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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. 

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Posted on in Child Support

What happens when a relationship ends, and a father then requests a DNA test to avoid paying child support because he does not believe he is a biological parent? This scenario occurs more often than one may think.

What Legal Paternity Means

Most of the time, being a biological father and legal paternity are considered one in the same. However, there are situations where an individual can become a child's legal father without having a biological connection to the child.

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