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Hillside, IL 60162

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How Can Parentage Be Legally Established in Illinois?

Posted on in Divorce

Hillside legal parentage lawyer

Parentage (which is also known as paternity) is the legal relationship between a parent and his or her child. If a couple was married or in a civil union when their child was born or within 300 days before the birth, the mother’s spouse is presumed to be the father. However, if the mother and father were not married or in a civil union, paternity must be legally established. Naming a child’s legal parents is important, because it ensures that both parents have a right to participate in the allocation of parental responsibilities, and it allows the child to receive the necessary child support. For fathers who are trying to protect their parental rights or mothers who wish to confirm the parentage of their child, it is important to speak to an experienced family law attorney.       

Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity

If there is a mutual agreement between two parties about who the father is, a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (VAP) can be completed, signed, and filed with the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (DHFS). This will allow the father's name to be added to the child's birth certificate. A VAP can be completed at any time after the child is born, and the signing must be witnessed by a person who is 18 years or older who is not named on the document. 

A VAP can be canceled by either person within 60 days of its submission. In order to do so, a Rescission of Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity must be completed. Similar to the VAP, the Rescission must be signed, witnessed, and filed with DHFS. After the 60-day period, a Rescission may no longer be submitted.

Genetic Testing

In the event that there is a disagreement on who the father is, genetic testing can be used to establish parentage. A DNA test would require the mother, child, and alleged father to submit a sample of bodily fluid or tissue. DNA testing is considered to be the most accurate analysis option available, and if it shows that a person is 99.9% likely to be the child’s father, he will be considered the child’s parent. Following the confirmation of the father’s identity, an Administrative Paternity Order can be acquired from DHFS, or a court order can be put into place naming the father as the child’s legal parent. 

Contact an Oak Park Paternity Lawyer

Establishing parentage can be an emotional process for everyone involved. Although mothers or fathers may have a preconceived notion about how the court will make a determination, it is imperative to remember that the child's best interests are the most important factor to be considered. If you are trying to prove parentage, the experienced Hillside, IL family law attorney at the Law Office of Vincent C. Machroli, P.C. is here to help. To schedule a free consultation, contact our office today at 708-449-7404.  

Sources:

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

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs5.asp?ActID=3638&ChapterID=59

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diagnostics/10119-dna-paternity-test

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