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Establishing Paternity for Unmarried Couples

Posted on in Paternity

Naperville paternity lawyersWhen an opposite-sex married couple has a child, the father is legally presumed to be the husband of the mother. When an unmarried couple has a baby, there is no presumed father. In order to be the legal father of a child, an unmarried father must establish paternity. Legal paternity gives the father certain rights and responsibilities. For example, the legal father of a child has the right to enjoy visitation, or parenting time, with the child. He will also likely be expected to pay child support. There are several ways for an unmarried father to establish paternity in Illinois.

Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity

If both parents agree on the paternity of the child, the process for establishing paternity is quite simple. Parents may sign a voluntary acknowledgement of paternity and then file the form with the court. This simple paperwork can be done immediately after a child’s birth in the hospital. The voluntary acknowledgement of paternity can also be signed at any time after the child’s birth. After paternity is established in this way, a father’s name is added to the birth certificate. In some cases, a voluntary acknowledgement may not be necessary if both parents confirm the identity of the father.

Paternity Lawsuit

If both parents do not agree as to the paternity of the child, or if the father is unwilling to sign a voluntary acknowledgement of paternity, legal action may be necessary. A mother who wishes to establish paternity has the option to file a paternity lawsuit. The person believed to be the father may be ordered to submit to a blood test. Geneticists can analyze the DNA in blood to determine who the biological father of a child is. If the results show that the alleged father is the biological father, he will be required to pay child support and may have parental rights instated. Once paternity has been established, the child also obtains many legal rights. In addition to the right to child support, the child gains inheritance rights, access to health insurance coverage under his father's group policy, and Social Security benefits.

Call a Paternity Lawyer for Help

At Pesce Law Group, P.C., we are committed to protecting children’s best interests. Parents deserve to be given their natural rights but should also be held accountable for the responsibilities that come with those rights. If you are a parent who has questions about paternity, child support, or parental rights, do not hesitate to contact an experienced DuPage County family law attorney. Contact us today at 630-352-2240 to schedule your complimentary consultation.


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