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Category Archives: Paternity

Wheaton paternity lawyersWhen a baby’s parents are married at the time of birth, both are presumed to be biologically related to the child, and each parent automatically reaps the benefits of parentage. Such is not the case when the baby’s parents are unwed at the time of birth. In this situation, the child’s biological tie to the mother is assumed, but their biological tie to the father must be legally established. 

Why go through this extra trouble, especially if you are living together and plan for it to remain that way? What if you are no longer together but have an amicable co-parenting relationship and a standing co-parenting agreement in place? Even in these situations (and others), the legal establishment of paternity is highly recommended. Learn more about the benefits of completing this process, and discover how a seasoned family law attorney can assist you while trying to navigate your way through it. 

How Paternity is Established in Illinois

In the state of Illinois, paternity is legally established in one of three ways: 

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Illinois family law attorneysSome child support cases are straightforward, such as those involving divorcing parents, where paternity is assumed. Unfortunately, when the law does not automatically establish paternity, obtaining child support can be far more difficult. Perhaps the most challenging of situations are those that involve a father who outright denies paternity. 

Establishing Paternity in Illinois 

If the parents of a child were not married at the time of the birth, paternity must be legally established through one of three methods: 

  • A Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (VAP) is signed by both the mother and father and filed with the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (DHFS);
  • An Administrative Paternity Order is pursued by DHFS; or
  • An Order of Paternity is established by the courts. 

VAP forms are only considered as valid if both the mother and the father agree on paternity. Otherwise, paternity is established through another method. In cases where the father denies paternity altogether, the courts of DHFS may request a DNA test.

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DuPage County fathers rights attorneysUnmarried fathers often assume that an agreement with the mother, and perhaps some financial assistance, will satisfy their desire to be a part of the child’s life. Sadly, this is rarely the case. Relationships break down, and issues along the way may jeopardize a father’s time and say-so in the child’s life. Thankfully, there is a way to protect all your fathers’ rights. Learn more in the following sections, including how an experienced attorney can help.

Legally Establishing a Father’s Rights

Although fathers can sign the Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (“VAP”) to have their name placed on the birth certificate, it does not establish the father’s rights to spend time with the child, nor does it give them any decision-making power in the child’s life. Only a judge can provide these rights. As such, fathers are encouraged to seek legal rights over their child, even if their name is on the child’s birth certificate.

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DuPage County paternity and child support attorney, establishing paternity, pay child support, parentage, acknowledging paternityA surprising number of men end up paying child support for children who are not their own, biologically speaking. Establishing paternity has important legal ramifications. It is important that you move quickly and efficiently as there are important determinations for a father who wishes to challenge the paternity of a child.

Establishing Paternity

Paternity is phrase used to describe a legal relationship between a father and his child. In cases where parents were not married at the time the child was born, the father in the eyes of the court is regarded as the alleged father. An alleged father has not yet established a legal relationship with his child. The alleged father cannot be named on the child’s birth certificate until legal paternity has been established.

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DuPage County family law attorney, Voluntary Acknowledgement of PaternityOn its face, the Illinois Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (VAP) seems like a simple form. It requires basic information about the mother, the child, the person asserting parentage, and other details. The benefit of using a VAP is that paternity is established without having to go to court. However, it is critical that you know the legal implications of executing the form—no matter what position you are in as a parent.

Before you consider this method of establishing paternity and sign the VAP, make sure you talk to a qualified Illinois parentage attorney to fully understand your rights and obligations.

VAP Basics

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Abraham Lincoln A lawyer’s time and advice are his stock and trade. -Abraham Lincoln
Davi Law Group, LLC handles family law, estate planning and real estate matters for clients in Chicago and throughout the western suburbs including DuPage County, Will County, Kane County, Kendall County and Cook County and the cities of Aurora, Bloomingdale, Bolingbrook, Carol Stream, Darien, Downers Grove, Elmhurst, Geneva, Glen Ellyn, Hinsdale, Joliet, Kendall County, Lisle, Lombard, Naperville, Oak Park, Oak Brook, Oswego, Park Ridge, Roselle, St. Charles, Villa Park, Warrenville, Wheaton, Winfield, Woodridge and Yorkville, Illinois.
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Joliet, IL 60432
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