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What Are the Benefits of Establishing Paternity in Illinois?

Posted on in Family Law

DuPage County paternity lawyerEstablishing paternity is not something that many mothers think about, since most fathers are presumed. In a legal sense, paternity is the established legal relationship between a child and their father. Establishing paternity gives both the child and the father rights that they would not have without the legal classification. Many (including Illinois courts) agree that most children thrive when they have both parents playing an active role in their lives. Not only does establishing paternity authorize legal rights, but it also helps facilitate the parent-child relationship. Many other benefits come with establishing the paternity of a child, which is why you should consider completing the legal process if your child’s paternity has not been legally recognized.

Presumed Paternity

In the state of Illinois, paternity is presumed if the mother and father were married at the time the child was born or if they were married within a 300-day time period before the child was born. If neither of those situations applies, either the mother or father must take action to legally establish the paternity of the child. This can be done by filling out a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity form while at the hospital or by filing it with the Department of Healthcare and Family Services. Paternity can also be established through the use of genetic testing and an administrative or court order.

Benefits of Establishing Paternity

There are many reasons why a mother or father would want the court to recognize their child’s biological father. In most cases, the parent seeking to establish paternity of their child does so because they want to initiate the legal relationship and the benefits that go along with it. Benefits of establishing paternity include:

  • Being able to put the father’s name on the child’s birth certificate;

  • Helping to facilitate a relationship between the child and their father;

  • Ensuring the child is able to receive child support from the father;

  • Protecting the father’s rights, such as parenting time and decision-making responsibilities;

  • Being able to add the child to the father’s health insurance policy, if needed; and

  • Allowing the child to claim his or her father’s veteran’s benefits, Social Security benefits, pension benefits, and/or inheritance if the father dies.

Questions About the Paternity Process? Contact a DuPage County Paternity Lawyer

The process of establishing paternity in Illinois can be long and wrought with confusion, especially if the father or mother contests the claim. If you are seeking to establish the paternity of your child, you should talk with a knowledgeable Wheaton, IL family law attorney who can answer any questions you may have about the process. At the Goostree Law Group, we have been helping families with legal issues for more than 15 years. Call our office today at 630-364-4046 to schedule a free consultation.

 

Sources:

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

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

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