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st. charles paternity lawyerIn Illinois, there are several different methods through which a man can be legally recognized as a child’s father. For example, when a child’s parents are married at the time of his or her birth, the man is presumed to be the father without any need for further confirmation or legal action. Unmarried parents can also establish parentage through a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity (VAP), which keeps the court’s involvement to a minimum. However, there are cases in which it is important to confirm that a man is, in fact, a child’s biological father, and DNA tests are often used for this purpose.

Genetic Testing for Paternity in Illinois

Genetic testing adds another cost to paternity proceedings, and it also takes time for the results to come back, which can delay the resolution. If you are confident in your child’s parentage, and you and the other parent are in agreement, it may be best to forgo a DNA test. However, genetic testing may be the best approach in any of the following situations:

  • When there is uncertainty regarding the child’s parentage. Perhaps you believe yourself to be a child’s father and you want to sign a VAP, but there is another man who may have a claim of paternity. In this case, it may be in your best interest to voluntarily request genetic testing to protect your rights or contest a competing claim.

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St. Charles family law attorney paternity

Whether you are a child’s mother or father, establishing legal paternity provides important benefits for both you and your child, including court-ordered child support, other benefits for the child, such as health insurance and inheritance, and parental rights for the father. In Illinois, you have a few different options for establishing paternity, depending on the willingness of both parents to cooperate with the process.

It is important to note that if the parents are legally married at the time of a child’s birth, parentage is presumed without the necessity of any further legal action. The same can be true if the parents were previously married within 300 days of the child’s birth, or if they get married after the child’s birth. If none of these situations apply to you, you will need to take one of the following steps in order for a person to be legally recognized as the child’s father.

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Kane County family law attorneyWhether you are about to be a parent or have just recently experienced the birth of a newborn, the issue of paternity is a critical part of protecting not only your relationship with your child but also protecting your child’s best interests. Paternity is a term that defines the legal relationship between a father and his child. In the state of Illinois, an unmarried man is only considered the legal father of a child when his name is placed on the birth certificate, regardless of whether or not he lives with the mother or is engaged to marry. 

Why Paternity Is Necessary

There are many reasons why establishing paternity is crucial for both parents and for the child, no matter what the circumstances are surrounding the family situation. Here are some major points every parent should consider when it comes to making parental status official:

  • Your child’s security depends on it. By establishing paternity, your child will have the opportunity for financial security now and in the future. For example, they will have the right to social security benefits in the event that a parent passes away or becomes disabled, as well as the right to receive potential inheritances or veterans benefits, if applicable. Additionally, they will have the right to receive any health or life insurance benefits due to them.
  • Your child may need access to medical history records. When paternity is officially established, a child also has the chance to obtain important medical information about their parents, which can be useful throughout the course of their lifetime.
  • An unmarried father’s rights are limited without it. If an unwed father wishes to ask for any rights that allow him involvement in his child’s life—anything from visitation to custody, or a say in educational decisions—then  he must be recognized as the child’s legal parent.

How to Go About Establishing Paternity

Once you have explored the various advantages of establishing paternity and are ready to get started, you can proceed in any of the following ways:

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