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Rockford Divorce Lawyer James Teeter

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Rockford Paternity Lawyer and Illinois Parentage Attorney

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.  As a paternity attorney, I help mothers establish paternity so that child support can be obtained, and I help fathers establish paternity so that they can gain the lawful rights to which they are entitled as a parent.  I also represent fathers who are being wrongly accused of being a biological parent of a child that is not theirs.

Whether you are attempting to prove or contest paternity, it is critical to have an experienced Rockford paternity lawyer by your side who can advocate for your rights. Call my office today to schedule a free consultation to learn how I can assist in your parentage case. We offer affordable rates in family law matters and accept credit card payments.

If you would like to learn more about the Illinois paternity and parentage process, I encourage you to read the following frequently asked questions.

Paternity FAQs

When a child is born to an unmarried couple, Illinois law provides three means of establishing paternity: (1) both parents can sign a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (VAP) form; (2) the individuals can attend a hearing with the Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) Child Support Services; or (3) A judge may render a decision through an order of paternity.[1]

[1] 750 ILCS 45/1, et seq.

A paternity suit to establish parentage can be filed by a number of parties, including:

  • The mother
  • The child
  • Anyone claiming to be the child’s father
  • Any person or agency with custody of a child; or
  • Any person or agency providing financial assistance to a child.

However, cases to declare the non-existence of a father-child relationship may only be filed by the mother, the presumed father, or the child.

In Illinois, qualifying individuals have until a child turns twenty years old to file a paternity suit to establish the existence of a parent-child connection. Action to dispute or disprove the existence of a father-child relationship must be filed within two years after the father is made aware that the child is not biologically related.

If you need assistance pursuing a paternity determination or declaring the non-existence of a parent-child relationship, I invite you to call my office to schedule a free consultation. I can discuss the facts of your case, explain your legal options, and monitor critical deadlines to ensure timely filings.

A Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity form can be filed to legally establish the biological father and child relationship and allow a biological father’s name to be placed on a birth certificate.[1] However, to file a VAP, the biological parents of the child must be unmarried, available to sign forms, and no other male can be listed on the child’s birth certificate.

[1] HFS 3416B, Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity, Illinois Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity.

A VAP can be obtained at:

  • County clerk offices,
  • Health departments,
  • Public aid (HFS) offices, or
  • Child Support Services.

If the mother is or was married to or in a civil union with a person who is not the biological father when the child was born or within three hundred days before the birth, a Denial of Parentage must be submitted in conjunction with the VAP.[1]

[1] Id.

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 significant one that 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 provide financial support, we can file a paternity lawsuit seeking the child support to which you are entitled. 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 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.

Regardless of What Your Parentage (Paternity) Issue Is – Contact Us to Schedule a Free Consultation with Experienced Illinois Paternity Lawyer James Teeter, Jr.

The results of a paternity action can affect your life for years.  You need a capable attorney whom you can trust. As an Illinois paternity attorney with years of experience, you can rest assured that I will provide pragmatic guidance and straightforward and honest advice through every step of the process.

 

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Attorney James O. Teeter, Jr. speaking with client. Attorney James O. Teeter, Jr. speaking with client.

Family Law Attorney James O. Teeter Jr.
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(1.5 Hrs.) One Hour for $199 + 30-Minutes FREE with No-Obligation | In-Person, by Zoom or by Phone
In-Depth Discussion of Your Specific Situation and Potential Strategy | Or

Type of Case:
Illinois County:
Please enter a number from 0 to 21.

Submission of information through the contact form does not create an attorney-client relationship, so please do not submit any confidential information. If we are to serve as your attorneys, all fees and the nature of our representation will be set forth in a written agreement.