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Establishing Paternity in Illinois

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St. Charles family law attorney paternity

While there is usually no question regarding the identity of a child’s mother, the same is not always true of the father. Whether the biological father is unknown at the time of pregnancy, or the father shows up years later, a mother may wish to have a DNA test performed to legally determine who the father of her child is. Genetic paternity testing of a man’s DNA and the child’s DNA can reveal if the two are father and child.

Paternity Testing

Half of a child’s DNA comes from their mother, and half comes from the father. A DNA test can reveal whether the father in question is truly the father or not. The process begins with a cheek swab from the inside of the alleged father’s mouth, as well as the child’s mouth. The DNA fingerprint of each is then profiled, with an accuracy of 99.99 percent. A paternity test can also be done while the mother is still pregnant with the child through blood analysis or more invasive measures by sampling the placental tissue.

Child Support and Paternity Testing

Obtaining child support from an absentee father can be incredibly difficult. According to national statistics, noncustodial parents owe almost $115 billion in child support and almost 40 percent of single mothers receive no child support at all.

Under Illinois law, both parents have a legal obligation to provide financial support for their child, however, the law also says that if the parents were not married or in a civil union when the child was born, the father is not considered the legal father of the child until paternity is established. In many cases, both parents will complete and sign a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (VAP) form. But what legal options does a mother have if the child’s father denies he is the father and refuses to sign the VAP form?

In cases where the father is refusing to acknowledge paternity, the mother may file a petition with the family court to request the court establish paternity. The court will order DNA samples to be taken from both the child and the alleged father. If these tests prove paternity, the court will then issue an Order of Paternity and the father’s name will be added to the child’s birth certificate.

Once this is done, the mother can then petition the court to order that the father meet his financial obligations to the child. The court will issue a child support order based on current Illinois child support guidelines.

The father may also petition the court to ensure their parental rights are protected, requesting that an allocation of parental rights order be issued that also includes parenting time.

Let a Kane County Family Law Attorney Help

Mothers, fathers, and other relatives all have varying reasons for requesting paternity tests. A father may wish to have their parental rights established, a mother may wish to acquire child support from an absentee father, or grandparents may wish to take custody over an alleged father, whom they believe to be unrelated to the child. If you are in a situation where you need a paternity test ordered to establish who the father of your child is, contact Weiler & Lengle P.C. to schedule a confidential consultation with a dedicated St. Charles, IL paternity lawyer. Call 630-382-8050 today for legal assistance.


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