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Wheaton family law attorneysWhether or not a child’s parents are married, the child often benefits from having both parents involved in his or her life. Many parents are also invested in securing and maintaining a relationship with their child. Unfortunately, for unmarried fathers, such a relationship is not necessarily guaranteed. However, there is a legal process that unmarried fathers can follow to secure the basic rights of parentage, along with an allocated share of parenting time and parental responsibilities in many cases.

Establishing Legal Paternity

Before an unmarried father can ask for parenting time or parental responsibilities, he will need to be recognized as the child’s legal parent. In Illinois, there is more than one way for a man to establish legal paternity. First, along with the child’s mother, he can sign a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity (VAP) and file it with the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services. Provided that there are no objections or competing claims from other alleged fathers, this is usually the most simple method of securing parental rights.

If a VAP is not possible, perhaps because the mother is not in agreement or there is uncertainty regarding the child’s biological father, a man can petition the court for an adjudication of paternity. As part of this process, the man can submit to genetic testing and present other evidence and testimony to support his claim of fatherhood. If the results of the test show that the man is most likely the child’s father, the court can issue a judicial order of parentage, providing the father with basic rights and an obligation to contribute to child support.


DuPage County family law attorneysDaytime television has popularized the idea of a DNA test to establish paternity to the point where you might think it is a necessary part of any legal paternity case. It is true that in Illinois, genetic testing is often used in cases involving uncertain or contested paternity, but there are other ways of establishing paternity that do not require testing at all. As either a father seeking to establish paternity or a mother who wants to ensure child support, you should be aware of when a DNA test is or is not required and what you can expect if a genetic test is part of your case.

Establishing Legal Paternity Without a DNA Test

In Illinois, there are a few situations in which legal paternity for an unmarried father can be established without the need for a DNA test. These include cases in which the father:

  • Was previously married to or in a civil union with the child’s mother within 300 days before the child’s birth. In this case, no further legal action is required to establish paternity.
  • Marries or enters into a civil union with the child’s mother after the child’s birth, if he has consented to being named as the father on the child’s birth certificate.
  • Completes and signs a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity (VAP), regardless of his current or prior relationship with the child’s mother. A VAP can be completed at the hospital upon the child’s birth or at any point after. The mother must also sign the VAP as well.

When is a DNA Test Used?

If you believe you may be the father of a child and are interested in being a part of the child’s life, you can request a DNA test to confirm your paternity. This may be important in cases where you or the mother simply have questions or when the mother is trying to contest your paternity.


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

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 paternity lawyers, paternity fraudWhen a child is born and the parents are not married, it is important for both parents to establish paternity. By establishing paternity, a child’s biological father is recognized as the legal father, with the rights and responsibility the law provides.

Under Illinois law, there are several ways to establish paternity. Unfortunately, the system may be manipulated to force a man, other than the biological father, to assume responsibility for a child.

How to Establish Paternity


Posted on in Paternity

DuPage County parentage attorneys, paternity acknowledgementIn Illinois, if parents are not married when their child is born, then they must establish the child’s paternity if they wish to establish certain rights between the child and the father. There are a number of ways to establish paternity for a child. The easiest method to establish paternity is for both parents to sign a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity (VAP) form.

In some cases, however, parents may sign the form, yet later on wish to revoke their signature, for a number of reasons. If you are considering signing or revoking a VAP, it is important to understand the legal ramifications that go along with these actions and prepare yourself for the process. 

Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity


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.


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.
Grandparents are integral parts of any family. They offer advice and insight to parents who are raising their own children.  grandparent rights IMAGEThey also can overly spoil their grandchildren with affection, attention and love.  And in some cases, the grandparents have a limited legal right to visitation of their grandchildren in Illinois, especially when the parents divorce. There are certain requirements that must be met for an Illinois court will grant visitation to grandparents.  The first is that the children must be at least one year old.  The other requirement is that one of the following circumstances must exist:
  • One of the parents of the child has been confirmed to be unfit or incompetent
  • One of the parents has been incarcerated in jail or prison for at least three months
  • One of the parents is either dead or has been absent for the preceeding three months
  • The parents are divorced and one does not disagree to the visitation by the grandparents
  • The parents are not married and do not live together
Just as in custody and visitation agreements during divorce, the major deciding factor is what is in the best interest of the grandchildren. A child’s best interest can be based on their preference, the health of the child and grandparents, and whether there is any adverse effect of the visitation.  The reliability and trustworthiness of the grandparents can be seen as a major benefit for children who are missing a parent. These same rights are available to siblings of the children in question, as well as the great-grandparents. But these rights can be terminated in some cases even if a visitation schedule has been established by a court of law. For example, if the parents have given up custody to a separate party other than the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services or a foster care provider, grandparent rights may not apply. In other words, if a different family adopts the child, then the maternal or paternal grandparents will not have their right to visitation. If you are interested in petitioning for visitation with your grandchildren, then take the first step today.  Contact an experienced family law attorney in Warrenville who can be your advocate.

