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Securing Your Rights Begins with Establishing Paternity

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Paternity

paternity, Lombard family law attorneysWhen you are not married to the mother of your child, it may be very difficult for you to exercise your rights as a father. In fact, if you have not established legal paternity, you may not even have any such rights under the law. Your relationship with your child is extremely important, but may be non-existent unless you take action, which begins with establishing paternity.

How Paternity May Be Established

Thanks to the newly enacted Illinois Parentage Act of 2015, you are presumed to be the father of a child if you are or were married to the child’s mother when the child was born or got married after the birth and you are listed as the father on the birth certificate. If the child was born within 300 days of your divorce, you would also be the presumed father. Assuming the presumption of your parentage is not rebutted, you would be considered your child’s legal father, with all of the accompanying rights and responsibilities.

If you do not meet the criteria for presumptive paternity, you may establish paternity in another manner. Most easily, you and the child’s mother may complete a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity (VAP). If, however, the mother will not complete the VAP naming you as the father, you may need to pursue an adjudication of paternity through the court system. Depending on the situation, including whether there are already two parents active in the child’s life, the court may order genetic testing to establish a biological relationship.

Rights and Responsibilities

An adjudication of your paternity does not automatically grant you any authority over the daily activities of your child. Instead, as the legal father, you would then have standing to petition for allocated parental responsibilities—formerly child custody—and parenting time. With legal paternity established, you would also have the standing to object to the adoption of your child or a proposed relocation by your child’s mother. You should also be aware that, as the father, you may be ordered to make payments of child support in accordance with Illinois law.

Help for Fathers in Illinois

At A. Traub & Associates, our compassionate team understands the challenges that fathers often face in securing rights related to their children. If you have questions about establishing paternity or any other related matter, contact an experienced Arlington Heights family law attorney today. We are ready to help you be the father your child deserves and we will work hard to protect your rights at every stage of the process.


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