Chicago Paternity Attorneys
Illinois state law considers paternity to be the parental relationship established between a man and a child dependent on a number of various factors. Substantiating who the father of a child is can aid in determining visitation rights and custody issues as well as financial obligations such as child support. Distinguishing and enforcing paternity is not always that easy. However, identifying the biological father of a child through paternity will help an individual utilize his rights as the parent of that child. Moreover, in regards to the best interests of the child or children, establishing paternity also allows for the father to begin building that parental relationship.
Under Illinois Statute 750 ILCS 45/5, a man is presumed the natural father of a child if:
- The man and the child’s birth mother are or were married and the child was conceived or born during that time;
- If he and the birth mother got married after the birth and the man’s name is consensually listed on the birth certificate;
- The man and the natural mother both signed a paternity acknowledgement;
- The man and the natural mother signed an acknowledgement of parentage, or, if the man is not the biological father, an acknowledgement of parentage and a denial of paternity.
A presumption is not enough to establish paternity. A court order or a signed and filed Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity is required. The importance of determining paternity in Illinois is confirmed in instances where a man who is presumed to be the father is required to pay child support when, in reality, he is not the child’s biological father. Another example would be the enforcement of child support when a man who is deemed the biological father does not adhere to his responsibility. And there are even more variations of paternity disputes that present challenges for an individual or family to cope with, many of which evoke strong emotions that can make problems all the more difficult to resolve. Moreover, knowing and applying your rights in the face of fluctuating emotions can also present many obstacles. Even though DNA testing is usually used to establish paternity, a lot more goes into developing a strong paternity case.
The Chicago family law firm of Nottage and Ward, LLP has the experience and resources necessary to help a couple settle paternity issues rationally during an emotionally charged time. Additionally, declaring who is accountable for a child’s welfare can help couples with visitation and custody disputes.
While both parents have certain rights to their child that no other person has under the law, there are circumstances where a parent can be deemed unfit to satisfactorily care for the child. In cases of domestic violence or if a parent has a psychological condition that compromises the welfare of the child, the determination of paternity can help the courts, law enforcement and other government agencies protect the child the other parent from a potentially dangerous situation.
There are a number of reasons that the substantiation of paternity is important, both for the benefit of the father as a parental figure, as well as for the wellbeing of the child in terms of child support, child custody, and visitation.
With over 20 years of experience handling the most complex of family law cases in Illinois, Nottage and Ward, LLP has the competency and skill to efficiently and professionally handle matters of paternity, ensuring that the proper party is awarded parental rights. To learn more about how we can help you with your paternity matters, call (312) 332-2915.
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Leslie has been the strongest representation I could ask for
Leslie has been the strongest representation I could ask for in a very complicated, emotional matter. She has continuously looked out for my best interest and the best interest of my son. She is always prompt in getting back to me and in keeping me well informed about my case.
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