St. Charles Paternity Attorneys

Attorneys for Paternity Matters in Kane County

Paternity is the legal relationship between a father and his child. Paternity cases involve children who are born out of wedlock. "Paternity" laws are contained in the Illinois Parentage Act, the Illinois Supreme Court Rules, and the Illinois Domestic Violence Act. There have been a number of Illinois Appellate and Illinois Supreme Court cases interpreting those statutes.

In paternity cases, child support, child custody, and parenting time are some of the main issues that will be addressed. Many cases are filed because the mother is making a claim for child support. Other cases may be filed because the father wants to establish his parental rights and seek custody or visitation. Paternity establishment is a prerequisite for obtaining a child support order. Illinois law provides several methods for establishing paternity, including through voluntary acknowledgment of paternity or DNA testing.

In many cases, people may confuse legal paternity with whether or not a father is named on the birth certificate. However, being listed on a birth certificate does not grant a father parental rights toward his child. Unless paternity is presumed because the parents were married or recently divorced at the time of their child's birth, the father will not have legal rights as a parent until paternity is established.

Questions Fathers May Ask

Am I already legally the father? What if I signed the birth certificate? What if I signed nothing? What if I think I am not the father; how can I get DNA testing? Is it too late to ask for a paternity test? If I went to court by myself, and an order of paternity was entered, what rights did I already give up? Can I get any of that changed? May I ask for joint custody? How do I get parenting time with my child? Can I prevent the other parent from moving to another state? At Goostree Law Group, we can answer these questions and help our clients determine their options for establishing paternity, denying paternity, and addressing child custody and child support issues.

Questions Mothers May Ask

How do I establish paternity for the father of my child? How can I get child support? Does child support include other things, like medical insurance, clothing, daycare, and food? Will may child's father have to pay for medical expenses related to our child's the birth? I have concerns with him visiting my child; what are my legal rights? His mother says she wants to take the child from me; what do I do? Can I get a restraining order or order of protection? Can child support be collected from his paycheck? He owes me payments for child support and other court-ordered payments; what do I do next? We can help mothers address these concerns and ensure they have the resources to meet their children's needs while protecting their family's safety and well-being.

Paternity FAQs


How Do I Establish Paternity?

Answer: Paternity, also known as the state of being a child’s father, can be established in a couple of different ways. One common method is through a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity signed by both parents. Genetic testing can also be used to determine paternity. It is important to remember that if the parents are married when the child is born, the husband is presumed to be the father.


What Is the Court Process for Establishing Paternity?

Answer: In Illinois, if paternity cannot be established voluntarily, a court process can be initiated. This typically involves filing a petition with the court to establish paternity. The court may order genetic testing to determine who is the biological parent. Both parties will have the opportunity to present evidence and arguments. Once paternity is established, the court can issue an order regarding child support, custody, and visitation.


What Is the Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity (VAP)?

Answer: The Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity (VAP) is a legal form that parents can sign to establish paternity. Both the mother and father must sign the form voluntarily, and it must be witnessed and notarized. Once parents sign the VAP, the father legally acknowledges legal responsibility for the child, including financial support. Once the form is filed with the state of Illinois, paternity is established, granting the father rights and responsibilities relating to the child.


Does Establishing Paternity Benefit the Child?

Answer: Yes. When paternity is established, the father is then legally obligated to help provide financial support to the child. Paternity also grants access to important benefits such as health insurance and inheritance rights. Additionally, it can lead to a stronger parent-child relationship, as the father can be involved in the child’s life through parenting time and decision-making.


What Happens if a Father Denies the Paternity of a Child?

Answer: In cases where a father denies paternity of a child in Illinois, a legal process can be initiated to establish paternity. This may involve genetic testing to determine biological parentage. If DNA test results confirm paternity, the father will be legally recognized as the child’s father.


Does Establishing Paternity Benefit the Father?

Answer: Yes, establishing paternity benefits the father in several ways. First, it provides legal rights to parenting time and participation in decision-making regarding the child. It also allows the father to develop a meaningful relationship with the child, helping to strengthen the emotional bonds and providing a sense of responsibility.


How Long Does a Father Have to Establish Paternity?

Answer: The father has until the child turns 20 to establish paternity. In cases where the father wishes to challenge paternity, the father has two years from the date when they knew or should have been aware that contesting paternity in court was in his best interest.


How Much Does a Paternity Test Cost in Illinois?

Answer: While the cost of a paternity test may vary by county, most court-admissible paternity tests can be obtained for $50 or less per person. Discuss with a legal professional the best, most affordable way to obtain a paternity test for your circumstance.


What Happens Once Paternity Is Established?

Answer: Once paternity is established in Illinois, the father gains legal rights and responsibilities regarding the child. This means that the father will have financial responsibility along with the other parent. Since many paternity cases stem from the mother seeking financial support for the child, establishing paternity can allow a court to put child support orders in place and mandate the father’s financial responsibility to the child. Issues related to child custody may also be addressed, and the father may have the right to share in decision-making responsibilities and be granted parenting time with the child.


Is it Mandatory in Illinois to Include the Father's Name on the Birth Certificate?

Answer: If the mother was not married to the child’s father at the time of birth, the father’s name will usually only be included on the birth certificate if the person designated as father and mother sign a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity form. The father’s name should never be submitted or added to a birth certificate without his consent.


What Does "Paternity Post-Adjudication" Mean?

Answer: “Paternity post-adjudication” simply means the time period after the legal establishment of paternity. It is a time when the father has successfully obtained legal paternity of the child, recognizing him as the child’s parent and giving him the rights and responsibilities of parenthood.

Contact Our Kane County Paternity Attorneys

Please contact Goostree Law Group at 630-584-4800 to ask a question or set up a confidential, free consultation.

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