much more. Call our office today at 312-884-1222 for a free, confidential case evaluation to learn more.




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