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Methods for Establishing Parentage in Illinois

When a child’s parents are married at the time of their birth, the child’s legal parents are both established automatically, which can lead to significant rights and responsibilities for both parents and to a wide range of benefits for the child. When this isn’t the case and the parents are not married at the time of the birth of the child, however, it can lead to complications, and the matter of establishing parentage becomes very important and a birth certificate will not suffice. If you have questions or concerns about parentage, reach out to an experienced Illinois parentage attorney today. 

Presumed Parentage

A man is presumed to be a child’s legal father when any of the following apply:

  • The couple is married at the time of the child’s birth.
  • The man was married to the mother within 300 days prior to the child’s birth – even if the couple is divorced by the time the child is born.
  • The man marries the mother after the child’s birth and agrees to be listed as the father on the child’s birth certificate. 

It is important to note that the presumption of paternity can be challenged if there is compelling evidence that the child has a different biological father.

Voluntary Acknowledgement of Parentage

Even when there is no legal presumption regarding a child’s father, parentage can easily be established when both parents are in agreement on the matter. When this is the case, a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (VAP) can be signed by both parents after the birth of the child – which can only be done in the hospital at the time of birth.

Administrative Parentage Order

When the two parents are not in agreement on the matter of paternity and/or a VAP was not signed at the Hospital, the mother can seek an order through the state – in pursuit of child support, for example. The state, in turn, can require an alleged father to undergo genetic testing. 

Adjudication of Parentage 

If either parent seeks the establishment of paternity, they can do so through the adjudication of parentage via the court. This generally involves the court ordering DNA testing. 

The Benefits of Establishing Parentage

Establishing who a child’s father is can benefit everyone involved. Consider the following advantages:

  • The child can benefit from the additional financial support that flows from the father
  • The child has the advantage of getting to know their father
  • The father has the opportunity to engage in a rewarding relationship with the child
  • The mother can benefit from the father’s financial support and from support related to childcare provided by the father
  • The child is afforded a complete health history
  • The child earns inheritance rights and rights related to certain beneficiary advantages

An Experienced Illinois Parentage Attorney Is Standing By to Help

The imposing Illinois parentage attorneys at WARD FAMILY LAW, LLC, are focused on helping valued clients like you support their children’s best interests through the efficient establishment of paternity. Explore your best options by reaching out and contacting us for more information about what we can do to help you today.



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