Challenging Paternity Fraud in CourtWhen a child is born out of wedlock, establishing legal paternity is consequential for the father, mother and child. The legal father may need to provide child support payments to the mother but also has the right to request some allocation of parental responsibilities. Because DNA testing is not required to establish paternity, some men discover they are not the biological father of the children they are legally responsible for. The false paternity may have been an honest mistake by both legal parents, but mothers may also mislead men into believing they are fathers. Paternity fraud can be devastating because the man:

  • Has been providing monthly child support payments; and
  • May have developed a paternal relationship with the child.

Men in Illinois can challenge their legal paternity based on fraud but must meet a two-year deadline and provide convincing evidence.

Establishing Paternity

Courts believe it is important to name a biological father for a child because it can provide the child with financial protection and family medical records. In Illinois, legal paternity is primarily established in three ways:

  • If the mother was married at the time of the child’s conception, the husband is presumed to be the father;
  • Both parents can sign a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity form; or
  • Either parent can take the other to court to establish paternity through a DNA test.

Paternity fraud most often occurs when a mother convinces a man to sign a VAP, even though she knows or suspects that the man is not the father. Once a man signs a VAP, he has 60 days to rescind it. Otherwise, the form legally establishes him as the father and waives his right to a DNA test or court hearing.

Challenging Paternity

A court can rescind a man’s paternal status if he proves he signed the VAP under fraud or duress. After the VAP goes into effect, the legal father has two years to challenge it. Proving fraud can free the man from future child support payments and allow him to pursue restitution from the mother. However,  paternity fraud must satisfy multiple conditions:

  • The man must present DNA test results showing he is not the father;
  • If possible, the biological father should be identified and established; and
  • The man must prove the mother knew that he was not the father when he signed the VAP.

Paternity Law

Challenging your paternity can be difficult after you have signed a VAP. A Kane County family law attorney at Van Larson Law, P.C., can discuss your options before you consent to paternity. To schedule an appointment, call 630-879-9090.


Posted in Child support, Family Law, Paternity | Tagged , , , , |

Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois child custody lawyer, attorney fees,Summer is right around the corner and for many families that mean filling the calendar up with vacations, day trips, family outings, and other fun activities. For divorced families, however, summer can also cause stress and strife between co-parents who are trying to make their summer plans with their children included, however, there are steps that they can take to help ensure a fun and no-stress summer for everyone.

Parenting Time Agreement

Spring is a good time to look over the parenting agreement that the court approved when custody was determined. Check and see if the agreement requires each of you to give the other a certain amount of notice when it comes to vacations and/or other events. If you do have plans which go beyond the boundaries set in the agreement, consult with the other parent before going ahead and finalizing those plans.

If you are currently in the process of a divorce and/or custody case, then this will enable you and your co-parent to sit down and discuss a schedule which will work well for everyone.

Holidays and Events

Ideally, your parenting time agreement addressed all the major holidays and how parenting time would be divided, including the “summer” holidays of Memorial Day, July 4th, and Labor Day. If these holidays were not addressed, try to work out a plan with the other plan now and see if you can agree on how these days should be divided.

Vacation Plans

It is not uncommon for one parent to be uneasy if the other parent is taking the children away on vacation. Providing information about the trip – such as where you will be staying, and what your itinerary will be – goes a long way in helping to alleviate that uneasiness. It is also a good idea to let the other parent know of your plans as soon as possible. It is much better if they hear about those plans directly from you and not from the children. Remember, if you are traveling out of the country with the children, there may be documents required – such as passports – which could require the other parent’s signature for approval.


Many co-parents find using online calendars extremely helpful, not only in the summer months but also throughout the school year too. There are several apps available which are geared specifically for families, such as Our Family Wizard and Even Google Calendar is a good resource for each parent to be able to keep track of the other parent’s schedule and help avoid misunderstandings which can lead to conflict.


One of the most important elements to successful co-parenting is the ability to be flexible. Life happens, issues and events come up, and co-parents who are flexible not only have a more peaceful co-existence, they also have much happier children.

Contact a Kane County Family Law Attorney for Parenting Plan Issues

Unfortunately, no matter how cooperative and flexible we may be, the other parent does not always feel the same way. If you are having issues regarding your parenting time agreement – or any other custody issues – contact a skilled Kane County family law attorney to see what legal options you may have. Call Van Larson, P.C. at 630-879-9090 today.



Posted in Child Custody | Tagged , , , , |

Illinois child support attorney, Illinois family law attorney, Illinois divorce lawyer,Illinois is schedule to enact a new child support law on July 1 that will switch the state to a income shares model for calculating support payments. The state currently uses a percentage of obligor net income model, but income shares is considered a more equitable method. The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services is responsible for creating the guidelines for the new child support model, but is not required to complete it by the time the law goes into effect. From the language of the law, divorcing parents can expect several changes in how child support payments will be determined.

New Formula

Illinois’ current child support system requires a parent to pay a set percentage of his or her net income, based on the number of children being supported. The new system eliminates that percentages scale in favor of a formula that takes into account both parents’ incomes:

  • The parents’ net incomes are combined as if they are part of the same household; and
  • The parent without primary allocation of parental responsibility makes support payments for a percentage of the children’s expenses that is proportionate to his or her share of the combined net incomes.

