The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.


1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

Yorkville Office By Appointment

Initial Consultations via ZOOM Available

Establishing Paternity in Illinois

Posted on in Paternity

Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois child support lawyer,When a child is born, it is automatically known who the child’s mother is--this is not the case for the child’s father. In Illinois, if a couple is not married or in a civil union when the child is born, the father is not legally considered the father of the child and his name cannot be added to the birth certificate until paternity is established. The only time there is a legal presumption of paternity is if the mother and the father of the child were married or in a civil union at the time of the child’s birth, or were married within 300 days before the child was born. Establishing paternity is important for both the parents of the child and the child itself.

The Importance of Determining Paternity

When a child’s paternity is in question, the father does not have any legal rights when it comes to the child. In order for a father to have rights to parenting time or parenting decisions, like decisions about the child’s healthcare or education, paternity must be established for the child.

The process also gives the child certain rights. If paternity is established for the child, he or she can now have a right to:

  • Social security benefits from a dead or disabled father;
  • Inheritance;
  • Veteran’s benefits;
  • Health insurance benefits;
  • Life insurance benefits; and
  • Access health records of the father.

How to Establish Paternity in Illinois

The easiest way a child’s parents can establish paternity is for both parents to sign what is called a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (VAP). This can be signed in the hospital after the child is born, or it can be signed later at several government offices.

If both parents do not agree on the paternity of the child, an Administrative Paternity Order or Order of Paternity may be issued, which requires the alleged father of the child to submit to genetic testing to attempt to establish paternity.

Have a DuPage County Paternity Lawyer By Your Side

Establishing paternity is extremely important for families with parents who are not married. The father needs the established paternity to seek parenting time and parenting responsibility, the mother needs established paternity to seek child support orders and the child needs the established paternity for financial benefits. Establishing paternity can be a tricky process, which is why having the help of an experienced Naperville paternity attorney can be a big help. The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C. can help you establish your child’s paternity and help you look toward the future. Call the office at 630-409-8184 to set up a consultation.


The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.


1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

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