Paternity / Father-Child Relationship
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Aurora, IL Paternity Attorneys

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Paternity means more than child support. A paternity order may be the only way to establish a legal parent-child relationship. Only a legal parent has visitation rights, standing to ask for custody, the right to attend important events in children's lives, and the right to be named on legal documents. Most contested cases go to court, although there are other dispute resolution methods.

At Pesce Law Group, P.C., we are committed to the "family" in family law. Parents and children may reside in different locations and lead different lives, but the duty to support children, both financially and emotionally, remains intact, in most cases. We are not satisfied unless the judge enters an order that is in the best interest of the children and is expedient for you, both legally and financially.

Establishing Paternity

A husband is presumed to be the father of his wife's child, even if the marriage is invalid. If the mother is unmarried prior to the child's birth, and the man consents in writing to be named on the birth certificate, he is presumed to be the father. If the mother is married to another man, the presumptive parents must sign a Voluntary Denial of Paternity form and the biological parents must sign a Voluntary Acceptance of Paternity form.

Parentage can also be established by consent. When children are born, the hospital staff usually has fill-in-the-blank Illinois Department of Public Aid forms on standby. Assuming both parents sign the forms, they are sufficient to establish legal paternity and a regular child support obligation, but they are not determinative of visitation, custody, or any other issues. A VAP can be rescinded within 60 days or challenged on the basis of fraud, duress, or mistake.

A judicial action begins with a petition to establish paternity. The mother, presumed father, and person financially supporting the children all have standing to file suit. If there is no VAP or VDP, most judges order a DNA test. These tests are non-invasive and almost 100 percent reliable. The party denying paternity typically pays the cost.

Putative Father Registry

This list is fairly unique to Illinois and came about after the Baby Richard case in the early 1990s. Baby Richard's mother told the father the baby had died, and gave him up for private adoption. The biological father later sued for custody. The Illinois Supreme Court invalidated the adoption and ordered that 3-year-old Baby Richard be placed with his father.

Now, a possible father may register with the state and receive notice of a potential adoption. The putative father registry has no impact on a paternity designation.

Every child deserves a legitimate and supportive father. For a free consultation with attorneys who help make things right, contact Pesce Law Group, P.C. at 630-352-2240. Convenient payment plans are available.

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