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Paternity Disputes in Cook County

Posted on in Paternity

cook county paternity lawyerThe best interests of the child is the backbone of not only the family law system but, ethically, society as a whole. Notwithstanding abuse or neglect, parents generally have certain rights, including the right to parenting time.  However, the situation becomes much more complicated when paternity of a child is unknown. The complexities and nuances of sensitive issues like paternity can be painful, humiliating, and frustrating to both the mother and the father, and most especially, the child.  A  family law attorney can advocate for parentage rights.

Establishing Paternity

Three ways in which paternity is established include the following:

  • A Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (VAP) form must be signed by both parents and filed and witnessed by the Department of Healthcare and Family Services.

  • The Department of Healthcare and Family Services Child Support Services issues an Administrative Paternity Order.

  • The court issues an Order of Paternity.

If paternity is uncertain, DNA paternity testing may be needed. To verify the biological father, the DNA of the mother, the child, and the presumed father is tested and compared. These accurate tests usually involve a simple, painless swabbing of the inside of a cheek. Results are sometimes confirmed within one to three business days. 

Rights and Responsibilities of Fathers 

Once paternity is established, the father may petition the court for parental rights. The father may request:

  • Parenting time – Formerly known as visitation, Illinois amended the term to "parenting time" to reflect the parent-child relationship as a parent is not a "visitor."

  • Parental responsibilities – Each parent has the right to make essential decisions about the child's upbringing, including education, religion, health, and extracurricular activities.

The father may be required to pay child support. Parents are expected to contribute to a child's expenses, including medical and dental insurance, childcare, food, shelter, and extracurricular activities. 

Contact a Cook County Paternity Lawyer

Family law attorney Curtis Bennett Ross of The Law Offices of Curtis Bennett Ross, L.L.C. is a certified divorce mediator, registered CPA, court-appointed Guardian Ad Litem (GAL), and Child Representative with more than 30 years of experience. Curtis Bennett Ross and his team of professionals treat their clients with compassion and diligently advocate for positive solutions. We understand the financial and emotional troubles of paternity-related cases. If you want to establish paternity, for a free consultation, contact a Chicago family lawyer at The Law Offices of Curtis Bennett Ross, L.L.C. 312-984-1514.  





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