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Why is Establishing Paternity in Illinois So Important?

Posted on in Paternity

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:

  • Sign a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (VAP) form with the mother. This can be done at the hospital or through the county clerk or health department.
  • Request genetic testing to confirm the father’s relationship with the child.
  • Work with a qualified family law attorney to pursue a court Order of Paternity.

Contact a St. Charles Family Law Attorney

When you become a parent, nothing is more important than the health and well-being of your child. If you are an unmarried parent, you are entitled to certain rights, and your child is, too. Do not wait until it is too late to make a difference in your child’s life. Speak with a skilled Kane County paternity lawyer to learn which rights you are entitled to and how to proceed with your child’s best interest in mind. Call Weiler & Lengle, P.C. today at 630-382-8050 and schedule a personal consultation.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=3638&ChapterID=59

https://www.illinois.gov/hfs/ChildSupport/FormsBrochures/Pages/hfs3282.aspx

https://www.illinois.gov/hfs/ChildSupport/parents/Pages/Paternity.aspx

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