Paternity Attorney In Illinois
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. Rutter Family Law LLC understands 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 & removal.
Every family is unique and sometimes they don't always form in a traditional way.
For example, when a married couple has a baby, the newborn is legally presumed to be the child of both the mother and the father. If the parents are unmarried when they have a child, that child does not automatically have a formal relationship with the father. By establishing paternity, a mother can enforce child support, and sometimes, even reunite estranged fathers with their children.
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.
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.
Presumed Father Requirements
The simplest way for a father to establish legal paternity, if not presumed, is by a birth certificate or registering on the State of Illinois Putative Father Registry or signing an Acknowledgement of Paternity at Court. The Illinois Parentage Act provides that a man is the "presumed" father of the child if any of the following facts are true:
- He is married to the mother when the child is born
- He was married or in a civil union with the mother, but the marriage was terminated within 300 days prior to the birth of the child
- The child was born during or within 300 days of an invalid marriage or civil union into which he and the mother entered in compliance with the law
- He married or entered into a civil union with the mother after the child's birth, and he is listed as the child's father on the child's birth certificate
The results of a paternity action can affect your life for years. Rutter Family Law LLC can handle whatever paternity issue you are facing. Contact us today for an appointment at (630) 940-9107.
The sooner you reach out to us, the sooner we can discuss your options and how best to help you achieve the results that you need in your situation. To schedule a free consultation, call us at 630.940.9107 or send us an email.