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How Do You Establish Paternity in Illinois?

Posted on in Family Law

Algonquin paternity lawyer

In Illinois, paternity must be established in order for a father’s name to appear on their child’s birth certificate. Also, it is essential in setting up child custody (officially called the allocation of parental responsibilities in Illinois), parenting time (child visitation), and child support if the child’s parents are not married or in a civil union.

By legal definition, paternity is the official, documented relationship between a father and their child. When it is established, it provides a child with eligibility for health insurance, life insurance, Social Security disability benefits if their parent is disabled, veteran’s benefits, and inheritances. While paternity can be a straightforward and quick process, it can be complicated in certain scenarios. Either way, it is important to seek legal guidance from an experienced family law attorney.

How to Establish Paternity 

When a couple or previous romantic partners are certain that the male is the child’s father (whether born or unborn), completing a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (VAP) form from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) can voluntarily establish paternity. For this form’s official submission and validation, you must sign it in the presence of a witness who is 18 years or older. This can include your lawyer, who can help ensure all essential information is correctly provided.

If an individual signs a VAP but then decides they wish to revoke it, they must sign and submit a Rescission of Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity form – again, with a witness – within 60 days of the original VAP date.

Court-Ordered Paternity Test

If a mother is unsure who their child’s father is, paternity can be established with a DNA paternity test. These tests, which are around 99.9 percent accurate, utilize a swab from inside a possible father’s cheek. If the child has already been born, the swab can be compared to samples taken from the mother and child. In establishing paternity before birth, a DNA sample is taken from the fetus for genetic comparison. 

While the majority of men want to know if they are the father of a child, that is not always the case, and in those instances, the court can force a paternity test. To do this, your attorney can file for a court order from a judge to legally compel an individual or individuals to submit to testing.

Contact a St. Charles Paternity Lawyer

The Law Offices of Benedict Schwarz, II PC is here to help mothers and potential fathers successfully navigate the paternity process. For a free consultation with an experienced Geneva family law attorney, call us today at 847-428-7725.

Sources:

https://www.illinois.gov/hfs/ChildSupport/FormsBrochures/Pages/hfs3282.aspx

http://www.dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/birth-death-other-records/birth-records/paternity

https://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/20/health/paternity-blood-tests-that-work-early-in-a-pregnancy.html

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