DuPage County Child Custody LawyerPaternity, or the gender-neutral term, parentage, refers to the legal parent-child relationship. When paternity or parentage is established, the parent gains important rights and responsibilities. Paternity is presumed by the court when a married couple has a child, so paternity is most commonly a concern when unmarried parents have a child together.

If you are a mother or father or soon will be, it is important to understand how establishing paternity influences family law concerns such as child custody and child support.

How to Establish Paternity in Illinois

In Illinois, the easiest way for an unmarried couple to establish paternity is to sign a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity. This document can be completed at the hospital when the child is born. Once the parents complete and notarize the form, paternity will be established for all purposes in Illinois. If either parent later has doubts about the paternity, he or she has 60 days to contest it. Paternity can also be established through an administrative or judicial process.

Consequences of Establishing Paternity

Once paternity is established, the father-child relationship is recognized by the state of Illinois. Establishing paternity is beneficial for all parties involved. Consider some of the most consequential effects of establishing paternity:

  • Child custody – Once the father is the child’s official father in the eyes of the law, the father has the right to request parenting time and parental responsibilities.

  • Child support – Establishing paternity paves the way for child support. In Illinois, the parent with less parenting time pays child support to the parent with more parenting time. So, if the father has a lesser share of parenting time, he may be required to make support payments.

  • Rights and benefits for the child – Establishing paternity affords the child certain rights and benefits such as access to health care coverage through the father, veteran’s benefits, Social Security benefits, and Social Security survivor benefits.

  • Closer relationship – Establishing paternity also gives the father and child to opportunity to form a closer relationship and be involved in each other’s lives.

Contact Our DuPage County Paternity and Parentage Lawyers

Establishing paternity is essential to preserving certain rights, including the right to request child support or child custody.

To learn more about paternity and parentage, contact the experienced Wheaton family law attorneys at [[title]]. We recognize that paternity-related issues can be complicated, and we are ready to guide you through the process of establishing or contesting parentage. Call us today at [[phone]] for a free initial consultation.




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