Chicago Paternity & Father’s Rights Attorney
It is not uncommon for children to be born outside of marriage. However, when a child is born to unmarried parents, there is additional action that needs to be taken before the father of the child can legally be recognized as such, and have the rights and responsibilities that a married father would have. A qualified Father’s Rights Attorney can help you navigate this legal matter, and gain the rights that you deserve.
How the Law Addresses Paternity
The Illinois Parentage Act was enacted to address the rights and responsibilities of these unwed parents regarding their minor child. This Act not only covers financial support and parental recognition, but also addresses custody, decision-making, and time-sharing.
Before you can be recognized as the legal father of a child, there must be some level of proof. When parents are married at the time of birth, it is assumed that the married couple are the legal parents of the child. If parents are unwed, then additional measures will need to be taken in order to prove parentage. If the father is present at the birth, then signing the birth certificate is sufficient proof that he is accepting the child as his own. If he is unable to sign the birth certificate, he can still obtain his rights as a father by filing an Acknowledgment of Parentage with the courts.
Protecting Your Child
Paternity is especially important in child protection. There are many circumstances in which the child may need alternative care or housing, either short or long term, due to domestic violence, mental illness, psychological condition, or an inability to care for the child by the mother. By establishing your parentage, the child would have the ability to stay with a caring parent, rather than being removed to state or temporary guardianship. By establishing your rights, you can also act on behalf of your child to ensure that they are receiving adequate care, even if you are not the custodial parent.
Proving or Contesting Paternity?
With parentage, there are different instances where a man may require legal assistance. The first would be in proving parentage and gaining rights regarding his child. The flip side of this would be contesting parentage. There are times when a man receives information that would cause him to believe that a child that he has responsibility for is not his biological child. Working with an experienced family lawyer, familiar with parentage cases in the state of Illinois, will help you to navigate either of these matters, effectively and efficiently.
Free Consultation with an Experienced Father’s Rights Lawyer
If you need assistance proving or contesting paternity, getting access to your child, or have other legal questions regarding Father’s Rights, we can help. We offer all new clients a FREE 15 minute phone consultation to discuss how we can work together.