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Wheaton child support lawyerIf you are a single parent, you know just how difficult it can be to pay for child-related expenses on your own. Making ends meet without financial support from your child’s other parent can be exhausting. According to Illinois law, both parents are expected to financially contribute to their child’s upbringing even if the parents are unmarried or divorced. A parent is also expected to provide financial support even if he or she does not have parenting time, or visitation rights, with the child. If your child’s other parent is not paying child support, there are several actions you can take to get the financial assistance you and your child need.

Establishing Child Support

The state of Illinois only has the authority to enforce child support payments that have been legally established. If you and your child’s other parent had an informal agreement regarding child support, this is likely unenforceable. To start receiving payments, you will need to obtain an official court order for child support. However, to get an order for child support, your child’s other parent must be legally recognized as his or her parent. If your child’s father is not paying child support and paternity has not been established, you will need to legally name your child’s father before you can obtain a child support order. Depending on your particular circumstances, this may be as simple as having the father sign a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (VAP). If the father contests his paternity, it may necessitate a DNA paternity test or require other steps.

Enforcing a Current Child Support Order

If you already have a child support order, but your child’s other parent is violating the order, you have a right to seek enforcement. Parents who violate a court order for child support can be held in contempt of court and face criminal consequences. However, going through the court system is not always the best way to enforce a child support order. The Department of Healthcare and Family Services’ Division of Child Support Services (DCSS) can help parents with a variety of needs including:

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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

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DuPage County paternity lawyersIn an alarmingly high number of divorce cases in which the mother is awarded sole-custody, along with child support from the father, the paying parent will look for any means to justify not paying the payments. In fact, approximately 25.9% of sole-custody parents owed child support in 2013 did not receive a single cent from their former partner. One of the most common ways in which fathers attempt to avoid these payments is through the use of a DNA paternity test. If you are fighting for child support and your former partner demands a DNA test, alert your attorney and seek skilled assistance immediately.

Establishing Paternity in Illinois

Here in the state of Illinois, parentage can be established in a number of ways: If both of the involved parties sign a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (VAP) form, if the Illinois courts issue an order of paternity, and if an Administrative Paternity order is issued by the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services.  

If parentage has not been established through any of the measures above, a DNA test can be ordered, either voluntarily or in the courtroom. If parentage is officially established, parents have a responsibility to provide for their children, either through custodial responsibilities or child support payments. Unfortunately, ensuring that you receive the child support payments you deserve can be a complicated process.

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Children tend to do their best when they are supported and loved by both parents - that includes emotional, mental, physical, developmental, and financial assistance. The support system is typically built in when born to parents who are married; the child usually spends time with each parent, and even if a divorce occurs, the child will likely continue to have the support they need. What happens, though, when the parents are unmarried at the time of the child's birth? How, then, is paternity established, and how does the state of Illinois ensure the child is receiving the support they need?

The truth is, things can become a little more complicated. There may be questions as to whether the alleged father is, in fact, the child's biological parent. Until there is an answer, the child may lack the support that they need from one or even both parents. How can you keep this from happening to your child? First, you can ensure that you have worked to establish paternity. Second, you can seek child support, parenting time, and an allocation of parental responsibilities. Learn more about this process, including how the state of Illinois establishes paternity, with help from the following information.

Establishing Paternity - The Basics

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If you are a single parent in DuPage County who is struggling to provide for your child due to an absent parent, you are not alone. Parents all throughout the county and Illinois State have found themselves in need of child support services whether the other parent is in the picture or not.

DuPage County's Child Support Enforcement Program can help you secure the financial assistance you need in a number of ways, and you are eligible whether you are married, divorced, or have never been married. It does not matter if you are registered to receive public assistance; you are still eligible to apply for child support in DuPage County.

Paternity Information

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