While the birth of a baby is always a joyous occasion, problems between the mother and father can have long lasting ramifications. For unmarried mothers, establishing paternity is often the first step to getting the help and support they need to provide for their child.
At the Women’s Divorce & Family Law Group, our Chicago family law attorneys understand how emotionally draining these situations can be for the mother, particularly if the child’s father refuses to accept legal responsibility. We provide the caring, experienced legal representation you need during this time, to ensure both the rights and interests of you and your child are protected.
In the state of Illinois, if parents are unmarried, the child’s father is considered the ‘alleged father’ until proven otherwise. Paternity must be established for the father to have any legal rights or to have his name listed on the birth certificate.
Even in cases in which the mother desires no further contact, the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) advises that establishing paternity is important in terms of family health history and medical information, as well as to gain access to financial and medical benefits, including child support, veterans benefits, and social security. In Illinois, there are three ways to establish paternity:
Unless paternity is voluntarily acknowledged, a paternity test will be given to the alleged father. As a genetic test, it will compare the DNA of the child, the mother, and the father to determine if the man in question could have possibly fathered the child. While these tests are not one hundred percent accurate, paternity will be assumed by the court provided the test and other evidence reveals at least at 99.9 percent probability. Once paternity is established, the father’s name may then be added to the birth certificate through the Illinois Department of Public Health.
If you are unsure of how to establish paternity or reluctant to become involved with HFS, contact the Women’s Divorce & Family Law Group. Our attorneys act as a trusted legal advocate on behalf of both you and your child. We can help guide and assist you through the entire process of establishing paternity, while always ensuring your rights as a mother are protected. We serve Chicago, Lake Forest, Lisle, and the surrounding areas; call or contact our office online for a confidential case review.
100 Saunders Rd.
Lake Forest, IL 60045
3333 Warrenville Rd.
Lisle, IL 60532
77 W. Wacker Drive
Chicago, IL 60601
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