What You Need to Know About Establishing Paternity in Illinois
Establishing paternity is an important process for both parents and children in Illinois. Without establishing paternity, fathers may not have the same rights as mothers, and children are not entitled to the same legal protections and benefits. Today, we will discuss what is most important to know about paternity in Illinois. If you have questions related to paternity, contact a family law attorney to understand your legal options at this time.
Essential Considerations for Paternity in Illinois
In Illinois, paternity can be established in a few different ways, including:
- Through marriage – If a man and woman are married and a baby is born, the man will legally be considered the father.
- Voluntary acknowledgment of paternity – This method involves both parents signing a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity (VAP) form at the hospital or birthing center where the child was born. This can also be done at a later time as long as both parents agree to it
- Administrative paternity order – In Illinois, an administrative paternity order is a legal document that is used to establish paternity for a child and is issued by the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services. This type of document is generally used when the mother of a child wishes the other party to provide child support
- Judicial paternity order – If parties dispute the father's identity, a paternity case may be filed to determine the father. In many cases, a genetic test may be conducted to determine paternity
Why Paternity is So Important
Once paternity is established, fathers gain certain legal rights, including:
- The rights to custody and visitation
- The ability to provide medical and dental insurance for their child
- The ability to make decisions about the child's education, religion, and medical care
- The ability for the child to obtain financial support from both parents
Paternity is immensely important for both parents and children because it establishes legal rights and important legal benefits for all parties involved. If you have questions or concerns regarding paternity, make sure to speak with an experienced family lawyer to ensure that you understand your legal rights.
Contact a Kane County Family Law Attorney