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Reasons to Establish Paternity in Illinois

 Posted on April 05, 2024 in Child Custody / Parental Responsibilities

IL family lawyerWhen a woman gives birth in the state of Illinois, she is legally recognized as the baby’s mother, and if she has a husband, he is automatically considered the father. If she is not married, however, no one is automatically recognized as the father. Even if a man has been present, involved, and supportive throughout the pregnancy and cannot wait to meet his child, he will have no legal rights as a parent unless he establishes his paternity. On the other hand, once he does establish paternity, he can have legal rights as a parent and the child can benefit as well. If you are not married but about to become a father, speak with a knowledgeable Cook County, IL paternity lawyer to find out how you can become legally recognized as the parent.

What Difference Does Paternity Make if I Will Be an Involved Father Anyway?

Unmarried parents do not have the same type of regulation and legally binding arrangements as parents who once were married but are now divorced. There is no parenting plan or custody agreement if the father is not legally recognized as such. This can have a significant impact on all three of the people involved in this relationship.

  • The father: You might think that as long as you stay involved in the child’s life and even give money to the mother to help with her child-raising costs, you can play as much of a paternal role as you want. In truth, without having your paternity legally recognized, your parental rights are not protected. The mother has no obligation to allow you to weigh in on important decisions that affect the child or even to let you see him or keep in touch. If you establish paternity, you are legally recognized as the father and can have your relationship established through a parenting plan.
  • The mother: Having a legally recognized father protects the child’s mother, as this can ensure that she will receive child support and other assistance she may need as she raises your child. If you have your child’s best interests in mind, you would likely want his mother to have what she needs to raise him as best as she can.
  • The child: Establishing your paternity can have a major impact on your child, as it means that he can have access to important personal information about you, such as your medical records and information about any genetic disorders you might have. He can also be eligible for death benefits and any inheritance you may leave behind after your death. It can also have a significant emotional impact, knowing that you are his father and are proud of that rather than pretending that is not the case.

Schedule a Free Consultation with an Illinois Paternity Lawyer

If you are expecting to become a father soon but you are not married to the baby’s mother, you will not have any legal rights related to this child unless you establish your paternity. An experienced Chicago, IL paternity attorney can explain what is involved and guide you through the process. Call The Law Office of George J. Skuros at 312-884-1222 so we can protect your parental rights.

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