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Paternity: What Changed with the Illinois Parentage Act of 2015?

Posted on in Paternity

Illinois paternity lawyer, Illinois family law attorneyIn 2015, new legislation was passed that overhauled Illinois' existing laws about property division in a divorce, grandparents' rights, and the ways we discuss child custody and parentage. These changes were designed to make the law better reflect today's realities for Illinois families: generally, both parents take an active role in raising their child, and not every family is headed by a heterosexual married couple. This final point was considered as the amendments to the Illinois Parentage Act were written.

Today, the language in the Act is gender-neutral, reflecting the fact that many children today grow up with same sex parents. Other amendments were made this this in mind, such as the circumstances under which an individual is assumed to be a child's parent. Consult with an experienced family attorney to determine your legal rights in accordance with these changes.

Who Is Presumed to Be a Child's Parent?

Under the new law, an individual is presumed to be a child's parent and thus has the legal rights and obligations that accompany this if he or she meets any of the following:

  • The child was born while the individual was married to the child's mother or in a civil union with her;    
  • If the child was born within 300 days of the dissolution of the individual's marriage or civil union with the child's mother;        
  • If the child was born during or within 300 days of the annulment of a legally invalid relationship or civil union, such as a bigamous marriage or a relationship that otherwise violates Illinois law if the mother and the other individual entered the marriage or civil union in presumed compliance with the law; and/or   
  • If the individual entered the marriage or civil union with the child's mother after the child's birth and his or her name is listed on the child's birth certificate.    

Previously, there were circumstances under which presumed paternity could not be rebutted. Now, all presumptions of parentage may be rebutted by an individual who feels he or she should not be considered to be a child's legal parent. The law recognizes that shared DNA is not all that constitutes a relationship between a parent and a child and following this, now allows courts to deny motions for DNA testing to prove parentage. Whether to allow DNA testing or not is based on 10 factors included in the new law that the court can use to determine if DNA testing is in the child's best interest.

Work with a Kane County Family Attorney

Families come in all sizes and configurations. Current Illinois law acknowledges that and strives to protect the rights of all parents and families. For answers to your questions about the changes to the Illinois Parentage Act and other changes that went into effect in January 2016, speak with an experienced Kane County family attorney. Our team at the Goostree Law Group is here to help you and be your advocate. Contact our firm today to schedule your free legal consultation with us.



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