Tag Archives: paternity

When to File for Denial of PaternityAs a father, you cannot forgo your financial obligation to your biological children, even if you no longer see them after divorcing or separating from their mother. However, you may not be required to make child support payments if you are not the child’s father. Family law courts prefer for a child to have two legally established parents for purposes of support and security. If the court presumes that you are the father, you will need to file a form stating that you deny paternity of the child.

Establishing Paternity

Illinois law assumes that you are the biological father of a child if you were married to the mother during the child’s conception or birth. If you have never been married to the mother, you can still be the legal father if:

  • You sign a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity form;
  • Illinois Child Support Services enters an order than names you as the father; or
  • A court rules that you are the father during a paternity suit.

You should not sign a VAP form if you are uncertain about whether you are the child’s father. You have 60 days to rescind a VAP after its effective date. After the deadline, a court will rescind a VAP only if you can prove that you signed the form under duress or based on fraud or a material mistake. A genetic test can clear up any doubt about your paternity.

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Determining Rights to Frozen Fertilized EmbryosAn advancement in reproductive technology has created new paternity conflicts that end up in court. When a woman has saved frozen fertilized embryos but the potential father no longer wants to have a child, does the woman still have a right to use the embryos? This situation can arise when spouses divorce, a couple breaks up or the sperm donor changes his mind. State courts have in some cases allowed the women use the embryos, despite the prospective father’s objection. A verbal agreement can be enough to enforce a woman's right to the embryos.

Frozen Fertilized Embryos

Cryopreservation of fertilized embryos has existed for decades, but the survival rate of the embryos has increased in recent years. Women choose to freeze their embryos because:

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Illinois paternity attorney, Illinois family law attorney,One of the greatest inequities in the ongoing abortion debate is the male partner's right to opt out of parenthood. While a pregnant woman can choose whether she wants to terminate a pregnancy or not, her male partner does not have this option. Naturally, this is upsetting to many men, especially those who have been in situations where they wanted their pregnant partners to abort but instead became fathers against their will. 

So what are your options if you do not want to become a father? You do have the right to relinquish your parental rights to the child. In fact, if you are not married to your partner, you do not have to acknowledge any right to the child in the first place by opting not to sign the birth certificate. If you find yourself in a situation where your partner is pregnant and you do not want to be a father, you need to have a serious discussion with her about your expectations and your plans regarding your role, if any, in the child's life. Although you cannot force a woman to terminate or keep a pregnancy, you can certainly voice your opinions to her about it. You can also work with an Illinois paternity lawyer to determine your rights as an individual who has voluntarily relinquished his parental rights.

Opting Out of Signing the Birth Certificate

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Illinois paternity lawyer, Illinois family law attorneyAmong the amendments to the Illinois Parentage Act that went into effect in January 2016, new guidelines were established to determine whether using DNA testing to determine paternity is in a child's best interest. This is because state lawmakers recognized that being a child's parent involves more than shared DNA, such as an established relationship and a history of supporting the child's personal needs. But this does not eliminate the value that genetic testing can have in cases where a child's parentage is disputed. Much like the set of factors used to determine the right parenting time arrangement for a child after his or her parents divorce, the court relies on the following set of 10 factors to determine whether a DNA test would be beneficial in a given paternity dispute.

Denial of a Motion for a DNA Test

These factors exist because under the revised law, the court has the right to deny a motion from a parent or alleged parent to use DNA testing to determine a child's paternity. The factors considered are as follows:

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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?

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Goostree Law Group

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