April 30, 2019
There are plenty of single mothers out there who are doing an amazing job in raising their children themselves. There may be a variety of reasons why the father is out of the picture, but this does not have to prevent children from getting all the love and support they need. However, there is a difference between raising a child as a single parent and not establishing paternity. Having our Chicago paternity attorneys help you in taking this important legal step helps to protect your child’s rights and could have a significant impact, both now and in the years to come.
Paternity establishes the legal relationship between a father and child. For single parents, the ability to obtain child support is one obvious benefit of going through paternity proceedings. However, the Illinois Department of Health and Family Services (HFS) points out that it can significantly impact your child’s rights in other areas, as well. These include:
While some of these benefits may not seem as important when your child is young, they could become more of an issue as your child gets older.
There are several paths to proving paternity in Illinois, depending on the situation. The Illinois Department of Health advises that if both the mother and father are available and willing to sign the appropriate forms and there is no one else listed as the father on the birth certificate, a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity (VAP) is an option. Signing this form does not automatically entitle the father to child time-sharing or visitation, but it does allow you to pursue child support. If paternity is in question and the father cannot be located or is unwilling to sign a VAP, obtaining a court order may be the best course of action.
At the Women’s Divorce & Family Law Group, we can advise you on the steps needed to protect your child’s rights through paternity proceedings. Request a confidential consultation to discuss your situation and contact our Chicago paternity attorneys today.