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Why Is Establishing Paternity Important in Illinois?

 Posted on December 20, 2019 in Paternity

Lombard, IL parentage attorney

When a child is born to a married couple, both spouses will be considered the child's legal parents. However, when a child is born to an unmarried mother, or when the identity of the child's father may be in doubt, it may be necessary to establish the child's legal parentage. Establishing paternity is important for the child, but it also benefits the father and mother too. For example, legal paternity may need to be established before a court determines parenting time, parental responsibilities, and child support. If you need to address issues related to your child's parentage, speaking with an experienced family law attorney can guide you through your next steps and help you establish paternity.

How Is Paternity Established?

Paternity is the legal establishment of the identity of a child’s father. Simply writing a person’s name on a birth certificate does not necessarily indicate paternity. In fact, paternity can be established in a variety of ways, including:

  • Both parents may sign a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (VAP) form.

  • An Administrative Paternity Order may be filed after paternity is confirmed by the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services.

  • An Order of Paternity may be issued after a court hearing is held. In these cases, parents may be ordered to complete DNA testing to verify the identity of the child's biological father.

Legal Significance of Paternity

Establishing paternity affects the child, the mother, and the father. The child may feel a sense of identity and belonging simply by knowing who his or her father is. Mothers benefit because paternity determinations help to secure support from the father. Establishing paternity benefits the father, too. A man who is legally recognized as a child’s father is:

  • Responsible for providing financial support for the child

  • Protected from the mother giving the child up for adoption without his consent

  • Entitled to custody and visitation rights

Contact a DuPage County Parentage Lawyer

Even if a couple was never married, there are many decisions to be made should they decide to end their relationship, especially if they had a child together. Before issues regarding parenting time or child support can be determined, establishing paternity is essential. If you are a dad who is not yet legally recognized as the father of your child, or if you are a mother who is looking to establish paternity in order to ensure that your child will be provided for, it is imperative that you speak with a knowledgeable parentage lawyer. At A. Traub & Associates, we understand the emotional effects on mothers, fathers, and children when addressing family law issues, and we work hard to ensure that children's best interests are protected. To schedule a confidential consultation, call our Lombard, IL family law attorneys today at 630-426-0196.


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