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High Point Plaza, 4415 West Harrison Street, Suite 213, Hillside, IL 60162
High Point Plaza, 4415 West Harrison Street, Suite 213
Hillside, IL 60162

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Establishing Paternity in Illinois

Posted on in Divorce

Illinois paternity lawyerIn a marriage, the paternity of a child is automatically established. However, this is not the case when the biological parents are unmarried. Instead, the father is deemed an “alleged father” until he and the mother either acknowledge paternity or receive confirmation of paternity through the courts or Illinois’ Department of Healthcare and Family Services (DHFS). Learn more about establishing paternity in Illinois, including how it can be done and why you should get it done, and see why the assistance of an experienced family law attorney should be obtained.

Why Establish Paternity?

At first glance, the purpose of establishing paternity may seem to be about money. After all, a father may be obligated to pay child support if he and the biological mother are not residing together. However, fathers can also reap several benefits if they pursue establishing paternity legally. For example, fathers can still have the right to pursue custody of their child, should the mother ever lose her rights or become incapacitated for any reason. Fathers can also seek parenting time and allocation of parental responsibilities, which gives them bonding time and decision-making power in the life of their child.

How to Acknowledge Paternity in Illinois

Parents who wish to establish paternity for their child can do so in one of three ways. These are:

  • Signing a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity form after the child’s birth;
  • Pursuing an Administrative Paternity Order through DHFS; or,
  • Pursuing an Order of Paternity through the courts.

It should be noted that a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (VAP) form should never be filled out if either of the biological parents questions the paternity of the child. Reversing a VAP  can be done, but it is not an easy process. Furthermore, reversing a VAP places the man in question at risk for paying child support for a child that may not be legally or biologically his.

When to Contact an Attorney

There are numerous situations in which one parent or the other needs the assistance of an attorney while trying to establish paternity. For example, a mother may be married, and the biological father may not be her husband. In this situation, the mother or the alleged father should have legal representation. Another situation in which legal assistance is needed is if the father wishes to seek parenting time and/or allocation of parental responsibilities; in such a scenario, the father will be more likely to receive his fair share of time and decision-making power in the life of his child if he has an experienced attorney on his side.

Knowledgeable and experienced, the Law Office of Vincent C. Machroli, P.C. can help with all of your child support, parenting time, allocation of parental responsibilities, and paternity establishment needs. In every situation, we strive to protect the best interests of the child in question. Schedule a personalized, no-obligation consultation with our Hillside, IL family law attorney to inquire about how we can help with your situation. Call 708-449-7400 today.

Source:

https://www.illinois.gov/hfs/ChildSupport/FormsBrochures/Pages/hfs3282.aspx

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