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Wheaton Paternity Lawyer

DuPage County Law Firm Establishing Parentage and Protecting Father's Rights

Naperville Paternity and Parentage Attorney

In Illinois, fathers have a legal relationship with their biological children, and this relationship is known as paternity, or parentage. In order to protect the rights of parents and children and ensure that children receive proper financial support, it is important to establish paternity in cases where a child's parents are not married.

Establishing Paternity in Illinois

If a child's mother was married when the child was conceived and/or born, her husband will be presumed to be the legal father of the child. However, if the parents were not married when a child was conceived and/or born, the father will not be considered the legal father until paternity is established.

Paternity is typically established in one of two ways:

  • DNA Testing - A simple genetic test can be performed to compare the DNA of the child and the father and establish with 100% certainty whether an alleged father is the child's biological father. This test can be performed with the assistance of the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services Child Support Services.
  • Voluntary Acknowledgement - If both parents agree that an alleged father is the child's father, they can complete a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (VAP) form in front of a witness to establish a child's parentage. This is typically done at the hospital after a child a born, but a VAP form can also be completed at any later date.

If there is any dispute over a child's paternity, the matter may need to be settled in court. This may be necessary if a mother is seeking financial support from a child's alleged father or if an alleged father wishes to obtain parental responsibilities and parenting time with a child.

Fathers' Rights in Adoption Cases

In order to assist in the process of notifying a child's father in cases of adoption, the Illinois Department of Child and Family Services has established a Putative Father Registry. Alleged fathers should register with the Putative Father Registry within 30 days of a child's birth, or they could potentially lose parental rights. An alleged father who has registered with the Putative Father Registry will be notified if the child is put up for adoption, and after receiving this notice, he can appear in court to provide information regarding the child's best interests.

Fathers who wish to establish legal paternity should initiate legal paternity proceedings within 30 days of registering with the Putative Father Registry. Failure to do so may result in a court ruling that they have waived their parental rights and allowing a child to be adopted without requiring the father's consent.

Contact a Naperville Paternity Attorney

At Anderson and Associates, P.C., our attorneys have over 30 years of experience in family law, and we understand the high stakes and far-reaching consequences of legal matters involving parentage. We represent both mothers and fathers in paternity cases, and whether you are looking to receive financial support for your children or protect your rights as a father, we can provide you with legal advice and advocate for your children's best interests in court. Contact a Wheaton parentage lawyer at 630-653-9400 to schedule an initial consultation.

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