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The Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C.

DuPage County paternity attorneyIf you are an unmarried mother who is expecting a child, you probably have several questions and concerns. If your pregnancy was unexpected, or if you are no longer in a relationship with your baby’s father, you may wonder whether you should tell the father about the pregnancy or list him on your baby’s birth certificate. You may also wonder if you will be entitled to child support or if your child’s father will have a right to spend time with the child after he or she is born. The term “paternity” refers to a father’s legal relationship to his child. There are several benefits to establishing paternity in Illinois.

Paternity of a Child for an Unmarried Father

When a married woman has a child, the law presumes the woman’s husband to be the father. The couple does not need to take extra steps to establish paternity before writing the father’s name on the birth certificate. If a mother is not married, there is no presumption about the child’s father. Paternity or legal parentage must be established by signing a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (VAP) form. Paternity may also be established through the courts or via an administrative process through the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services.

Effects of Establishing Paternity

Establishing paternity opens several avenues for you and your child’s father. Raising a child on your own can be extremely difficult personally and financially. Once you establish paternity, you will be able to file a petition for child support. Having extra income in the form of child support can be a huge advantage to you and your child. Establishing paternity also means that the father will be entitled to visitation or “parenting time” if he chooses to petition the court and request it. 


Wheaton, IL fathers’ rights attorneyIf you recently found out that your current or former dating partner is pregnant, you may have questions about your legal rights. You may wonder if you have the same rights to your child as the child’s mother or what you need to do to obtain these rights. You may also have questions about how child custody and parenting time will be divided once the child is born. In Illinois, fathers have the same rights as mothers. However, there are certain steps you will need to take in order to establish these important rights.

Paternity Laws in Illinois

When a married couple has a child, the law automatically assumes that the husband of the woman giving birth is the child’s father. He does not need to take additional steps to establish his paternity. However, the same is not true for unmarried fathers. To establish legal parentage of your child, you and the child’s mother will need to sign a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (VAP) form. This form is typically available at the hospital where the child is born, or it may be obtained through the Illinois Healthcare and Family Services department or your local county clerk. If there is a question as to your biological relationship to the child, you may need to take a DNA test before you can establish paternity.

Parental Responsibilities and Parenting Time

Once you have established paternity of your child, you will have the right to request visitation, technically called parenting time, with your child. If you and your child’s other parent are able to reach an agreement about parental responsibilities and parenting time, you will describe these decisions in your “parenting plan.” The decisions you make in your parenting plan become an official court order that both parents must abide by. If you cannot reach an agreement, the court will determine a parenting plan on your behalf. 


DuPage County paternity attorneyUnmarried couples who have a child together face a significantly different set of challenges than married couples with children. When a mother who is married gives birth, her husband is automatically presumed to be the child’s father. However, when an unmarried mother gives birth, this presumption does not exist. The father will need to take steps to establish his legal relationship to the child, called establishing paternity. There are numerous benefits to establishing paternity for both the parents and the child. Read on to learn about these advantages and the steps that must be followed to establish paternity in Illinois.

Children Gain Many Valuable Resources When Paternity Is Established

Until the legal relationship between a child and father is confirmed, the child is not eligible for a number of important benefits. Once paternity has been established, the child will have advantages such as:

  • Inheritance rights


paternityPaternity is not always a straightforward process. If someone is found to be the father of a child they will have the duty to pay child support, and will probably have the right to have regular parenting time with the child. Whatever side of the case you are on, you need to understand what happens in paternity cases.

How Paternity Can Be Established

Usually being a father is a matter of biology. But, sometimes who the father of a child is not clear. Under Illinois law you are considered the legal father of a child if:


Establishing Paternity

Posted on in Paternity

After a child is born, there are any number of things to think about. Parents need to decide on a name, add the child to health insurance, decide whether or not they will be stay-at-home parents, and go about caring for a newborn. For unmarried parents, an additional step they have to consider is establishing paternity.

What Is Paternity?

Paternity, which is also known as parentage in Illinois, is an established legal relationship between a father and a child. Paternity can be established in a number of ways. Paternity is assumed if:

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