Chicago Paternity Lawyer
In Illinois, if you are not married and your partner has a child, you are not automatically presumed to be the father. This is true even if you live together and have plans to get married in the near future.
Paternity will need to be established before the father’s name can go on the birth certificate. Children have the right to know who their father is. Plus, it is highly beneficial for them because they have the right to receive benefits from their father.
Paternity is established through genetic testing. A paternity test compares the DNA of the child, mother, and father. The DNA is obtained from a cheek swab. If there is 99.9% certainty that the man is the biological father, then paternity is legally established.
Looking to establish paternity? Whether you are the mother, a potential father, or an adult child, you have the right to know. Contact a Chicago paternity lawyer from Birnbaum Gelfman Sharma & Arnoux, LLC to understand your options, such as genetic testing.
How to Establish Paternity
There are three ways to establish paternity in Illinois:
- Via a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (VAP) form. Both parents must sign the form and have it witnessed and filed with the Department of Healthcare and Family Services. This is the easiest way to establish paternity, as it can be done at the hospital after the child is born. The parties should sign this form only if they are 100% sure who the father is.
- Via an Administrative Paternity Order. This order is typically established by Child Support Services when the mother requests child support from the potential father. Paternity is established through genetic testing.
- Via an Order of Paternity. This is a paternity case filed with the court. One party files a petition, then the court schedules a hearing.
Why Establishing Paternity is Important
Establishing paternity is important to the parents and the children. It offers many benefits such as the following:
- It gives the father the rights to custody and visitation with the child.
- It allows the father and child to have a relationship.
- It gives the child access to family medical information.
- It secures financial support from two parents, allowing the child to have their basic needs met.
- It provides the child with health insurance.
- It allows the child to know their medical and genetic history from both parents.
- It provides the child with inheritance rights.
- It allows the child to receive death benefits, such as Social Security, military benefits, and pensions.
A man has until the child turns 20 years old to establish paternity, but the sooner, the better.
Contact Birnbaum Gelfman Sharma & Arnoux, LLC Today
Once paternity is established, the courts can determine child custody, visitation, and support. Knowing the father of your child is something that benefits everyone involved. Make sure you have this knowledge.
The team at Birnbaum Gelfman Sharma & Arnoux, LLC can help you understand your options. Speak with a Chicago paternity lawyer today to learn more. Fill out the online form or call (312) 863-2800 to schedule a consultation.