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Why Should an Unmarried but Involved Father Establish Paternity?

 Posted on December 01, 2023 in Paternity

DuPage County Paternity LawyerWhen a couple has children after they are married, the hospital and relevant government authorities automatically determine that the woman who gave birth to the baby is the mother and the man she is legally married to is the father. Even though this might not always be the case, the man who is married to a woman who gives birth is automatically and legally recognized as the child’s father unless proven otherwise. But if the two parents are not married, things can be a tad more complicated for a father who wants to be involved. If you aren’t married but you know you want to be an involved father in your child’s life, an experienced Naperville, IL family lawyer will be able to walk you through establishing paternity and answer any questions you may have.

Why Do Fathers Need to Prove Their Paternity?

When a baby is born to a married couple, that couple is automatically considered the baby’s parents. If the couple decides at some point later to get a divorce, the fact remains that those two people are the child’s parents and they will need to settle on a joint parenting plan that accounts for how they will raise this child separately. The fact that they are no longer married does not affect the father’s claim of paternity, although it could impact how much time he gets to spend with his children and how much authority he can have over decisions that relate to them.

When the baby’s parents are not married, it can be more complicated. Illinois law recognizes the importance of parent-child relationships and seeks to ensure that both child and parent can have access to each other when it is in their best interest. However, when an unwed couple has a baby, the mother is automatically recognized as such, but the father needs to either prove or be proven that he is the father. Depending on several personal factors related to the specific couple in question, the father may not want to be responsible for this child, and proving his paternity will help the mother get various resources that she has a legal right to. In other cases, the mother may not want the father’s input and involvement, but if he has established paternity, she cannot keep him away from the child.

I Will Pay Child Support. Why Do I Still Need to Establish My Paternity?

You might be looking forward to becoming a father and be sure you will pay child support and fulfill any other responsibilities you will have. Even if that is the case, there are other reasons why establishing your paternity is important. It can protect your rights as a parent, ensure that your child has access to your personal medical information, and will allow for your child to inherit property and assets from you and they will be eligible for any death benefits you might have set up, including social security, insurance, pensions and anything else you may be entitled to. 

Schedule a Free Consultation with a Naperville, IL Paternity Lawyer

If you are not married and about to become a father, you might have questions about how you can proceed as a parent. An experienced DuPage County, IL paternity attorney can explain why establishing paternity might be a good idea and guide you through the process. Please call Pesce Law Group, P.C. at 630-352-2240 to schedule a free consultation.

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