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Why Establishing Paternity is Good For Both Parents

 Posted on December 07, 2023 in Paternity

Cook County, IL paternity lawyerIllinois law does not automatically acknowledge a child’s biological father as the legal father if a child’s parents are not wed. Instead, fathers looking to be acknowledged as the legal father of their children will need to establish paternity. Establishing paternity can protect a father’s rights to his children and provide either parent with the financial support he or she may need. An attorney can go over the finer points of how to establish paternity for your family.

The Benefits of Establishing Paternity

Establishing paternity has many benefits for parents wanting to create and maintain a parent-child bond. Establishing paternity may involve the following for the father:

  • A legal relationship between the father and child

  • Allows the father to take trips and travel with their child

  • Encourages a bond between father and child

  • Custodial rights, such as decision-making responsibilities parenting time

  • Allows the father access to important documentation on the child, such as medical records

  • Opens up inheritance benefits passed down from father to child

Fathers are not the only ones who can benefit from establishing paternity. A single mother raising a child alone can be a difficult undertaking. Establishing paternity enables single mothers to secure child support if appropriate. Before you can request child support from an alleged father, paternity must be established. 

How is Paternity Established? 

When parents are married it is presumed that the husband is the legal biological father of any children born for the duration of the marriage. However, if the presumed father feels that he may not be the biological father of the child, he can contest paternity within two years of the child’s birth. If a father has any doubts about the lineage of his children, he should speak with an attorney immediately.

Unwed parents must establish paternity differently. Parents who can agree on paternity can sign a form when a child is born and file it with the Illinois court; this is called a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (VAP). For an alleged father who does not agree with a woman’s paternity claims, a DNA test is required in establishing or contesting paternity. 

DNA tests are 99 percent accurate in determining paternity and can be completed by either a cheek swab or blood test. The labs will run DNA sequencing to look for genetic matches in determining parentage. For legal reasons, a DNA test meant to establish paternity must be done within a medical facility and not through an at-home test.

Contact a Cook County, IL Family Law Attorney

Establishing paternity is an important step in securing your legal rights to your children. An exceptional Chicago, IL paternity lawyer can help you file a paternity test and submit it to court. Once paternity is established, the The Law Offices of Curtis Bennett Ross, L.L.C. can represent you in a child support trial to fight for your right to financial support. We can also ensure that a father’s legal rights to his children are upheld. Contact the firm by calling 312-984-1514 and setting up a free consultation right away.

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