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

Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC312-605-4041

CHICAGO
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DuPage County Paternity LawyerTraditionally, families have consisted of two married parents of the opposite sex who share one or more children. However, even though this type of "nuclear family" may be thought of as the default situation, it is becoming less and less common in the United States. Many couples build lives together and have children without getting married. Married couples may get divorced and remarried, and people may have children with multiple different married or unmarried partners. When adding issues such as same-sex relationships and single parenthood into the mix, it can seem like there are endless different types of family configurations. 

Regardless of how a family is structured, it can be important to establish and safeguard the legal relationships between parents and children. While this may not be an issue for parents who are married when their child is born, parents in other situations may need to take steps to establish paternity. This can provide benefits for the child as well as the parents. However, the procedures followed in these cases are not always clear, especially if disputes arise between parents about the identity of a child's father or the role that each parent should play in the child's life.

To ensure that the legal issues related to paternity will be addressed correctly, it is important for a parent to work with a skilled family law attorney. The team at Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC understands the legal issues involved in paternity cases, and we can provide the guidance and representation needed to ensure a positive outcome for all concerned. We will explain the paternity laws in Illinois and ensure that our clients take the correct steps to establish the proper legal relationships. We will also help address related legal issues to ensure that both parents can have an ongoing relationship with the child while also making sure the child will have the necessary financial support. Our goal is to protect the best interests of children involved in paternity cases and provide parents with the tools they need to raise children successfully.

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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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