Illinois does not have an automatic presumption of paternity when a child is born out of wedlock. Normally, the husband of the mother is presumed to be the father unless it is proven than someone else is the father. An unmarried father can still claim his legal parental status by signing a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity form after the child’s birth. When there is a disagreement about who the father is, the mother or potential father may need to go to court to prove paternity. A paternity test is usually the definitive way to determine whether a child is related to the father. Why is it important to identify the father of a child? There are good reasons for each party involved.
A father may want to be part of his child’s life, even if he is not in a relationship with the mother. The best way he can ensure that it will happen is by establishing paternity. As the legal father to the child, he would have a right to parenting time, as long as the child would not be in danger with him. The father could also claim responsibility for the child on a full-time basis if the mother dies, is deemed unfit, or wants to give the child up for adoption.
It is difficult for a single mother to support a child, and she may want the biological father to take responsibility for their child. Establishing paternity would make the father responsible for paying child support to cover child-related expenses. The mother may also want access to the father’s family medical history, which the child’s pediatrician could reference to determine whether the child may be at risk for certain medical conditions.
No one benefits more from establishing paternity than the child. Ideally, the child will have a relationship with their biological father, but just knowing who their father is will provide the child with some comfort. As the child grows older, they will be able to decide whether to pursue a larger relationship with their father. When the father dies, the child may be able to claim an inheritance from the father’s estate.
Contact a St. Charles, Illinois, Family Law Attorney
Proving paternity can be an emotional legal dispute, but it is important to settle the issue for the well-being of the child. A Kane County family law lawyer at Goostree Law Group can help you establish paternity, whether you are the mother or the father. To schedule a free consultation, call 630-584-4800.