How Can Establishing Paternity Protect Parents’ and Children’s Rights?

DuPage County fathers' rights attorneyIn today’s world, most people would agree that a father plays just as an important role in raising a child as a mother. Many people also believe that a child deserves to have both parents present in his or her life. For some people, this can be difficult, especially if the child’s parents were not married when the child was born. In cases such as these, it is up to either the mother or father to petition to establish the paternity of the child, which can be done a few different ways. Establishing the paternity of the child creates a legal relationship between the child and his or her father. Until paternity is established, there is no legal relationship between the two, even if they are biologically related.

Presumed Paternity

In the state of Illinois, a man is presumed to be the father of a child if he was married or in a civil union with the child’s mother at the time the child was born. A man is also presumed to be a child’s father if he was married to the mother at any point within 300 days before the child was born. If the parents were not married or in a civil union during either of these times, the man has no legal presumption to the paternity of the child, and either parent must go about establishing paternity through signing a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity or through genetic testing and a court or administrative order.

Benefits of Establishing Paternity

There are quite a few reasons why a mother or father would want to establish paternity for his or her child. In most cases, establishing the paternity of the child gives both the child and the father rights they would not otherwise have. Benefits of establishing paternity include:

  • Being able to add the father’s name to the child’s birth certificate

  • Helping to establish a relationship between the father and child

  • Making it possible for a child to receive financial support from the father

  • Helping the child to establish his or her identity

  • Being able to add the child to the father’s health insurance plan

  • Being able to add the child as a beneficiary on the father’s life insurance plan, Social Security, and/or veteran’s benefits

  • Ensuring the child has access to family medical records

  • Protecting the father’s rights to the child, such as parenting time and decision-making responsibilities

Contact a DuPage County Paternity Attorney

A man is only presumed to be a child’s father if he was married or in a civil union with the child’s mother when the child was born. If the child’s parents were not married, they will have to establish paternity through other means. At the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C., we understand how important it can be to ensure your child has a relationship with their father, both emotionally and legally. Our knowledgeable Aurora, IL paternity lawyers can help you throughout the paternity process, even if the alleged father protests the petition. Call our office today at 630-409-8184 to schedule a consultation.

Sources:

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

https://www.illinois.gov/hfs/SiteCollectionDocuments/hfs1759.pdf

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