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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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Will County fathers’ rights attorney parenting time paternity

If you are the father of a child, you may worry about what your parental rights are under Illinois law. Unmarried or divorcing fathers are often especially concerned about their parental rights and responsibilities. Although mothers often have the majority of parental responsibility and parenting time, fathers have just as many rights under Illinois law as mothers do. The law treats mothers and fathers equally, but fathers may have unique family law concerns related to paternity and other matters.

The Right to Establish Paternity

When a woman gives birth to a child, she automatically becomes the child’s legal mother. The same is not always true for a child’s father. Unmarried fathers may need to formally establish paternity in order to become their baby’s legal parent. There are three ways to establish paternity in Illinois. First, both parents may sign a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (VAP) at the hospital where the baby was born or at a later date. Paternity can also be established through a court order or through a hearing with the Department of Healthcare and Family Services. Establishing paternity is the first step in gaining the parental rights afforded to fathers under the law. However, you will still need to file a separate petition for the allocation of parental responsibility and parenting time with the court after establishing paternity. You will also be subject to Illinois law regarding child support.

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Orland Park fathers' rights lawyer

The domestic landscape has greatly changed from what it was 20 or 30 years ago. More fathers are stay-at-home dads than ever before, and many mothers earn incomes equal to or higher than their husbands. Though not all families are set up that way, the general attitude toward men as caretakers has become much more accepting. When a couple goes through a divorce, most fathers still want to play an active role in their child’s life, though they may feel discouraged and disadvantaged when doing so. Certain topics are still skewed in the woman’s favor in many courtrooms, even though the judge may not necessarily mean to do this. If you are a father who is going through a divorce, you should understand how certain issues may affect your rights as a father in Illinois.

Spousal Maintenance

The idea of spousal maintenance was originally created to allow wives who got a divorce to continue to share a portion of their ex-spouse’s income. This occurred mostly in the days when the women were predominantly stay-at-home mothers who did not have careers and did not earn their own income. 

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  • DuPage County Bar Association
  • Lake County Bar Association
  • Kane County Bar Association

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