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Illinois Paternity Rights for Unmarried Couples

Posted on in Paternity

paternity rights, unmarried couples., Naperville paternity attorneyFor children born to unmarried parents in the State of Illinois, paternity can come into question by the legal system. Paternity rights are automatically granted to married couples, however, if the parents are not married, state authorities or the courts will step in to decide paternity and rule on custody and child support cases. In 1984, the Illinois General Assembly drafted the Illinois Parentage Act to secure and protect rights for unmarried couples and their children. This law recognizes that all children have the right to “physical, mental, emotional, and monetary support of his or her parents.”

Unwed Mothers Automatically Gain Custody under State Law

In cases where paternity may be in question, or a father is not present, unwed mothers are automatically granted full custody of their children. Fathers seeking custody need to file a paternity action, and will have no rights to the child until legal paternity has been determined. Mothers can also file for paternity action.

Fathers seeking visitation rights and/or custody need to partner with a family law attorney, who will file the paternity action on their behalf. After establishing paternity, the courts will decide the amount of involvement the father can have. Mothers will often partner with family law attorneys when seeking child support from the child’s father. After the action is filed, the courts will rule on a “judgment of paternity,” which will determine how much support the biological father is responsible to pay.

Methods to Establish Paternity

In Illinois, the law dictates several methods that a father can utilize to legally establish paternity. Paternity rights will be granted if:

  1. The man seeking paternity and the child’s mother were married at the time of conception or birth of the child in question.
  2. The child’s birth certificate lists the man as the child’s father.
  3. Each parent signs an Illinois Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity form.
  4. A court document establishing paternity has been issued by the Illinois Department of Public Aid.

Paternity must be established before fathers can secure any rights to visitation or child custody, and before mothers can request child support payments. Parents looking to file their paternity action claims should consult with an experienced Naperville paternity attorney to review their case. Contact Pesce Law Group, P.C. today to schedule your complimentary consultation.

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