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How to Establish Paternity in Illinois

Posted on in Family Law

Wheaton paternity lawyerThe number of babies born to unwed mothers has dramatically increased in the past 50 years or so. According to the Pew Research Center, around 5 percent of births in 1960 were to unmarried women. Today, the number of babies born to unmarried mothers is somewhere around 40 percent. While the acceptance of birth outside of marriage has grown, many mothers now find that they must go about other ways of establishing paternity for their children.

In the state of Illinois, paternity can be established in one of four ways: through assumed paternity, through a signed and completed Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity, through an Administrative Paternity Order or through an Order of Paternity.

Assumed Paternity

One of the most common ways of establishing paternity is through assumed paternity. The state of Illinois assumes that when a child is born to a married mother, the husband is the father of the child. If the mother was married or in a civil union when the child was born or within 300 days before the child was born, the husband is legally presumed to be the father of the child. If the mother was not married during that time, she must go about establishing paternity through one of the other ways.

Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity

This is the easiest way for unwed parents to establish the paternity of their child. The parents can request a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (VAP) form at the hospital after the child is born. Both parents must fill out and sign the form and file it with the Department of Healthcare and Family Services (DHFS). After this is done, the father’s name can be added to the child’s birth certificate.

Orders for Paternity

If a VAP is not used because it is not certain who the biological father is or the biological father refuses to acknowledge the paternity, the mother can seek help from either the courts or through the DHFS’ Child Support Services. Both entities will require genetic testing to be carried out before any orders are entered. Once it is determined who the biological father of the child is, an order will be issued. The courts will issue an Order of Paternity and Child Support Services will issue an Administrative Paternity Order.

A DuPage County Paternity Lawyer Can Help

For some families, the paternity process can be as simple as signing a piece of paper. For other families, the paternity process may take months and may come with much contest. At the Goostree Law Group, we represent both mothers and fathers who are attempting to establish paternity. Contact one of our compassionate Naperville paternity attorneys today to see how we can help you with your case. Call our office at 630-364-4046 to schedule a free consultation. 

Sources:

https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2014/08/13/birth-rate-for-unmarried-women-declining-for-first-time-in-decades/

https://www.illinois.gov/hfs/ChildSupport/FormsBrochures/Pages/hfs3282.aspx

https://www.illinois.gov/hfs/SiteCollectionDocuments/hfs1759.pdf

 

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