Can I Establish Paternity Without the Father’s Consent?

 Posted on May 03, 2024 in Paternity

St. Charles Child Custody LawyerWhen a woman gives birth in Illinois, her husband is automatically considered the legal father. This is also the case if:

  • The parents divorced less than 300 days before or after the birth.

  • The parents entered into any other kind of legal relationship, such as a civil union, within 300 days of the birth.

If the parents do not enter a legal relationship, however, then the law does not assume that anyone is the father. In this case, the father must declare his fatherhood and, in some cases, prove it. This is called establishing paternity.

However, if the father does not want to establish paternity, the mother can take certain steps to force paternity to be established.

This article will discuss why establishing paternity is important and how it can be done without the father’s consent. If you want to establish paternity, consult with a qualified Illinois paternity lawyer who can help you through the process.

Why is Establishing Paternity Important?

There are several reasons why the mother or the father might want to establish paternity:

  • The mother wants to be eligible for child support.

  • The father wants to have a legal right to the child.

  • The child will be legally entitled to inheritance.

  • The child will be entitled to health benefits.

  • The child can be the beneficiary of the father’s life insurance policy.

  • The child can receive social security benefits if the father is disabled or dies.

  • If the father is a veteran, the child can receive certain benefits.

How is Paternity Established?

If both parents agree to establish the father’s paternity, it is a fairly simple process under Illinois law. The parents can complete and sign a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (VAP), which they file with the Department of Healthcare and Family Services.

What if the Father Does Not Consent?

A father might not want to be involved in the child’s life, or might not believe the child belongs to him. In this case, the mother may want to force paternity to be established, especially if she wants to receive child support.

To do this, the mother can ask the Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) to declare the alleged father’s paternity. The HFS will launch an investigation, which may include forcing the alleged father to take a DNA test. If the result is positive, the HFS will issue an Administrative Paternity Order. 

What if the Father Does Not Cooperate?

If the alleged father refuses to cooperate with HFS, the mother can file a petition with a court. A court can order the alleged father to take a paternity test and impose penalties if he does not comply. Once a judge determines who the father is, he or she will issue an Order of Paternity.

Contact a St. Charles, IL Paternity Lawyer

If you want to establish paternity and cannot submit a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity for whatever reason, there are a few steps you need to take. Contact an experienced Kane County, Illinois paternity attorney who can guide you through the process. At Goostree Law Group, we are highly experienced in establishing paternity and know how to simplify a complex procedure. Call 630-584-4800 for a free consultation today.

Share this post:
Back to Top