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3 Important Benefits of Establishing Legal Paternity in Illinois

Posted on in Paternity

Kane County paternity lawyerAny time parents have a child and are not legally married, they have a number of issues to address when it comes to the child’s rights and future. Establishing legal paternity in the state of Illinois is one of the first and most critical steps. Doing so is important for a number of reasons, particularly because it allows parents to protect their children and their own rights as a parent. Without legal paternity, a father’s rights are especially at risk.

How Legal Paternity Can Benefit You and Your Child

While there are other ways to establish legal paternity in Illinois, the easiest way is for both parents to sign a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity, also called a VAP. This is typically done right at the hospital, as soon as the child is born. If one or both parents are unavailable at the time of birth to sign the form, however, the VAP can be completed and submitted on a later date. In cases where there is apprehension or doubt about signing a VAP, paternity can also be established by means of an Administrative Paternity Order from the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services or an Order of Paternity issued by a judge.

Some important ways the father and child will benefit from establishing legal paternity include the following:

  • Benefit security - Benefits that are extremely important for a child, such as Social Security, medical, and other financial support, can all be secured once paternity is established. This also applies to other important forms of support for the child, such as veterans’ benefits and inheritances. Without legal paternity, the child may not be eligible for benefits they would otherwise be entitled to due to their relation to the father. 

  • Access to important medical records - As a parent, if you wish to have access to your child’s important medical information, you will need to have documented legal paternity. This may also apply to school records, another vital source of information for parents.

  • Father-child relationship rights - One of the most important purposes legal paternity serves is to ensure that the child is provided with rights that meet their basic needs, such as child support, and that the father has rights to his child, which can impact parenting time and custody. Additionally, an alleged father of a child is not considered the legal father and cannot have his name added to the birth certificate until paternity is officially established.

Contact a St. Charles Paternity Lawyer for Guidance

If one or both parents are unsure who the biological father of the child is, a VAP should not be signed. In such a case, it is important to work with a knowledgeable Kane County family law attorney who can help you protect your rights and the rights of your child in a court of law. To learn more about establishing paternity, contact the Goostree Law Group at 630-584-4800 to request a free consultation today. 

 

Sources: 

https://www.illinois.gov/hfs/ChildSupport/FormsBrochures/Pages/hfs3282.aspx

http://www.dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/birth-death-other-records/birth-records/paternity

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