Our Libertyville, Illinois paternity dispute lawyers can assist you with issues of paternity from seeking support of a child to asserting your legal rights as a parent to a child born out of wedlock.
Paternity is a legal relationship between a father and his child when he is not married to the mother. Depending on the situation, paternity issues tend to cut both ways for the parties involved.
For example, if a father has not been established as the legal father of a child, he may have no obligation to pay child support. This may benefit the father, but the child and mother will have fewer resources as a result so she may want to pursue the dad.
Not establishing paternity will also mean that the father will not have custodial or visitation rights (parenting time) nor will he be able to make important decisions on behalf of his child (parenting responsibility). In some cases, a father desires a relationship with the child, whereas the mother prefers to keep a father at arm’s length because the relationship has grown cold.
How Illinois Paternity is Established
If a couple is married at the time a child is born, the husband is legally assumed to be the father barring situations where a couple is legally separated or there is evidence that can prove another man is the father.
Establishing Paternity in Illinois If the Parents are Not Married
For couples who are not married, the father may submit a voluntary acknowledgement of paternity (VAP) after the child’s birth resulting in a court order declaring that a biological relationship exists. Either parent can then seek further orders to establish legal custody, visitation and support for the child. A mother simply seeking child support from a father may establish parentage from the VAP or a signature on the birth certificate alone.
DNA Testing to Establish Paternity
If the father denies or doubts that a child is his or believes that he has been purposefully taken out of the loop, the court can order genetic testing to determine the probability of a genetic relationship between the two or lack thereof.
A father may gain enforceable rights to pursue a parental relationship with the child only when a court has legally found him to be the father. If paternity is established, the court will determine parenting time and parenting responsibility of each parent and order the payment of child support, including providing health insurance or other necessary expenses for the child.
Contact Our Illinois Paternity Lawyers For Help Today
If you have questions regarding establishing paternity in Illinois, contact the Libertyville paternity lawyers of Schlesinger & Strauss LLC for assistance today. A father facing a potential paternity situation should take appropriate action to avoid a default judgement or other unintended consequences. If you are a mother seeking the support and involvement of the father of your child, taking action may result in retroactive and current child support and also the possibility of your child developing a relationship with his or her father. For more information, contact our Illinois paternity lawyers today at 847-680-4970. We are here to help.