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When to File for Denial of Paternity

Posted on in 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.

Denying Paternity

If for some reason you are not the biological father of your wife's child, you can rebut the presumption of paternity by filing a Denial of Paternity form. Both you and your wife must sign the form in order for it to be valid. However, you may still be legally obligated to support the child if the court cannot determine who the biological father is. The easiest way to establish paternity would be for the biological father to sign a VAP form. If he will not, the mother will need to file a paternity suit to prove that he is the father and require him to pay child support.

Paternal Responsibilities 

Determining the biological father of your presumed child is important for everyone involved. You should not be obligated to financially support the child if you can prove who the biological father is. The mother and child should know who the biological father is to hold him responsible for the child and understand the child’s family medical history. A Kane County family law attorney at Goostree Law Group can help you prove or deny paternity of a child. To schedule a free consultation, call 630-584-4800.


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