It is a biological fact that children have two parents. In some instances, however, paternity may be a concern. Parents must both be responsible for providing care for their children and both parents have rights. Whether a father wants to protect his parental rights, or needs to prove parenthood, experienced legal advocates are available to provide the legal counsel required. Paternity issues can become complex and require the services of a law firm with the experience to handle them.
Paternity provides a legal relationship between a father and child. When a child is born to married parents, the husband is automatically assumed to be the father. Unmarried parents need to legally establish paternity. In Illinois, paternity is established in one of several ways. These include:
- Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity;
- Administrative Paternity Order; or
- Judgment of Paternity by a court.
If both parents agree, the easiest way to establish paternity is with a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity form (VAP). In other cases, paternity may need to be established using a court approved DNA test. Establishing paternity allows the father’s name to be added to the birth certificate and protects the rights of both parents. If a father does not agree to take a paternity test the court may order him to do so.
Both parents are required to provide for their children. Once paternity has been established, the father has both rights and responsibilities. Typically, a parent has the right to spend time with children on a regular basis. Custody is determined based on a number of factors. Shared custody allows both parents the ability to make important decisions for their child. Parents must also provide for a child, ensuring that the child has basic needs fulfilled. Generally, the non-custodial parent makes child support payments. Child custody, support, visitation, medical, and other issues relating to the children often need to be resolved and enforced through family court.
Resolving Paternity Disputes
Paternity is frequently a highly emotional subject and one that must be handled properly. Both parents need to resolve their differences in order to provide the best possible life for their child. A swift determination of paternity and custody is often important because it allows families to begin to move forward in the best interest of their children. A skilled family attorney will provide you with the knowledge and support required in this difficult situation. Keep in mind that the court will always ensure that all decisions made are in the best interest of the child.
How a DuPage Paternity Attorney Will Help
Situations regarding paternity are very important because they may have a lifelong impact on families. The laws regarding paternity can be complicated and require the advocacy of a lawyer with the qualifications necessary in handling these matters. Our dedicated DuPage County family law attorneys work with residents throughout the community on these issues. Every case is different and has a unique set of circumstances. We understand the law and always work hard to defend your rights. Contact us today to schedule a consultation to discuss your paternity matters.