If you have a child outside of a marriage, you may need to establish legal paternity. Establishing paternity creates a legal basis to establish both your rights and responsibilities. Until you establish paternity through the courts, you have no rights to parenting time or decision making. Once you establish paternity, you can have your rights clearly identified. With rights come responsibilities. With paternity established, you can also clearly establish your responsibilities such as child support, health insurance and related costs, educational expenses and extracurricular activities.

A Will County lawyer could help with your paternity issues, so that your duties regarding your children are legally solidified or negated. The dedicated attorneys at Reidy Law Office LLC can advocate on your behalf throughout the process to make sure your interests are protected.

Understanding Paternity Laws

Chapter 750 of the Illinois Compiled Statutes codifies much of the law in Will County regarding paternity. Under 750 ILCS 46/404, paternity may be established via many ways including genetic testing. If the results of a genetic test do not exclude the man as the father, and there is a 99.9 percent probability of paternity, the person shall become the adjudicated father in the eyes of the law.

Paternity can also be established by the signing of a VAP, which stands for Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity. This is typically done at the hospital within a few days of the child’s birth. If you are at all uncertain, even by 1%, that the child is not yours, do NOT sign a VAP because they are very difficult to undo. Signing a VAP creates a finding of paternity that is reversible in few circumstances and creates your responsibilities as stated above; however, it does not establish your rights.

A Father’s Fiscal Duties

The Income Withholding for Support Act, 750 ILCS 28, outlines the financial requirements for adjudicated fathers and those who acknowledge their paternity of a child.

Once the court has entered an order of support, it may prepare a notice of income withholding. The court or State may also serve a National Medical Support Notice on the father’s employer for the child’s health insurance needs. Healthcare obligations may consist of adding the child to an existing health insurance policy or withholding premiums for a separate surety.

Father’s Objections to Adoption

If the mother of an infant chooses to put the baby up for adoption, the father may object. Per 750 ILCS 50/12a, a man may file a sworn statement with the court, stating that he is the father of the child and does not consent to the child’s adoption. At this time, the court may consider the man to be the acknowledged father.

Conversely, a person whom a mother says is the father of a baby can also submit a declaration that denies paternity. In this same affidavit, they may consent to another’s adoption of the child, per the mother’s wishes. An entry of the document denying fatherhood will terminate the man’s rights and duties with respect to the child.

Discuss Your Paternity Issues with a Will County Attorney

If you have legal issues related to paternity, you might consider calling a local attorney. Our Will County lawyers can answer any questions that you have about paternity. Call Reidy Law Office LLC today to discuss your rights.