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What Rights Does Paternity Provide to a Father and Child in Illinois?

 Posted on December 09, 2019 in Family Law

Cook County paternity attorneyBeing a parent can be one of the most rewarding experiences of someone’s life. However, in some cases, the identity of a child’s father may be questioned or contested. This may occur in situations where a couple is not married or if the mother had multiple partners. In Illinois, if a child’s mother is married or in a civil union when the child was born or within 300 days before the child was born, her husband or partner is legally presumed to be the father of the child. By legally establishing paternity in Illinois, a father and child can confirm their relationship and all the rights and responsibilities that go along with it. For example, there are certain benefits for which a child is eligible as someone’s son or daughter. In addition, the father is entitled to specific parental rights.       

A Child’s Legal Rights

There are many benefits to a legal relationship between a father and child. Besides the emotional connection and support, financial obligations can help provide for a son or daughter’s future. Legally recognizing the father can aid the child in multiple ways, including: 

  • Child support for the child, including contributions to healthcare costs or educational expenses

  • The ability to receive an inheritance from the father or other family members

  • Social Security benefits (if the father is disabled or deceased)

  • Life and/or health insurance coverage

  • Veteran’s benefits (if the father served in the military)

  • Knowledge of family medical history

A Father’s Legal Rights

It is important to note that a father’s name cannot be added to a child’s birth certificate until paternity has been established. Establishing paternity as soon as possible after a child’s birth allows an unwed father the right to participate in his child’s life from the very beginning. The following are some of the rights afforded to a child’s legal father:

Unwed fathers should remember that a decree concerning parental responsibilities, parenting time, or child support is not always final. If a father believes that his child is in danger for any reason, if he wishes to have more parenting time, or if changes in the circumstances of the parents or the child may require the recalculation of support obligations, he has the right to petition the court for a modification of the court order.

Contact a Cook County Family Law Attorney

Establishing paternity is important for the father as well as his child. Confirming a relationship on paper can give a dad and his child rights to parenting time and benefits. At Wakenight & Associates, P.C., we have years of experience handling complex family law matters, including paternity and parentage cases. Our proficient Oak Park paternity lawyers will aggressively fight for your rights as a biological father so you can have the relationship you and your child deserve. To schedule your free consultation, call us today at 708-848-3159. 


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