Establishing paternity is an important step in securing legal rights as a father. It is also a great way for the father and child to connect on an emotional level. In Illinois, there are options for establishing paternity after childbirth. This is achievable in a few different ways.
As a father in Illinois considering establishing paternity, it is important to speak with an experienced family law attorney to discuss your options. An attorney can help you understand the benefits and risks of establishing paternity and can help you file the necessary legal documents.
What Methods Can I Use to Establish Paternity?
The first way in which a person can determine paternity is through a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity (VAP). A VAP is a document that is signed by you and the mother stating that you are the child’s father.
Another way to establish post-birth paternity is through judgment by the court. If the mother of the child does not agree to sign a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity, you can file a petition with the court to establish paternity.
What Are the Benefits of Establishing Paternity?
The state of Illinois says that if a child’s parents are not married or in a civil union at the time of the child’s birth, the “alleged” or “putative father” is not considered the legal, or “acknowledged father” of the child, even if the parents live together and plan to be wed. Your name cannot be added to the birth certificate until paternity is established.
By establishing paternity, a father can have:
The right to decision making and parenting time, meaning that you can spend time with the child and make decisions about the child’s upbringing
The legal obligation to provide child support to the mother of the child for the child’s expenses, such as food, clothing, and shelter
The right to provide the child with inheritance, such as a portion of your estate
The right to consent to or refuse medical treatment for the child, so long as the decisions are shown to be in the best interest of the child
What is the Difference Between a Putative and Alleged Father?
The difference between these terms is a subtle one. To offer a more clear distinction:
An “alleged father” is one that is thought to be the father or has been accused of being the father but it has not yet been proven
The term “putative father” is reserved for a man who holds claim to being the father but has not yet established paternity
Contact a DuPage County, IL Paternity Lawyer
For fathers who want to do right by a child, the decision to establish paternity is a good one. However, understanding how to establish paternity is critical. Before attempting to take action on your own, it is best to seek legal aid.
An established Wheaton, IL paternity lawyer, such as one from the [[title]] can help with family law issues. Paternity has many factors to consider, so it is vital that you know exactly what to expect. Call the office at [[phone]] today and receive an honest assessment of your paternity matter and to discuss a plan of action.