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Wakenight & Associates, P.C.

1100 Lake Street, Suite 120, Oak Park, IL 60301

Oak Park | 708-848-3159

DuPage County | 630-852-9700   Mokena | 815-727-6144

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Oak Park, IL Paternity Attorneys

Cicero paternity lawyer

Lawyers Helping Establish Fatherhood in Chicago and Cook County

When a child is born to a married couple, the identity of its father is usually not in doubt. However, if a child's parents are not married, the father will not be recognized as a legal parent until paternity has been established. To ensure that parents' and children's rights are protected, it is best to work with a knowledgeable family law attorney when establishing a child's legal parentage.

The lawyers of Wakenight & Associates, P.C. provide our clients with a combined total of over 95 years of legal experience. We will help you make sure that your parent-child relationships are legally protected, which will ensure that children can receive the support they need from both parents.

Methods of Establishing Paternity

Illinois law states that if a child is born to a mother who is married, the mother's spouse is presumed to be the child's legal parent. In addition, if the mother's marriage ended through divorce, death, or annulment within 300 days before the child's birth, her ex-spouse will be considered to be the child's parent. In any other situation, only the mother is presumed to be a legal parent, and the other parent will not be listed on the child's birth certificate.

If both parents agree about the identity of the child's biological father, they can sign and submit a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (VAP) form. This form will typically be available at the hospital where a child is born, or it can be obtained from a variety of other sources, such as a child support office or county clerk. A VAP must be signed with a witness present, and it should be filed with the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS).

If the identity of a child's father is in doubt, legal proceedings may be necessary to establish parentage. In these cases, an administrative process may be used by HFS to determine paternity, or an interested party may file a petition to establish parentage and ask for a paternity hearing to be held. In either case, genetic testing will typically be used to confirm that a man is the biological parent.

Once paternity has been established, both parents will have the right to share parenting time with children, and a parent may also be able to request to share in parental responsibility. Both parents will also be obligated to provide child support for the child.

Contesting Paternity

If a man who is legally presumed to be a child's parent believes he is not the biological parent, he may file a Denial of Paternity form, although he may still be considered the child's legal father until the mother and biological father sign a VAP. If someone believes that they signed a VAP form in error, they may file a Rescission of Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity form, but this must be done within 60 days after the VAP was signed. In both cases, a court hearing may need to be held and genetic testing may need to be performed to prove that the man is not the child's biological father.

Contact a Skokie Paternity Lawyer

At Wakenight & Associates, P.C. we understand the importance of parent-child relationships, and we will help protect your children's rights and ensure that all requirements are met in order to establish legal parentage. Contact us today at 708-480-9651 for a free consultation. We assist with paternity cases in Oak Park, Skokie, River Forest, Chicago, Elmwood Park, Maybrook, Cicero, Berwyn, Forest Park, Riverside, and Cook County.

  • Elite Lawyer
  • American Bar Association
  • Better Business Association
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • West Suburban Bar Association
  • Northwest Suburban Bar Association
  • Will County Bar Association
  • DuPage County Bar Association
  • Lake County Bar Association
  • Kane County Bar Association




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