Elmhurst Attorneys for Illinois Paternity Matters
Experienced Lawyers Helping Families Establish Paternity in Elmhurst, Park Ridge, and Throughout the Chicago Area
There are separate laws in Illinois—other than divorce laws—which cover paternity matters in cases in which the parents of a child were not married, or in other unusual circumstances, not related to children. Unwed parents facing issues related to custody, visitation or child support in an Illinois paternity court should have a knowledgeable Illinois family law attorney by their side who has experience in divorce and paternity issues. Illinois laws recognize the rights of children to emotional, physical, mental and monetary support from their parents. These rights are equally given to children of unwed parents, as well as children of divorcing, married, separated or adoptive parents.
Ways to Establish Paternity
Illinois laws offer three ways to establish paternity: (1) judicial determination, (2) consent or acknowledgement, and (3) presumption. A father consents that he is the father when he signs a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity. Presumption exists when a married woman gives birth and the husband is presumed to be the father of the child. Presumption also exists when an unmarried woman gives birth, then later marries—if there is written consent from the new husband that his name will be on the child’s birth certificate as the father. Consent can also establish parentage; when both parents sign forms at the time of the child’s birth, the man becomes the legal father of the child for all purposes. On the other side of this process, both mother and father can sign a Voluntary Denial of Paternity at the hospital at the time of the child’s birth in which they both agree the husband is not the biological father of the child.
Judicial Determination as a Means of Establishing Paternity
Finally, paternity can be established by judicial determination which occurs when both parents go to court to establish paternity for a child born out of wedlock. Legal paperwork to establish paternity can be filed at any time up to two years after the child attains the age of majority. Either parent can demand a DNA test in order to obtain proof of the biological father. It is particularly important that when judicial determination is used to establish paternity, the detailed, technical, legal requirements must be followed to the letter, otherwise the case could be invalidated. The attorneys at Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC have the necessary experience and knowledge of Illinois paternity laws to ensure the law is followed to the letter and every detail is in place. Attorney Maxine Weiss Kunz worked for one of the premiere family law firms in the Chicago area, and brings the skills and experience garnered from that position to her clients. At the same time, our law firm offers clients the personal attention commonly associated with a smaller law firm.
Putative Father Registry in Illinois
There is a law in Illinois under which any man who believes he is the father of a child—and wants to protect his rights as a father—can register with an Illinois state agency any time prior to the birth or within 30 days of the birth of the child. As a registered putative father, a man must be given notice of any pending adoption of the child and must be heard if he objects to the adoption. It is important to note that a father who is simply seeking to establish paternity is not required to register with the Putative Father Registry as the registry exists only to prevent children from being placed for adoption without the biological father’s consent.
There are a number of reasons substantiation of paternity can be important, whether for the well-being of the child, including orders of child support, or the benefit of the father, or other reasons. The attorneys at Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC have the necessary skills and knowledge to assist in paternity matters. Contact our law firm today.