Establishing paternity can have far-reaching implications. If you are trying to have a relationship with your children, it may be a necessary step in securing visitation rights. However, it also may make you liable for paying child support. Therefore, it is important to discuss these implications with an Orland Park father’s rights lawyer.

A well-versed family attorney can help you weigh your options and advocate for your interests. By working with an attorney from Reidy Law Office LLC you can work towards a solution that works for you.

How Is a Father Legally Defined?

The Illinois New Parentage Act was revised within the past three years to clarify the definition of what it means to be a father or mother. The birthmother is easily identified as the mother because she carried the child to term. Defining the father, however, is more difficult, because it requires testing.

However, the revisions to the law make certain presumptions. For example, if a child is born during the marriage or within ten months before or after the marriage, they are presumed to be the child of the husband who would also be the legal father.

If the parties were never married, paternity can be established in other ways. The most common way this is done is through a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity, signed at the time of the birth. By signing this document, the person is committing themselves to the legal responsibilities that go along with being a child’s father, which cannot be rescinded. It is also important to note that there is no entitlement to visitation or custody if a person establishes paternity. Instead, the court will consider the best interests of the child when determining visitation. Therefore, if an individual is at all unsure whether the child is theirs, it is recommended that they take a paternity test before establishing paternity.

Paternity Tests in Orland Park

Paternity tests usually are available in the courts to test for DNA to prove a person is the father of a child. The only official paternity tests in Orland Park are those done through the court, the ones taken at home or elsewhere are not accepted as proof of paternity. Once an official court DNA test has been conducted in Orland Park and the test shows a match, the court issues a finding that an individual is or is not the legal father. An individual can, however, petition to establish paternity to establish that the person is not the father, and a DNA can confirm it one way or the other.

There are many financial implications of a paternity test result, beginning with the out-of-pocket expenses for the cost of having the test done. The other is that, if a test shows someone is not the father, it can save a person the expense of being responsible for the child. However, there is one circumstance in which a man might be required to pay child support even if the results of a test indicated he is not the biological father. That is if he signs a voluntary acknowledgement of paternity (VAP). Once he signs this, and his relationship with the mother comes to an end, he may be liable for paying child support, even if a subsequent test shows they are not the biological father. There is, however, a 60-day window after signing the VAP for a chance to rescind it.

Importance of an Oland Park Father’s Rights Attorney

Because an individual has rights and responsibilities as a father, it is important for them to understand what they are, and the best ways to prove or disprove paternity. An Orland Park father’s rights lawyer can help throughout this process. Whether you are trying to prove or disprove paternity, an attorney from Reidy Law Office LLC can advocate on your behalf. Call today for a consultation to learn more.