The state of Illinois presumes that a husband of a mother who gives birth is the baby’s father. However, if the mother is unmarried, there is no presumption of paternity so paternity must be established to ensure the financial support of the child.
Sometimes unmarried parents will enter into an informal child support agreement. However, in the absence of an official child support order from the court, there is nothing a court can do to enforce child support if the father stops making payments. It is advisable to establish paternity and get court ordered support payments right from the start to avoid a lapse in needed support.
Paternity can be established simply by the father and mother signing a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity. However, if you are an unmarried mother and the father of a child denies his biological relationship with the child, you may need to file a petition with the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) or go through the court system to establish paternity at which time a child support can be ordered.
If you are an unmarried parent of a child and wish to establish paternity or even a husband who has concerns regarding the parentage of a child because of infidelity, it is important to seek help. Contact the lake county family law offices of Schlesinger & Strauss LLC for assistance at 847-680-4970.