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DuPage County Paternity AttorneyUnless 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.

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fees, DuPage County divorce attorneysDivorce can, unfortunately, be an expensive proposition, particularly if there are complicated disputes about how to split property or spousal maintenance. Cases involving parental responsibilities and child support can also become extremely costly. In many such cases, one side may seek attorney’s fees from their former spouse. While it is possible to obtain legal fees from a former spouse under Illinois law, there are certain criteria that must be met in order to do so.

When Are Attorney’s Fees Awarded?

Under Section 5/508(a) of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, there are several circumstances in which a court may award attorney’s fees following the conclusion of a divorce proceeding. These include to defend against a divorce or appeal, to defend against a modification to a court order, to enforce or modify a court order, or to reimburse costs for the preparation of a divorce petition. Essentially, almost any action related to a divorce is eligible for reimbursement of attorney’s fees. However, whether awarding those fees is appropriate is still left to the discretion of the court, and courts can be extremely hesitant to award attorney’s fees unless a spouse can show extreme hardship in paying their own way.

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