Being a single parent can be extremely difficult. Your child’s needs do not decrease just because they only have one parent to care for them and provide for them. In Illinois, children have the right to be supported financially by both of their parents. This typically takes the form of child support payments. One problem that many single mothers face is that the father of their child refuses to acknowledge that he is indeed the child’s other parent. This can create a roadblock, but with the help of a skilled attorney, it is often a very surmountable roadblock.
Even if the father refuses to acknowledge paternity voluntarily, Illinois state law provides a mechanism for establishing paternity involuntarily. If you are faced with this difficult situation, you should strongly consider speaking to an attorney about your options.
How Can Paternity be Established if My Child’s Father Will Not Cooperate?
Even if your child’s father refuses to accept or admit that he is the father, there are still ways to establish paternity. In many cases, the Department of Healthcare and Family Services will intervene and try to resolve the situation before involving the court. They may be able to conduct a paternity test or create a legal presumption of parentage if the father fails to show up.
However, when that is not going to be effective, there is another way. To involuntarily establish paternity through the courts, your attorney will start by filing a petition to establish parentage. The burden of proving paternity falls on the party trying to establish it. While a potential father cannot be compelled to take a DNA paternity test against his will, his refusal can be used against him. The court may consider a documented refusal to submit to a DNA test strong evidence that the man in question is indeed the father and attempting to conceal it.
It is also important to note that DNA tests are not perfect – they do not conclusively establish paternity beyond all possible doubt, but they do provide strong evidence.
If the father simply refuses to respond to a judicial summons and does not appear at all, this can actually work in your favor. In this type of case, the court is extremely likely to issue a default order declaring the defendant to be your child’s father.
Once paternity has been established, your attorney will guide you through the next steps toward recovering child support from your child’s father.
Call an Illinois Parentage Attorney
If you need to establish the identity of your child’s father and pursue child support, The Foray Firm may be able to help. Our experienced Markham paternity lawyers have assisted many other single mothers in this situation. Call us at 312-702-1293 for a free consultation.