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

630-409-8184

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

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Batavia family law attorney paternity

When you are not married and you have a child in Illinois, establishing the paternity of your child can be more complicated than it is for a couple who is married. When a couple is married at the time the child is born, the man to whom the mother is married is presumed to be the child’s legal father. When a couple is not married, there are extra steps that must be taken to establish the paternity of their child. For many people, establishing the paternity of their child is a sentimental act, but it also carries many legal benefits for everyone, including the mother and father. For instance, fathers in Illinois do not have any rights to parenting time or parental decision-making responsibilities unless their paternity has been established to their child. Paternity cases can become complicated, but an experienced Illinois paternity lawyer can guide you through the process.

Benefits of Establishing Paternity

When you establish the paternity of a child, this change can affect not only the child but also the mother and father, too. In many cases, parents may not think of some of the benefits of making the legal connection between the child and his or her father. Here are some of the biggest benefits that establishing paternity provides:

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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:

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paternity-test-DNAIn the state of Illinois, a man is only legally presumed to be the father of a child if the mother was married or in a civil union with him when the child was born or within 300 days before the child was born. If the mother was not married when the child was born, the man she names as the father of the child is then referred to as the alleged father. That man will only become the legal father after one of three things happens:

  • Both parents complete and sign a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity form when or soon after the child is born;
  • An administrative paternity order is entered into by a child support agency; or
  • An order of paternity has been entered in court by a judge.

If the father contests the paternity of the child, the mother will then have to file a paternity suit that seeks to establish a parent-child relationship between the father and the child. Once you enter into a paternity suit, the judge will more-than-likely order the mother, the alleged father and the child to submit to genetic testing.

Understanding Genetic Testing

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

630-409-8184

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

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