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Wakenight & Associates, P.C.

9405 Bormet Drive, Suite 7, Mokena, IL 60448

Mokena | 815-727-6144

DuPage County | 630-852-9700   Oak Park | 708-848-3159

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Orland Park Paternity Lawyer

Tinley Park paternity DNA testing lawyer

Family Law Attorneys Helping Establish Legal Parentage in New Lenox and Will County

Every child has two parents, and whether those parents are married, divorced, living together while unmarried, or separated, they both have legal rights and obligations. In some cases, such as when a child is born to a married couple, the identity of the child's legal parents is clear and unquestioned. However, there are other situations in which it is necessary to establish legal paternity for a child, and in these cases, it is essential to work with an experienced lawyer to ensure that all legal requirements are met.

The family law attorneys of Wakenight & Associates, P.C. have more than 95 years of combined legal experience, and we understand the legal issues that must be addressed when establishing paternity. With our help, you can ensure that your rights and your child's best interests are protected.

Establishing Parentage in Illinois

When a child's mother is married at the time of the child's birth, or if her marriage ended because of divorce, death, or another reason within 300 days before the child was born, her spouse or ex-spouse is considered to the be child's legal parent. If the mother is unmarried, the child's other parent will not be considered the legal parent until paternity has been established.

Parentage can be established in one of three ways:

  1. The parents can sign a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (VAP) form in the presence of a witness and file it with the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS). This form can be provided at the hospital where the child is born, or it may be obtained from a county clerk's office or the HFS.
  2. Paternity can be established administratively by the HFS. In these cases, Child Support Services will work with both parents to determine whether they will both acknowledge their parentage, or genetic testing may be performed to confirm parentage. At the end of this process, an Administrative Paternity Order will be issued.
  3. A parent, child, or other interested party may file a petition with a family court to establish parentage. In these cases, a hearing will be held, and DNA testing may be ordered to determine the child's biological parentage. An Order of Paternity can then be entered into court records to establish legal parentage.

Establishing paternity ensures that a child's mother and father will both have the legal right to a relationship with their child, and it can provide a number of benefits for the child, such as access to parents' medical records and histories and the right to receive inheritances, Social Security benefits, or veteran's benefits.

After paternity has been established, a child's custodial parent may pursue child support from the other parent. Paternity also protects fathers' rights, allowing them to share in parental responsibility and enjoy parenting time with their child.

Contact a Mokena Family Law Attorney

Children deserve to have a relationship with both their parents and receive the financial support that will meet their daily needs. If you need to establish legal parentage for your child, or if you wish to contest a paternity petition, our skilled lawyers can provide you with the legal help you need. Contact us at 815-727-6144 to arrange a free consultation. We represent families in New Lenox, Orland Park, Frankfort, Homer Glen, Orland Hills, Tinley Park, Lockport, Oak Forest, Joliet, and Will County.

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