Fathers' Rights: Establishing Paternity

 Posted on June 26, 2015 in Paternity


If you think you might have a biological child, you need to establish your paternity of that child in order to gain any rights regarding him or her. These rights include the right to seek custody or visitation with your child, the right to seek child support for his or her care, and your obligation to financially support him or her until he or she is an adult. When you establish paternity, you become the child's legal father. This and other laws related to paternity and parents' rights in Illinois are included in the Illinois Parentage Act of 1984.

In Illinois, an alleged father can establish his paternity by signing the child's birth certificate when the child is born. This is accompanied by a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity form, which both parents need to date and sign. A man can also establish paternity through an Order of Paternity or an Administrative Paternity Order, both of which are ordered by the court.

Any man who was married to a child's mother when the baby was conceived or born is automatically considered to be the child's legal father. If he is not the biological father, he may sign a Denial of Paternity form to eliminate his rights and obligations to the child.

DNA Paternity Testing

 If you think you could be a biological father and want to potentially become that child's legal father, you need to have a paternity test performed. These tests are available through various DNA testing centers throughout the state.

You have the right to file a petition with the court to order a paternity test. Along with your petition, you need to include a completed and signed copy of a form titled “Forms for a Father to Establish Custody If There is No Proof of Paternity.” You can find this form online as a pdf.

Contact the child's mother to have her bring the child for a paternity test. If the child's mother refuses to bring him or her for a paternity test, the court can require her to do so. For your petition to be successful, you need to prove to the court that you have a sufficient reason to believe that you are the child's biological father. If it turns out that you are the father, you then have the right to seek custody or visitation with the child. If you are awarded custody, you also have the right to seek child support of him or her from the mother.

Family Attorneys in in Kane County

If you are a parent, it is important that you have the necessary legal protection to maintain a relationship with your child. To learn more about the issues that can arise when determining paternity of a child, contact Goostree Law Group to schedule your free legal consultation with our dedicated Kane County family law attorneys. We can discuss the process of seeking a paternity test and represent you as you work with the court to seek your rights to your child.



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