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IL family lawyerIf what you know about paternity comes from daytime soap operas, TV dramas, or blockbuster films, there is a strong possibility that you do not have a clear picture of how the laws work in Illinois. You probably understand the fundamental principle under state statutes on parentage, which is that all children are entitled to the physical, mental, emotional, and monetary support of both parents. However, if parents were not married when the child was conceived and/or born, serious disputes can develop over these responsibilities.

When you realize that there is a lot you do not know about paternity proceedings, you soon understand that you put your parental rights at risk unless you retain a skilled Wheaton parentage lawyer. Because relying on misinformation could harm your interests, it is important to review a few lesser-known facts about Illinois paternity laws.

Establishing Paternity in Illinois

Parentage arises by legal presumption when parents are married, which means it can be rebutted by evidence to the contrary. However, between individuals who were never married, the two most common ways of proving paternity are:

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DuPage County family law attorney paternity

In many cases involving unwed parents, establishing legal paternity is important to ensure that the child has the financial support of both parents, and that the mother can rely on assistance from the father by way of regular child support payments. However, establishing paternity can also be crucial for unmarried fathers who wish to be part of their children’s lives, in that it helps them secure important father’s rights.

Benefits of Establishing Paternity for Unmarried Fathers in Illinois 

If you are an unmarried father, taking the steps to establish legal paternity can ensure that you have parental rights that may come into play in several different legal situations. One such situation is a potential adoption proceeding involving the child. If you have been legally recognized as the child’s father, the adoption of the child by another party will usually require your consent in addition to that of the child’s mother. By withholding your consent, you may be able to prevent an unwanted adoption and ensure that you remain your child’s legal father.

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