If you had a child and were unmarried at the time or otherwise not in a serious relationship with the father, you may find yourself assuming the role of both mom and dad in your life as a single parent. While plenty of women adjust to this situation and are successful in raising healthy, happy children, establishing paternity is important. There are a variety of reasons why you may want to encourage the father to get involved.
If you were unmarried at the time you gave birth to your child, the father’s name might not be on the birth certificate. In this case, establishing paternity is the first step. Under the Illinois Statutes, there are three primary ways to do this:
In cases of single parents, a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity is the ideal scenario. However, you should not hesitate to initiate paternity proceedings against the father is he is unwilling to sign. In addition to entitling you to child support, this can allow for access to important medical history and establishes the child as an heir to the father’s estate. It could also entitle them to benefits through the Social Security Administration or Veteran’s Affairs.
According to research conducted by the National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse (fatherhood.gov), children benefit when fathers are active and engaged in their lives. Mother’s benefit as well from the financial and emotional support fathers can provide. However, other than obtaining court-ordered child support, there is no way you can force a man to be an active, engaged, and loving father to your child. At the same time, there are steps you can take to encourage this relationship:
As experienced Chicago area paternity attorneys, the Women’s Divorce & Family Law Group can help you navigate this potentially difficult situation. Call or contact our office online and request a consultation to discuss the details in your case.
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.
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