DuPage County Paternity Lawyers

Kane County family law attorney for establishing paternity

Attorneys Assisting With Parentage Cases in Warrenville, Carol Stream, and Wheaton, Illinois

A person who is considered a child's legal parent has certain parental rights, as well as obligations to provide for the child's needs. Both parents may be able to share in decision-making responsibility about how the child should be raised, and they have the right to spend parenting time with the child. Parents will also be required to provide child support to ensure that a child's ongoing needs will be met. In some cases, it may be necessary to legally establish paternity, and when doing so, a family law attorney can help parents meet their legal requirements and protect the rights of all parties involved in the case.

At McSwain Nagle & Giese, P.C., our lawyers have over 65 years of combined family law experience, and we provide our clients with dedicated, high-quality representation to address their needs. If you need to establish paternity for a child, we can help you complete the proper legal procedures, and we will work with you to address other related legal issues while protecting your parental rights and your child's best interests.

Methods of Establishing Legal Parentage

Under the Illinois Parentage Act (750 ILCS 46/201), a legal parent-child relationship is established between a mother and her child when the child is born, unless she has entered into a surrogacy agreement stating otherwise. If a mother was married when her child was born, or if the child was born within 300 days after the termination of a marriage through divorce, annulment, or death, the mother's spouse or ex-spouse will be presumed to be the child's legal parent unless otherwise declared as such by the court.

When a child is born to an unmarried mother, or if there is doubt about the identity of the child's father, additional steps may need to be taken to establish paternity. The methods of doing so include:

  • The parents may sign and submit a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (VAP) form. This form will typically be available at a hospital, or it may be obtained from a county clerk, a state or local registrar, or the Illinois Department of Child Support Services. This form can be completed at any time after the child's birth. If a person learns that he may not be a child's biological father after signing a VAP, he must submit a Rescission of Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity within 60 days of the VAP's effective date.
  • The parents may participate in DNA testing to determine whether an alleged father is the child's actual biological father. These tests may be performed as part of an administrative process to establish paternity conducted by the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, or they may be ordered by a court during a paternity case. A person may be declared a child's legal parent if a paternity test shows that they are the child's biological parent with 99.9% certainty.

Benefits of Establishing Paternity

Once paternity has been established, both parents will have certain legal rights regarding their child. A legal parent may ask that they be granted the right to participate in making decisions for their child, and parenting time may be divided between the parents. Even if a parent is not allocated significant decision-making responsibilities, they will have the right to spend reasonable amounts of parenting time with the child. Parents will also be required to provide child support and share child-related expenses, and the amount of support will be based on the income earned by both parents.

Establishing paternity also provides a child with a number of other benefits. Being able to access family medical history can ensure that the child will receive the proper medical treatments throughout their lifetime. A child will also have the right to receive an inheritance from their parent, they may be covered under a parent's health insurance or life insurance policies, or they may receive Social Security benefits from a parent who is deceased or disabled, as well as any applicable veteran's benefits.

Contact Our Naperville Paternity Attorneys

If you need to establish paternity to ensure that your child receives financial support, if you are a father who is looking to determine whether you are a child's biological parent, or if you need to address any other legal issues related to parentage, McSwain Nagle & Giese, P.C. can provide you with dedicated legal help and representation. We will advocate for your rights and your child's best interests throughout the legal process. To set up a free consultation, contact us at 630-407-1200. We represent clients in family law cases in DuPage County, Cook County, Will County, Kendall County, and Kane County, including Glen Ellyn, Winfield, Glendale Heights, Wheaton, Naperville, Carol Stream, and Warrenville.

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