Illinois Lawyer Referrals and Legal Guidance
Paternity in Illinois
Findgreatlawyers.com is a free service, run by Illinois lawyers, that helps people who are looking for legal help with any Illinois legal matter including paternity. If you have any questions about a potential paternity case, please do not hesitate to contact us. Our staff lawyers are usually standing by to answer your questions, please call us at (312) 346-5320 or (800) 517-1614 or fill out our contact us form and we will contact you. We help in almost any county in Illinois and all calls are free and confidential. For more information on paternity law in Illinois please read on.
Paternity in Illinois is the relationship that a father has with a child. In the area of family law, the state gives a father certain rights and responsibilities. To be held as the legal father of a child, one of the following must be shown:
- He was married to the mother when the child was born and/or conceived; or
- He was married to the mother after the child was born and gave permission for his name to be on the birth certificate; or
- The Illinois Department of Public Aid or a court has made an order of paternity; or
- The mother and father have signed an acknowledgement of parentage form.
We often get calls from fathers who have had the Illinois Department of Public Aid determine they were the father even though no DNA or other paternity test has been performed. Once they establish paternity there are time limits for contesting the decision. If you fail to do so in a timely basis, you could lose your rights forever. This also applies to fathers who mistakenly acknowledge paternity forms. While there are some ways around this such as proving fraud, we have seen numerous instances where a man has shown that they are not the father and was still required to pay child support.
The rules for paternity are also different based on when a child is born:
- For children born before August of 1996, being listed on the birth certificate does not establish paternity nor does admitting the child is yours. Only marriage to the mother, a court or Department of Public Aid order or signing a voluntary acknowledgement form is enough to establish paternity in those cases.
- For children born after August of 1996, being listed on the birth certificate does establish paternity. This is because at that time a law was enacted that said you could only be on the birth certificate if you were married to the mother at the time of birth or conception or have signed a voluntary acknowledgement of parentage.
Establishing paternity is the only way a father can fight for child custody in Illinois courts. There are disagreements over the time limits involved in bringing a paternity challenge in Illinois. If you question whether or not you are the father of a child, we recommend that you file a challenge right away.
Does all of this sound confusing? It is and the time limits involved make it important to address paternity sooner rather than later. If you have any questions about Illinois paternity laws you can contact us.
Findgreatlawyers.com is a free service that allows you to speak with Chicago lawyers to ask questions about paternity for any county in Illinois including Cook County paternity actions, Lake County, DuPage, Will County, Peoria, Macon County, St. Clair and almost anywhere in between. Since 2001 we have helped tens of thousands of people with Illinois legal matters. Contact us to see if we can help you.