233 W. Wilson Street, Batavia, IL, 60510

Challenging Paternity Fraud in Court

Posted on in Child support
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

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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:

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Proving Paternity in Illinois

Posted on in Child support

paternity, child, Batavia family law attorneyIf someone approaches you and demands child support, the most important step is to ensure that the child is indeed yours so as to establish your legal responsibility. Paternity, when put as such, is a legal relationship between father and child, not necessarily emotionally (but in no way mutually exclusive). In Illinois, if the parents of a child were not married at the time of the child’s birth, until the child’s birth certificate is legally established—even if the father was there at the time of the child’s birth—the man is considered the legal “alleged” father until the birth certificate is signed. Conversely, if the man refused to sign the birth certificate, there are two other ways that he can be legally considered the legal paternal caretaker: One is if the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family enters an administrative paternity order; the other is if a judge does so in court.

There are many reasons why a mother would want to establish paternity for her child, and the emotional reasons are not, by and large, the most significant. Establishing a paternity order protects both parents’ rights in the case of emergency, and allows both parents to access family medical information. This can be especially important in the tragic event that the child experiences a genetic medical condition that needs to be considered through the lens of family history, for example. For the child, it is extremely important that paternity is established so that the child has access to financial family benefits such as medical support, Social Security, and veteran’s benefits that are coming from the father’s side.

Securing a paternity test does not have to be by force—Illinois Child Support Services will first conduct an interview with both parents to obtain the necessary, related forms. If the father does not acknowledge paternity during this interview, he may be required by law to submit to genetic testing. If the father has been served and fails to show up in court, the judge may declare him the legal father regardless, making him accountable for child support payments which are legally binding and subject to punishment and fines they are not dutifully made.

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advocates for children, Kane County custody attorneySeparation and divorce are difficult in the best of situations. Unresolved issues, whether legal or emotional, can place a great deal of stress on both spouses and often lead to contentiousness and hostility. For a couple with children, these feelings can, unfortunately, spill over into proceedings related to the children's welfare such as child custody or child support hearings.

Too often, parents are tempted to use children as leverage in an effort to benefit from the proceedings. In such cases, the well-being of the children can seem to be ignored by either parent determined not to let the other side 'win. To prevent the children from becoming a secondary concern, Illinois law permits the presiding judge in any child-related proceeding to appoint an attorney to look after the best interests of the child.

The law technically identifies three different roles to which an attorney may be appointed, although, two are far more common than the third. Depending on the needs of the case, a judge may determine that the selected lawyer should act as either the Attorney for the Child, Guardian ad Litem, or Child Representative.

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Illinois child support model, Kane County family law attorneyNo matter where you live, your state has regulations in place regarding child support obligations. The laws establish guidelines as to what a non-custodial parent can expect to pay after a breakup or divorce. There are several methods a state may use to determine the amount of support to be paid, which all take different factors into account. Unfortunately, many feel the model currently in use under Illinois law is bit outdated and not quite as fair as one particular model being used by many other states.

Percentage of Obligor Net Income

The support model currently used in Illinois is called 'percentage of obligor net income. Under this model, the guidelines consider only two variables: the number of children to be supported; and the income of the non-custodial parent. Using a sliding scale based on the number of children, the support obligation is a specific percentage of the payor's net income. The court is allowed some discretion to consider the specific details of each family's situation, but short of the court finding the amount inappropriate for particular reason, the law's calculation is entered in the order.

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