Posted on in Child Custody

In this modern day and age, having sex out of wedlock is more and more common. Usually, nowadays, when two people get married, they have already had sex either with each other or with other partners. It is also becoming increasingly common to have children out of wedlock and because of that, the father is not always known for sure. If the father of a child is not known, there a few tests that can be taken to determine who it is. You first must determine when the test will be conducted: before or after the child is born. Here are some options for paternity testing from the American Pregnancy Association: Lucy If you choose to perform the test before the child is born, your options include:

  • Amniocentesis:
    • This test is for the second trimester of pregnancy, between week 14-20. Doctors use ultrasound and guide a needle through the uterus to collect a little bit of amniotic fluid. This fluid will be used for the test to determine the father.
    • Risks of this test include:
      • Miscarriage, although it is a very small chance
      • Cramping
      • Vaginal bleeding
      • Leaking of amniotic fluid
  • Chorionic Villis Sampling (CVS)
    • This test is meant to be conducted between week 10-13 of the pregnancy. For this test, the doctor inserts a thin needle or tube through the vagina and cervix to obtain a chorionic villi. This needle is also guided by ultrasound. The chorionic villi are pieces of tissue on the uterus wall, which come from the same fertilized egg as the fetus, therefore they have the same genetic makeup.
  • SNO Macroarray
    • This type of test does not require a needle to be inserted into the mother like the first two options. This is a newer type of test that preserves and analyzes the baby’s DNA that is naturally found in the mother’s bloodstream.
    • This test is 99.9% accurate, but much less invasive that the first two options

If you decide to wait to perform the tests until after the child is born, your options include:

  • Blood collection and testing
  • Cheek swab collection and testing
  • Umbilical cord collection and testing

If you are having a child or you already have a child and you would like to find out who the father is, or you would like to find out if you are the father of a child, contact a family law attorney for assistance. Attorneys at the Davi Law Group in Illinois will help you decide which test to take and what the best way to going about it would be today.  

If one parent passes away before you legitimately find out if they are the father or not, do not worry. There is a way to figure it all out. With today’s technological advances it is easier than you think. Paternity issues can be done by following simple steps and utilizing a local lab to do testing. ChristineFirst a birth certificate must be produced and have the questioned man listed as father. This documentation is the first step to proving paternity. It shows acknowledgement as well as the fact that the child has the same surname as the father. This can be proof enough in some states for paternity. Another good form of proof is if the father claimed the child under his taxes as a dependent. All of these can satisfy some or all requirements for paternity in certain states. Just because the child looks like the father in question is not proof that he is the father. A DNA sample has to be gathered to officially determine paternity in some states. It could have been taken during a procedure while the father was still alive. If, however, none was taken while he was alive, the next best solution would be to get a DNA sample from the father’s closest relatives. Higher probability goes to his parents or other children he had. Have testing done with either of those samples to compare to the child’s in a DNA lab. If you are in a situation where paternity is in question and it affects your child’s well being and future, contact a family attorney knowledgeable with paternity disputes in the Illinois area.  

Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos

StaciThe Chicago Sun-Times is reporting that 17-year-old rap star Keith Cozart, aka Chief Keef, has been sued for child support and other expenses related to the birth of a now 14-month-old child. The lawsuit seeks a current child support order from Chief Keef, as well as retroactive child support, health insurance coverage, medical expenses, daycare expenses, and attorney’s fees for the lawyer hired by the child’s mother. Keef reportedly signed an acknowledgement of parentage of the baby girl, who was born in November, 2011. The mother of the child is now also 17 years old. When contacted for comments, Keef’s representative did not return calls. Chief Keef recently released his first album, “Finally Rich,” that had been widely anticipated by the public. However, Keef has become notorious in recent months for his legal woes rather than his musical talent. Just last week, a Cook County judge sentenced Keef to 60 days in a juvenile detention facility for a probation violation. Keef had allegedly violated the terms of his probation stemming from a gun conviction by appearing in a music video holding a firearm. When a child is born out of wedlock, a father has the option of signing a document at the child’s birth acknowledging his paternity, or later undergoing DNA testing through a legal action to formally establish paternity. Once paternity is established, court orders such as child support, custody, and visitation can be established if requested by one or both parties. Even though Keef is currently incarcerated, he is only scheduled to be incarcerated for a relatively short period of time, which means that he is likely to be ordered to pay child support for this child in the near future. If you or a loved one is sued in a paternity or child support action, you need to ensure that you are aware of your legal rights and that appropriate orders are established. With the assistance of a skilled child support lawyer, you can ensure that your rights and interests are sufficiently protected.

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