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The Importance of Establishing Paternity in Illinois

Posted on in Paternity

IL divorce lawyerAll children are entitled to their parents’ support, including but not limited to financial, emotional, mental, and physical support. No matter the parents’ legal relationship or either parent’s age, no child should be denied the opportunity for a parent-child relationship. It is a shared duty of the parents and the child to establish paternity, which is the legal acknowledgment of the father and child relationship. In general, this is a straightforward process. However, in some cases, paternity is not determined so easily and may require the assistance of the courts and an experienced family law attorney.

Benefits of Establishing Paternity

Determining a child’s paternity can be extremely gratifying for all parties involved. When paternity is established, the father gains visitation rights allowing them to become involved in their child’s life.

A child can significantly benefit when the establishment of paternity leads to an increased standard of living. Coupled with the opportunity to form a meaningful relationship with their father, the child can benefit from any possible child support payments, the father’s medical insurance coverage, and any future inheritance. Additionally, when paternity is determined, the child will be able to fully access their family’s medical history.

How to Establish Paternity in Illinois

When a married woman gives birth, it is assumed by the law that the child’s biological father is the mother’s husband. On the other hand, if the mother is unmarried, it is the responsibility of the mother or child to determine paternity. It should be noted that Illinois law allows for several additional manners in which a man may be presumed the child’s father.

There are several manners in which a parent or child could possibly establish paternity. The four primary methods include:

  • Voluntary Acknowledgment - If both parents agree upon a child’s paternity, the parents can sign an affidavit confirming paternity.
  • Genetic Testing - Modern science allows for paternity testing to be incredibly accurate, examining the DNA of the child, mother, and potential father.
  • Court Determination - A parent can petition the court in an effort to establish paternity. The judge will assign legal paternity based on details such as any current or previous sexual relationships between the mother and alleged father, time and date of conception, and any genetic testing results.
  • Authority to Establish Parentage - The Illinois Parentage Act of 1984 allows circuit courts to determine parentage.

It is highly recommended to establish paternity as early on in the child’s life as possible. Not only does the statute of limitations for paternity end when the child turns 20, but it also gives the child and father more time to build their relationship and also allows for any possible child support.

Contact Our Naperville, IL Family Law Attorneys

If you are a child or parent seeking to determine the paternity of yourself or your child, it may be in your best interests to connect with a DuPage County family law attorney who can guide you through the necessary steps and educate you on the possible outcomes. There are several factors involved in paternity that may make for difficult decisions and a complicated process. Contact our team at Pesce Law Group, P.C. to schedule your free consultation by calling 630-352-2240.

 

Sources:

https://www2.illinois.gov/hfs/ChildSupport/FormsBrochures/Pages/hfs3282.aspx

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs5.asp?ActID=3638&ChapterID=59

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