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Not Sure About Establishing Paternity In Illinois? Find Out the Potential Benefits and the Process Involved

A father and son laying on a carpet looking at a book, representing how one can benefit from calling a Chicago paternity lawyer.

Every child deserves to have the love and support of their parents. Unfortunately, in cases in which a couple is not married or in a committed relationship, the father may neglect his duties. If the situation is contentious, the mother may feel she is better off providing for the child on her own. While this may be the best course of action in some cases, it is important to be aware of how to establish paternity and the benefits both you and your child can gain as a result.  

Your Rights and Benefits of Establishing Paternity

Under the Illinois Statutes, parents have a legal obligation to provide for their children. In cases in which fatherhood has not been firmly established, you have the right to file paternity proceedings. Some mothers shy away from ‘forcing’ a father to be involved with their child. This is understandable, but it is important to be aware of your rights as well as the benefits it offers. These include: 

  • The right to child support payments: Support paid by the father can afford your child additional opportunities and improve the quality of life for both of you. 
  • Child support enforcement: Establishing paternity and obtaining a formal court order helps to ensure child support payments are made. 
  • Inheritance rights: Without having the father’s name listed on the child’s, there are no inheritance rights. It also impacts the child’s rights to benefits if they serve in the military or become disabled. 
  • Child-time sharing: Establishing paternity can lead to parenting plans being put in place, allowing the father to spend time with the child. If this is something you want to avoid, we can gather the evidence needed to show that visits would not be in the child’s best interests. 

Three Ways to Establish Paternity in Illinois

The Illinois Department of Health Care and Family Services (HFS) advises that there are three ways to establish paternity in Illinois: 

  • Through a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (VAP), signed by both parents;
  • Through an Administrative Order, which involves going through HFS;
  • Through an order obtained with the help of a private attorney through a judge.   

If the father will not sign a VAP, obtaining an attorney is often the best option. This allows you to obtain paternity testing and a formal order for child support, without having to involve HFS.

Our Chicago Paternity Attorneys are to Help You

At the Women’s Divorce and Family Law Group, we understand how difficult and complex issues involving paternity can be. To get the trusted guidance and professional legal representation you need in this situation, call or contact our Chicago paternity attorneys online and request a consultation today. 

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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