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Illinois paternity attorneysWhen a child is born to unwed parents, the mother typically receives automatic rights at birth. The same cannot be said for unwed fathers. Instead, they must establish paternity in order to gain legal rights to the child. Learn more about this process in the following sections, including what it entails and what parental benefits you may receive. 

Establishing Paternity in Illinois 

Even when unwed parents reside together and plan to marry, fathers must acknowledge their paternal bond with the child to gain legal rights. While this added step may seem unfair and a hassle, the goal is to ensure that the obligation for financial support is assigned to the right person. 

Biological fathers who pursue this legal action can provide their child with certain financial benefits that can improve the child’s overall quality of life, including the right to receive:


Illinois parentage lawyersAs a parent, you want the best for your child. To provide that, you need to ensure that their emotional and financial needs are met. In many cases, the establishment of paternity can help you in that quest - yet, this is not always the case. Learn more about the potential pros and cons of establishing paternity in Illinois, and discover how assistance from a seasoned family law attorney can help protect your child’s best interests, both now and long into the future. 

Understanding the Potential Benefits of Establishing Paternity

Regardless of whether you and your child’s father are currently involved in a relationship, your child deserves all that they have to offer. Sometimes, that involves you fostering a relationship between your child and their biological father. Other times, it means ensuring that your child’s financial needs are met - generally through financial support from the father. Unfortunately, many of the benefits that may be owed to you or your child (i.e. child support, military dependent benefits, health insurance, inheritances, and other similar benefits) can only be obtained if the biological father is legally named. For this to happen, you need to legally establish paternity, either through the hospital or through the courts. 

In the state of Illinois, there are three ways to do this: 


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: 


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.


Posted on in Paternity

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.


Posted on in Paternity

DuPage County family law attorneys, establishing paternityIllinois law takes a child’s well-being very seriously, specifically recognizing the right of every child to the physical, emotional, and financial support of both parents—regardless of whether they are unwed, married, divorced, or adoptive.

As many of today’s parents never marry, these different types of support are not as clear-cut as they are when the couple shares a household. Parentage, often termed “paternity,” comes into play in these situations. Both the mother and the father of the child have rights and responsibilities under the law. However, before they attach, it is necessary to legally establish paternity. There are three primary ways of addressing parentage in Illinois.

Legal Presumption


Posted on in Paternity

b2ap3_thumbnail_establish-paternity-DuPage-county.jpgWhen a woman gives birth, she may or may not know who is the father of the child. Even if the mother knows who the father of the child is, the father may dispute this. Further, the law makes assumptions about the paternity of the child in some cases and if this is not correct, then legal action may need to be taken to set the record straight.

No matter what the situation is, it is extremely beneficial to the child to make sure that paternity is established at some point. If you have questions about the paternity process, or need help establishing paternity, you should contact a knowledgeable paternity lawyer to help you with the process.

Benefits of Establishing Paternity


DuPage County paternity attorneys, revoking paternityIf someone is alleging that you are the father to a child that you do not believe is yours, then it is important to take the necessary steps to prove parentage and make sure that you are not liable for child support or other responsibilities to the mother or child.

If You Are Married to the Mother

Under Illinois law, if you are married to the mother of the child at the time of the birth, there is a presumption that you are the father of the child. The spouse of the mother is also presumed to be the father of a child if the mother was married and the marriage ended within 300 days before the birth of the child. If there are two different presumed fathers, then the court will look at all the facts and circumstances and make a decision in line with the best interests of the child.


DuPage County family law attorney, child support complicationsDetermining child support payments can be a difficult task—one that is further complicated for unmarried parents. Compared to more “traditional cases”, unmarried parents have many unique considerations to keep in mind when determining visitation rights, paternity, and child support.

Illinois Laws Regarding Child Support

Paying child support is a legal obligation, regardless of marital status. Non-custodial parents are required to continue to make child support payments until the minor child reaches age 18. If the child, upon turning 18, is still a full-time high school student and unmarried, the child support continues till they turn 19.


establishing paternity in Illinois, DuPage County family law attorneys Paternity refers to the relationship between a child and his or her legal father. A father, mother, and child can all benefit from establishing paternity, which gives a legal father rights and responsibilities regarding a child. It is important to note that the legal father of a child does not need to be the biological father, and Illinois law provides for many different ways that a mother or potential father can establish paternity.

Benefits of Establishing Paternity 

There are several benefits to establishing paternity for both parents involved and the child. From a father’s perspective, he can create and nurture a relationship with his child. He can also pass on his family name, culture, and anything else that is important to him. The mother of a child also benefits from establishing paternity. She can apply for support from the father if they are not married and have another adult present to support the emotional development of the child.

