110 E. Schiller Street, Suite 320, Elmhurst, IL 60126

Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC312-605-4041

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DuPage County family law attorney paternity

All parents have certain rights when it comes to their children, including unmarried fathers. In the past, courts typically favored mothers when it came to divorce and child custody battles, but as parental roles have modernized, the Illinois court system now makes decisions in the best interests of the child. The court typically leans toward keeping both parents in the child’s life and maintaining their parent-child relationships, unless one proves to be a danger to the child in some way. 

As a parent, your ability to spend time with your child may seem like a given, rather than a legal right. While all parents are granted these rights at the child’s birth, they are only enforceable to those who are legally recognized as the child’s father. For unmarried fathers, the need to have your role as a father legally established may not seem urgent, though the failure to do so can actually lead to legal, financial, and emotional issues as time goes on. That is why it is important to understand what paternity means from a legal standpoint for both the child and his or her father. 

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establishing paternity in Illinois, Elmhurst divorce lawyersDivorcing parents have much to arrange when it comes times to handling the dissolution of marriage. Everything from parenting time (visitation) and the allocation of parental responsibilities (child custody) need to be addressed. All of these aspects of divorce are important for the well-being of your child and are crucial in protecting the best interests of your entire family. For unwed parents or parents facing special circumstances during a time of separation, the issue of paternity arises, presenting them with some important decisions to make.

Establishing Paternity

Paternity is typically established in one of two ways: Through the judicial court process or the Child Support Services administrative process. An interview is conducted and both the mother and the alleged father are contacted via telephone, by mail, or in person to discuss the circumstances that surround the relationship and its ties to the child they share. The alleged father may either voluntarily acknowledge paternity or be asked to submit to genetic testing to determine paternity of the child. Should the alleged father not attend the interview, Child Support Services will, by default, declare him to be the legal father.

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By Justin Green

paternityEffective January 1, 2016 a person is presumed to be the parent of a child if:

(1) The person and the mother of the child have entered into a marriage, civil union, or substantially similar legal relationship, and the child is born to the mother during the marriage, civil union, or substantially similar legal relationship, except as provided by a valid gestational surrogacy contract, or other law;

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