Ekker Law, P.C. / Steven B. Ekker, Esq.

How to Establish Paternity in the State of Illinois

 Posted on February 07, 2022 in Divorce

Sugar Grove paternity lawyerIn today’s world, fewer people are getting married before deciding to have children together. It is not at all uncommon for children to have parents who never were married and are no longer together. Illinois law addresses the various issues that involve parents and their children, regardless of whether the parents were ever married or not. When an unmarried couple has a child together, they should immediately take steps to establish paternity for the child, which provides important protections for all parties involved under Illinois law.

Voluntary Acknowledgements of Paternity

Some men who are certain about the paternity of their child will go ahead and voluntarily establish paternity, which typically occurs at the hospital shortly after the child’s birth. Both parents can sign a Voluntary Establishment of Paternity form, which places the father’s name on the child’s birth certificate and legally establishes him as the father of the child. Keep in mind, however, that signing a voluntary establishment of paternity form waives a man’s right to genetic testing and gives him both rights and responsibilities. For instance, he will have parental rights in terms of access to the child. He also will have financial obligations in terms of supporting the child.

Paternity Testing

If a man is not sure whether he is the father of a child, or he otherwise will not cooperate in voluntarily acknowledging paternity, then the man can be required to undergo genetic testing. The DNA test results will definitively prove whether a man is the biological father of a child or not. If the test results reveal that the man is the child’s biological father, then parentage can be formally established for the child, and the mother can pursue financial support for the child if she wishes.

Paternity Establishment

Once genetic testing is complete and the results are received, the parties must take the necessary steps to establish paternity. You can establish paternity either by asking a court to enter an Order of Paternity, or by asking the Child Support Services of the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services to enter an Administrative Paternity Order. A paternity order will formally place the father’s name on the birth certificate and entitle him to exercise parental rights to the child, such as a parenting plan, and have certain responsibilities for the child, such as the payment of child support.




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