The Putative Father Registry: Protecting Fathers’ Rights

In Illinois, the state adoption agency is required to notify fathers if their children are being placed for adoption. All putative fathers, or men who might be a child’s father but were not married to the child’s mother at the time of birth, are encouraged to register in the Putative Father Registry in order to have a say in a potential adoption of their child.

The Putative Father Registry is also designed to serve families who want to adopt, for social workers and other professionals working on an adoption case, and for any other party who has an interest in finding out whether a child is ‘legally free’ for adoption. Moreover, the Registry is ultimately there to help children be placed with adoptive parents.

Asserting Your Rights as a Father


Posted on in Paternity

establishing paternity, DuPage County family law attorneyPaternity is defined as the legal relationship between a father and child. When a married woman has a baby, Illinois law automatically considers her husband to be the father of the child. However, if the husband believes that he is not the father of a child, he can sign a Denial of Paternity form.

On the other hand, the father of a child born to an unmarried mother is called an “alleged father,” until his paternity is established. Even if the parents are engaged or living together, a legal process must be followed to make his paternity official.

Establishing paternity provides an important legal foundation for one of the most important relationships in a child’s life. After establishing paternity, the father’s name can be added to his child’s birth certificate. Among other benefits, establishing paternity can protect the father’s rights as a parent, enable the father to access important family medical information, and secure support from the father, in the form of child support, Social Security contributions and inheritance.


Posted on in Child Custody

fathers rightsMore and more groups and firms are beginning to advertise that they tailor specifically towards “fathers’ rights.” You may be asking yourself why the need for all of this recent focus on fathers’ rights and how fathers’ rights actually differ from mothers’ rights in regards to domestic relations issues.

Fathers’ Rights and Custody Issues

Between the paternity laws and the number of mothers who obtain custody of the children, the issues of what happens when the children have limited or no time with their fathers is becoming a hot topic in the U.S. There have been countless studies that analyze the long-term effects on children who grow up without a father in their life. A recent Huffington Post article discussed the issue of how girls who grow up without fathers often suffer from low self-esteem issues and can have serious relationship problems as a result of not having a dad during their childhood. Another article explored a Canadian study that concluded lack of the paternal parent could cause children to become more aggressive later in life and possibly lead to a higher risk of substance abuse. Despite all of the studies that conclude it is beneficial to have a father in a child’s life, the law puts up certain barriers for fathers.


paternity, parentage, children, marriage, Illinois family lawyer, DuPage County family law attorneyThere are certain circumstances that require the relationship between a father and his child to be established. This is especially true in circumstances where a child was born to parents who are not married. There is a legal process for establishing paternity in Illinois depending on the facts of a particular situation.

How Do I Establish Paternity? According to Illinois law, if a child was either conceived or born when the mother was married, her husband is presumed to be that child’s father. For fathers of children who were not conceived or born to married parents, paternity must be legally established.

A father can establish paternity in three ways:

  1. Both mother and father complete, sign, date, and witness a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity (VAP) form;
  2. The State of Illinois' Department of Healthcare and Family Services’ (HFS) Child Support Services enters an Administrative Paternity Order; or
  3. A judge enters an Order of Paternity in a court of law.
Is it Important to Establish Paternity? There are many benefits to legally establishing paternity, including:
  • Ensuring the child’s legal rights in connection with the father-child relationship;
  • Adding the father’s name to the child’s birth certificate;
  • Protecting the rights of the parents;
  • Enabling access to medical information on the father’s side of the family; and
  • Ensuring the child obtains benefits that he or she is legally entitled to, including but not limited to financial and medical support, Social Security, inheritance, and other benefits.
What is the Court Process for Establishing Paternity? Usually, one of the parties, either the mother or the father, petitions the court to establish paternity. The parties are then notified when a hearing is scheduled, and both parties are expected to appear in court along with a representative from the State’s Attorney’s Office. This process may involve DNA testing either being compelled from the father or submitted by the father. After the hearing, the judge will issue an order regarding paternity. What is the Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity (VAP)? The VAP is the easiest way to establish paternity for unmarried parents. The form is available at the hospital and can be completed by the parents when the child is born. The form contains sections relating to information about the mother, the father, and the child. All sections must be completed and other requirements, like signing, dating, and having the form witnessed, must also be completed in order for the form to be valid. This process can also be used for married mothers whose husband is not the father of the child, but must also be accompanied by a Denial of Paternity Form. Unless both documents are signed and completed, the mother’s husband will legally be considered the child’s father. Parentage Attorney The attorneys at Davi Law Group, LLC have experience in parentage matters and are prepared to handle your case. Feel free to contact us today for a consultation to discuss your case. We represent clients in Cook and DuPage Counties, as well as surrounding areas.
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