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Naperville paternity attorneyUnder Illinois law, the legal relationship between a child and his or her father is only presumed if the man was married to child’s mother at the time of, just prior to, or just after the child’s birth. According to the most recent available statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, however, more than 40 percent of all births in the United States are to unmarried mothers. These numbers indicate that, on average, paternity cannot be presumed in about two out of five cases.

The most common method for establishing paternity when there is no existing presumption—or to rebut a presumption in certain cases—is by means of a voluntary acknowledgement of paternity (VAP) form. When both the mother and father complete the form properly, it creates a legal parent-child relationship between the man and his son or daughter. As such, completing the VAP form is an extremely serious matter, and one that should not be taken lightly.

Be Absolutely Certain

Prior to acknowledging paternity voluntarily, it is important that there is no doubt in your mind that you are the child’s father. Once the form has been completed and the time period for rescinding the acknowledgment has passed, you are the child’s father in the eyes of the law. If, down the road, you become aware that you might not be the child’s biological father, it may be too late.

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DuPage County family law attorneysBeing a victim of domestic violence can be a confusing and scary experience to endure. Victims may be uncertain of what their abuser is actually capable of or if the abuser will follow through with his or her threats. In many cases, a victim of domestic violence may be unsure as to whether or not the treatment he or she is being subjected to even “counts” as domestic violence. If you have been a victim of abuse by a household or family member, romantic partner, or ex-romantic partner, an emergency order of protection may benefit you in several ways.

What Is Considered Domestic Violence?

When most people think of domestic violence, they imagine physical abuse like punching, hitting, pushing, slapping, and kicking. However, this is not the only type of abuse that may be cause for acquiring an emergency order of protection. Domestic violence or abuse can also involve psychological or emotional manipulation. An abusive person may humiliate, demean, or frighten his or her victim in order to control him or her. The perpetrator may also threaten the victim or the victim’s loved ones. Some abusers control victims through financial means such as withholding money, prohibiting the victim from gaining employment, or controlling the victim’s spending to an extreme degree. One of the most important things to remember about abuse is that many abusers escalate the abusive behavior over time. If someone has made you feel afraid for your safety, an emergency protection order can help ensure that the situation does not worsen.

How Does an Emergency Order of Protection Work?

You can obtain an emergency order of protection (EOP) based on your testimony alone. Your abuser does not need to be present. Many protection orders coincide with a domestic battery arrest or other crime, but the abuser does not need to be arrested in order for a victim or potential victim to be granted a protection order. EOPs become effective immediately and last for up to 21 days. 

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b2ap3_thumbnail_prison-jail-cells-corridor-correctional-facility_20200121-024905_1.jpgFor many divorced and unmarried parents, money is tight. If you are a single parent, you probably have many financial obligations including housing costs, childcare expenses, school-related expenditures, and more. If you receive child support from your child’s other parent, you may depend upon these payments heavily. If something were to happen and you no longer received child support, you would be in serious trouble. These are the concerns that many parents have when they learn that their child’s other parent has been incarcerated.

Parents Are Still Expected to Pay Child Support Even While Incarcerated

If your child’s other parent has been arrested and charged with a crime, he or she may be spending time in jail or prison. However, this does not mean that he or she is automatically relieved of child support obligations. When a person is incarcerated, the court still expects him or her to continue paying child support. However, the incarcerated parent does have the option to petition the court for a temporary child support modification. The court may grant this modification if the parent can prove that he or she genuinely needs it. For example, if the incarcerated parent cannot participate in a work release program and has no income, the court may allow him or her to temporarily stop making child support payments. Once the parent is released from jail, he or she must pay the past due amount.

Other Sources of Income During Incarceration

When an incarcerated parent is not making money from traditional work, this does not mean that he or she has no means to pay child support. The court may require an incarcerated parent to pay child support through other means. Child support payments may be taken from:

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