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Hillside, IL 60162

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The Benefits of Establishing Paternity for the Father and the Child

Posted on in Paternity / Parentage

Oak Park family law attorney paternity

When a couple is married and they have a baby, it is presumed that the man is the legal father of the child. However, when two people are not married, paternity (parentage) has to be legally established before the father is eligible for specific parental rights, and before the child is entitled to certain benefits. Studies have shown that children thrive most when they have a relationship with both of their parents, so confirming parentage is important for everyone’s best interests and well-being of all parties. Establishing parentage for children born out of wedlock can also help provide a basis for obtaining child support payments, and for fathers, it may be necessary for the allocation of parental responsibilities (child custody) and can allow them to be more involved in their child’s life moving forward.

Legally Recognizing Parentage 

In Illinois, when parents are in agreement on who the father of the child is, both parties can fill out and sign a “Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity” (VAP) form, which legally establishes parentage. In situations where the parents do not agree on the father’s identity, they can do either one of the following:

  • Obtain an Administrative Paternity Order from the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (DHFS); or,

  • Obtain a court order establishing parentage.

If there is any doubt as to who might be the child’s biological father, a parent can request that a DNA paternity test be performed. With 99.9 percent accuracy, these genetic tests are usually done by taking a cheek swab from the mother, alleged father and the child. The results will either confirm or disprove that the child’s DNA is a match to the presumed father. 

More Than a Father and Child Bond

Simply knowing who the father of a child is can bring about a sense of security and closure for both the man and his child. Having a blood relative means more than just a psychological or emotional connection or a mentor. The child will also likely acquire knowledge of his or her paternal family’s medical history. Understanding this type of background information can be crucial, helping a child take preventative measures for any genetic conditions that might impact him or her later in life due to medical complications or illnesses. This can include predispositions to certain types of cancer, chronic diseases or even mental health disorders. 

Some of the advantages of establishing paternity include: 

  • The child is eligible to receive certain benefits through the father, such as health and life insurance, Social Security benefits, veteran’s benefits, and inheritance; 

  • The child has access to his or her father’s genetic history;

  • The father has a right to parenting time and decision-making responsibilities; and, 

  • The child can legally claim the father’s last name, carrying on a family legacy. 

Contact a Hillside, IL Paternity Lawyer

Legally recognizing a child’s biological father can provide many advantages to both the Dad and his child. If you are looking to establish paternity in Illinois, it is imperative that you seek professional legal counsel. The highly-skilled Oak Park family law attorney from the Law Office of Vincent C. Machroli, P.C. will provide the professional services your case deserves. Mr. Machroli has over 33 years of legal experience, and he is well-versed in handling all types of family law matters. Call us today at 708-449-7404 to schedule a free consultation. 

 

Sources: 

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

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

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