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What You Do Not Know About Illinois Paternity Laws Could Hurt You

 Posted on April 09, 2021 in Paternity

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:

  • Both parents can sign a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (VAP), in which they agree as to who is the biological parent.
  • Either parent can file a petition for judicial determination of paternity, initiating what is commonly known as a paternity case. The key piece of evidence in the proceedings will be a DNA test.

Establishing Parentage Triggers Issues on Child Custody, Visitation, and Support

Regardless of how paternity is proved, this legal recognition means that both co-parents have rights to allocation of parental responsibilities. Each can participate in important decision-making and parenting time, concepts that are similar to what many know about custody and visitation. An order of paternity or VAP does not automatically bestow these rights; only a court can approve the parenting arrangement. If you do not agree on the allocation of parental responsibilities, the judge will make a determination after conducting a hearing.

From a financial standpoint, establishing paternity will have implications for the non-residential parent who will usually be required to pay child support.

It Is Possible for an Illinois Government Agency to Obtain a Determination of Paternity

When one parent needs or requests public assistance, one of the first tasks the government will undertake is determining parentage. It is only fair that the child’s biological parent takes on these responsibilities rather than taxpayers. However, an administrative adjudication of paternity is not the same as a judicial determination in a paternity case.

Trust a Knowledgeable DuPage County, IL Paternity Attorney

It is useful to know these basic points about parentage laws in Illinois, but there are many other concepts that you may not understand unless you have a legal background. Every detail matters when it comes to your rights and responsibilities as a parent, so count on our team at A. Traub & Associates to advise you. Please call 630-426-0196 to set up a consultation with a skilled Lombard parentage lawyer. Once we review the specific facts of your case, we can explain your options.



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