The IDHFS still must create a table that specifies how payments are calculated, but the formula is expected to more fairly divide the parenting expenses. Theoretically, if a parent is required to pay child support and earns 40 percent of the combined net income, his or her payments would equal 40 percent of the children’s expenses.


The law stipulates other guidelines that may be needed to determine child support payments:

  • Any spousal support payments resulting from the divorce are part of the recipient’s net income when calculating the combined income for child support payments.
  • If a parent is unemployed, his or her potential income will be used, based on work history and qualifications. The minimum monthly payment is $40.
  • The amount of time children stay with each parent can change how child support is calculated. If the children spend at least 146 nights with each parent during a year, it is considered a shared parenting arrangement. The parents’ child support obligations are multiplied by the percentage of nights the children spent with them. The costs offset, and the parent with the higher child support amount will pay the difference.

Determining Child Support

With the uncertainty about how the new child support law will be enforced, it is important to have strong legal guidance. A skilled Kane County child support attorney at Van Larson, P.C. will stay abreast of the new law and how it may affect your child support settlement.


Posted in Child support, Divorce, Kane County family law attorney | Tagged , , , , |

alimonyThe month of April may signal the arrival of spring, but it is also the deadline for most people to file their taxes. For couples who have gone through or are in the midst of a divorce, there are several issues which may come up that could have a significant issue on federal income taxes. One of those issues is spousal support, and unlike child support, spousal support is considered to be taxable income according to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Under the tax laws, any payment that meets the falling criteria is considered to be spousal support and therefore, the receiving spouse needs to claim it as income on their tax return:

  • The spouses will be filing separate, not joint, tax returns;
  • The payments made by one spouse to the other are “cash” payments. It is important to note that payments can be made via checking account, bank check, or money order;
  • One spouse is making the payment to their former spouse;
  • The spouses do not live in the same residence while these payments are made;
  • The payments are separate from child support payments, and they also have nothing to do with any property settlement which may have been awarded to the spouse in the divorce settlement;
  • There is nothing in the divorce decree (or legal separation agreement) which specifies that the payments are not spousal support payments;
  • If the spouse receiving the payments dies, there is no legal requirement for the spouse who is paying to continue to make those payments.

Whereas the spouse who is receiving the spousal support is required to pay taxes, the spouse who is required to make those payments is allowed to use those funds as a tax deduction. In order to take the deduction, the IRS does require that the receiving spouse’s social security number be included. Their tax ID could also be used instead. If the paying spouse fails to provide either number, then the IRS could disallow the deduction. Refusal of the receiving spouse to give their social security number to the paying spouse could result in a tax penalty for the receiving spouse.

The complexities of taxes, not just in spousal support but in other areas of divorce settlements, can be overwhelming for those going through a divorce. This is why it is important to contact a skilled Kane County divorce attorney to advocate for you during negotiations and litigation if that becomes necessary.



Posted in Spousal Maintenance | Tagged , , , , , |

Illinois child custody attorney, Illinois family law attorney, Illinois divorce lawyer,An Illinois woman’s social media photos that depict her celebrating her divorce have garnered international media attention. The woman hired the original photographer who took her wedding photographs five years ago to document the celebration, which included setting her wedding dress on fire. The woman, who said she was with her ex for a total of 10 years and who she shares a 6-year-old daughter with, said the experience made her “feel free.”

Although setting your wedding dress on fire may feel like an extreme choice to you, there are other steps you can take to help you move forward after a divorce.

Recognize Your Own Value

Many times, people who go through a divorce feel as if they have failed and question their own worth and how much they really do have to offer. Make a list of all your good qualities and read that list on a daily basis. Keep doing this until you really believe what you are reading.

Give Yourself Ten Minutes Every Day

Divorce is like a death and it is only natural to go through a grieving process. People handle this in different ways, but it is not uncommon for people to keep themselves too busy, especially doing things for everyone else, but forgetting about themselves. Take ten minutes a day for self-care. Do something special just for you. Even if it is something as simple as reading a book or taking a walk.

Let It Go

Marriage breakups can be harsh and ugly. Spouses can say and do hurtful things to each other. However, it is important to let go of any anger and bitterness you have towards your ex-spouse. It is also critical for moving forward not to dwell on what could have been or the “if only” questions we all tend to focus on.


It can be hard adjusting to single parenting and all the responsibility that go along with it. Instead of having two people sharing parenting duties, suddenly it is all on you. This can feel overwhelming and stressful at times. You also may be feeling financial stress of now being a one-income household. No matter what you are dealing with, remember to find the humor in things every day. Take time to just relax and laugh with your children. Seeing you relaxed will also help them feel more secure in knowing that things will be fine despite the divorce.

Representation You Can Trust

Whether you are just considering divorce or having issues that may require a modification to your existing divorce, contact a skilled Kane County divorce attorney to find out what legal options you may have. Call the office of Van A. Larson, P.C. at 630-879-9090 today.




Posted in Divorce | Tagged , , , , |