Paternity, or Parentage as it is legally referred to in Illinois, refers to the establishment of the relationship of a man as a child’s legal father. We understand how important children are, and the huge ramifications establishing paternity can have for years on the mother, father and child regarding visitation, custody, child support and removal.
As a Rockford family law attorney, I will zealously represent clients in seeking to establish paternity and the rights that can follow.
Paternity can be established voluntarily or through a court proceeding. A typical paternity situation arises when an unmarried woman seeks child support from the father of her child. Other situations involve when a father wishes to seek visitation or custody rights. I and this firm will zealously represent clients in these and other situations.
Once paternity is established, the Illinois Parentage Act of 1984 codified at 750 ILCS 45/1, et seq. makes the provisions of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (the “Illinois Divorce Act”) applicable for determining custody, visitation, removal, child support, child health insurance and other child related issues. In other words, once an unmarried man has been determined to be the child’s father, the statutory provisions for determining all of the foregoing matters are the same whether the child’s parents are married or not married. However, this is only applicable after paternity is established. Until then there would generally be no court ordered visitation, custody (including shared decision making) or child support.
Therefore, the issue of establishing paternity is a very important one which can have lasting ramifications for many years. Time is critical in establishing paternity, so that a father’s rights can be properly protected. If paternity is not established in time, the child could be adopted or removed from the state without the father’s consent.
With the stakes of establishing paternity high, you need a capable, knowledgeable attorney to protect your rights. There is help.
Whenever your children’s welfare is concerned, it is a stressful time particularly given all of the long-term financial and emotional ramifications of being a parent. We can help reduce your stress by taking on the full responsibility for handling your paternity proceeding. We start by understanding the facts, which means listening to your paternity goals.
If you are an unmarried mother and need your child’s father to help financially support your child, we can file a paternity lawsuit seeking the child support you are entitled to. We will also explain to you the non-financial custody and visitation aspects such a paternity lawsuit is likely to have.
If you are a single man wondering if your girlfriend is pregnant with your child and being asked to sign a Voluntary Acknowledge of Paternity (VAP), we can explain the ramifications of this document. If you are a single man who is being denied a relationship with your child and are ready to take on all of the responsibilities of being a parent, we can file a paternity lawsuit on your behalf seeking custody and visitation rights.
The results of a paternity action can affect your life for years. You need a capable attorney whom you can trust. You will receive straightforward and honest advice from our office. We can handle whatever paternity issue you are facing. If you would like to read more now, click on any of the following links:
If you have a paternity issue, please contact me so that I can learn about your matter.