Illinois Paternity Law
Illinois paternity law provides the guidelines for establishing paternity, and what that means regarding rights and obligations of a child’s parents. Paternity refers to the condition or state of being a father and is known as “parentage” in legal terms. When a child is born to a married couple, both spouses are presumed and considered the parents of the child. Other establishing paternity is different than when you are married, the laws are considered the same as it relates to your children. When a child is born to a couple that is not married, Illinois provides three methods of establishing paternity.
Establishing paternity in Illinois may occur by:
- Both parents signed a “Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity’ form
- Attending a hearing with Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) Child Support Services
- A Judge rendering a decision in an order of paternity
The simplest method to establish paternity of a child is through completing a Voluntary Acknowledgment Form (VAP). Most often, the Voluntary Acknowledgement Form is signed when a baby is born at the hospital. When parents are not married, the form may be completed later in front of a witness.
Once submitted, a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity becomes very problematic to vacate. The only option to vacate an order of VAP is to challenge the order on the grounds of a material mistake in fact, duress, or fraud. In order to invoke this provision, a party must file a Motion to Dismiss within two (2) years of the signing of the Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity.
This Illinois paternity law may seem unfair to those who do not find out that they are not the biological father until after 2 years since the order of VAP, although is designed to provide stability to the child’s life. If you have any concerns about signing a VAP or how to go about challenging a petition, contact Anderson & Boback to speak with an experienced paternity lawyer.
Do You Need a Paternity Lawyer?
If you are a father seeking to establish paternity, visitation or custody you should speak with an experienced paternity lawyer at the family law firm of Anderson & Boback for answers to all your questions. Do not assume that judgment will automatically be in the mother’s favor. The court’s main concern is the best interest of the child. Each case is unique and will be determined based on the individual circumstances and facts. We have helped many fathers to establish paternity rights and custody.
If you have received a petition to establish paternity, contact our experienced legal team to guide you through the process. Whether DNA testing, establishing custody, visitation, support, or other parental rights, our experienced legal team helps men every day establish and challenge paternity petitions.
If you believe you are a child’s biological father and you are not married to the child’s mother on or before the child’s birth date, you should take steps to get registered with the Illinois Putative Father Registry. This confidential and important step will allow you to receive notice of any legal proceedings affecting the child such as adoption.
Anderson & Boback – Illinois Paternity Lawyers with Proven Experience
Anderson & Boback is an award-winning family law firm in Chicago representing clients seeking to establish paternity, custody and visitation, child support and child-related matters as well as clients challenging petitions for paternity. When you need paternity lawyers with experience representing clients in complex cases in all facets of Illinois family law, you can count on us.