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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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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Illinois paternity laws

Mokena family law attorney child paternityThe only time the legal father of a child is presumed in Illinois is when the mother is married when the child is born or within 300 days before the child is born. In these cases, the man the mother was married to is presumed to be the legal father of the child. If the mother was unmarried at the time the child was born or within 300 days before the child was born, then it is her responsibility to establish the paternity of the child. Paternity can be established through a couple of different ways, but it is essential that it is done, especially if the mother is attempting to seek child support from the child’s father. Paternity cases can be confusing, which is why getting legal help is advised in these situations.

Ways of Establishing Paternity

If your child’s paternity is not automatically presumed, then you must go about establishing your child’s paternity through alternate means. There are two other ways you can determine your child’s paternity: through the use of a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity form or by actions taken by a state child support agency or a judge. The easiest way to establish your child’s paternity is to fill out and sign the Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity form while you are at the hospital and have your child’s father do the same.

If your child’s father is unwilling to sign the Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity form, you may have to enlist the help of the courts or Illinois Child Support Services. Either of these processes will require you, your child, and the alleged father to submit to genetic testing before an Order of Paternity can be established.

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Mokena paternity attorneyThe number of babies being born in the United States to unmarried mothers is currently at an all-time high. In 1960, the percentage of babies born to unwed mothers was only five percent. In 2016, around 40 percent of all American children were born to unmarried mothers, and that statistic has remained steady in recent years. With the increased number of children being born to mothers who are not married, there is also an increased number of cases in which parents are seeking to legally establish the paternity of these children. In Illinois, paternity laws can be somewhat complex, and the process can be confusing, but establishing two legal parents for your child is worthwhile.

Benefits of Establishing Paternity

It is now widely understood that children benefit from both parents playing active roles in their lives. While it is not untrue that a child’s father can be involved in his or her life without actually being considered the legal father, legal paternity can help. Legally establishing paternity can benefit your child by:

  • Ensuring your child has a legal right to a relationship with his or her father and the father’s side of the family;
  • Having the father’s name on your child’s birth certificate;
  • Making sure your child’s father has legal rights to the child if something happens to you that makes you unable to care for your child;
  • Allowing your child to be added to the father’s health insurance plan;
  • Making sure your child has access to his or her father’s medical records; and
  • Ensuring your child is able to receive his or her father’s Social Security benefits, pension, veteran’s benefits, and/or inheritance if the father passes away.

Ways to Establish Paternity in Illinois

The easiest way to establish the paternity of your child in Illinois is by having both parents fill out and sign a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (VAP) at the hospital when your child is born. When you fill out information for the child’s birth certificate, you can ask hospital staff for a VAP and complete it then, or you can take the form home, complete it, and mail it to the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services.

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