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Posted on in Paternity

Wheaton IL paternity lawyerWhen a child is born to parents who are not married or who have never been married to one another, this can pose a few problems. Under Illinois law, a man is only presumed to be the father of a child if he was married to the mother when the child was born, or if the couple had been married within 300 days before the child’s birth. If neither is true, then the parents must establish legal paternity for the child another way. Many times, before a court will issue an Order of Paternity, it will require that the mother, alleged father, and child submit to genetic testing to determine the true biological father of the child.

Genetic Testing Procedure in Illinois

A child gets half of his or her genes from the mother and the other half from the father. DNA testing works by comparing the genes of the child with the genes of both parents. The person conducting the genetic testing will be chosen by the court, but you are also permitted to conduct independent genetic testing if you so choose. The Illinois Paternity Act states that DNA samples can be from blood, bone, hair, or other bodily fluids, though the most common way to gather DNA samples is from a simple swab of the cheek.

Genetic testing is very accurate. If the man tested is not the biological father, it will be known with almost absolute certainty. On the other hand, if the test results show that the man is 1,000 times more likely to be the child’s father than an unrelated man chosen at random, the probability of paternity is at least 99.9 percent, and the man will be presumed to be the biological father under Illinois law.

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DuPage County paternity attorney DNA testingYou might think being able to use science to determine paternity with absolute certainty through DNA testing would make family law cases much easier, especially when it comes to defining child custodychild support, and parenting time. However, the truth is that it can actually complicate things even more than intended. Here is how introducing DNA testing into the legal process has changed paternity, fatherhood, and father's rights:

Why Paternity Is So Complex, Especially Now With DNA Testing

Paternity has always been a complex issue, but before DNA testing, according to the law, it was relatively simple: if you were married, and your wife had a baby, you were considered the father. However, as many people know—and even knew then—it is rarely that simple in actuality. Now that medical technology has caught up with the dilemmas surrounding paternity, DNA testing has provided the courts with an exact, indisputable science to determine the identity of a child’s father.

You might think this has made things easier, but it has actually caused great cognitive dissonance for many fathers. A father may spend years thinking a child was his and raising that child as his own, only to discover during the divorce process that he is not the child’s biological father. He would not want to disrespect and lose that beautiful relationship with his son or daughter just because he did not want to be responsible for child support payments. At the same time, he may feel a sense of resentment when paying support for a child that was not even his. What is a father to do?

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Posted on in Paternity

Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois child custody attorney,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.

Understanding Paternity

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:

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