Unless the state has revoked your parental rights, every father has the right to establish paternity with their biological child. Numerous studies have shown establishing paternity is in a child’s best interests, as those who have a relationship with both of their parents excel in more areas. In addition to these psychological benefits, establishing paternity also has numerous financial and medical benefits for the child.
The process of establishing paternity is relatively straightforward if both parents agree. In some cases, however, establishing paternity is made much more difficult. This includes situations in which more than one man believes they are the father, or the mother wishes to raise the child on her own. Still, a father can successfully establish paternity even if the biological mother contests it.
Sign a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity
The easiest way for a father to establish paternity is to sign a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (VAP) at the time of the child’s birth. These forms are available at the hospital. If the parent seeking paternity was married to the mother at conception or any point during the pregnancy, paternity is automatically established and the husband at the time is considered the presumed father. Presumed fathers do not need to sign a VAP because paternity is already determined.
When the Mother is Married to Someone Other than the Father
If the mother of the child in question was married to someone else at the time of the child’s birth, that person is the presumed parent. They maintain all rights and obligations of a biological parent, even if they know they are not biologically linked. If a biological father is to establish paternity, the presumed father must denounce their claim by completing a Denial of Parentage form. Then, the biological father must complete the VAP.
While a mother can legally force a potential father to submit to a DNA paternity test, a possible father who is being denied the opportunity to establish paternity can also take legal action. If you are in this situation, a skilled family law attorney can file for an order of paternity with the court.
Contact a DuPage County Family Attorney
Establishing paternity is sometimes a complicated matter. If you believe you are the father of a child, and you wish to establish paternity, a Wheaton, IL paternity attorney can help. These cases are often contentious, and the lawyers at Andrew Cores Family Law Group are fully prepared to aggressively defend your parental rights. Find out how we can help you. Call our office today at 630-871-1002 to schedule your free and confidential initial consultation.