Why Is It Important to Establish Paternity in Illinois?
When you are a parent, you have a number of rights that pertain to your child. For example, you have the right to make decisions about where your child goes to school, the type of healthcare your child should receive, and the religion your child should be raised. In the event that you and your spouse separate, you also have the right to seek visitation with/custody of your child.
While mothers are automatically granted parental rights over their children, fathers need to establish paternity.
In the event that a mother and father are legally married at the time of the child’s birth, the father is legally presumed to be the child’s father; otherwise, the father must establish paternity by signing a voluntary acknowledgement of paternity form, or through a court order. If you have not established paternity, here’s why doing so is important:
Protect Your Child
Establishing paternity provides a number of important protections for your child. When a man is recognized as a child’s legal father, your child has the ability to:
- Receive certain state and federal benefits based on the father’s record, such as Social Security disability and retirement benefits;
- Qualify for healthcare coverage through the father’s health insurance;
- Have access to information about the father’s medical history and family medical history; and
- Be entitled to child support payments (if the father does not have custody).
In addition to the monetary and health benefits that your child will have access to as a result of establishing paternity, knowing who one’s parent is also has emotional and psychological benefits too.
Protect Your Child’s Right to Spend Time with Their Father
Establishing paternity is critical for protecting your child’s rights regarding spending time with their father, too. If paternity is not established, the father will have no legal recourse regarding seeking visitation with a child; in most cases, a child maintaining a relationship with both parents is ideal. What’s more, if paternity is not established, you will have no legal recourse as a mother to seek child support payments from the child’s father.
Helping You to Establish Paternity and Understand Your Rights
Establishing paternity over a child is one of the most important things that you can do, whether you are a mother or a father, especially when you and the child’s other parents are living separately. At the offices of Women’s Divorce & Family Law Group, our Chicago family law and divorce lawyers
can assist you in establishing paternity and understanding what your rights are following doing so. If you are a mother or father in Chicago and have questions about your rights regarding time with your child, how to get a court order to establish paternity, or anything else related to custody, please contact us today to schedule a consultation. Our attorneys are experienced, hardworking, and knowledgeable in all areas of Illinois family law.
There are many factors to consider when contemplating divorce, and a pre-divorce planning session can help you begin to plan for a divorce. Please contact the professionals at the Women’s Divorce & Family Law Group by calling (312) 585-6604 or clicking here to schedule a consultation.