Paternity/Parentage

Both parents of minor children have a right and responsibility to be involved in their children’s lives. Biological parents may have issues resulting in divorce, or going their separate ways if they were never married, but they still have rights to child custody, support and visitation. Having the father identified as such on the child’s birth certificate is important not just for the biological parents, but also for the child. It gives the child access to important medical information as well as certain benefits that may be available through Social Security, veteran’s benefits or inheritance.

Paternity may be questioned and require intervention of the  legal process to prove who is or is not the father of a child or children. Some examples include:

  • A man claims he is the biological father, but the mother says that is not true.
  • A mother claims a man is the biological father, but he says he is not.
  • The mother is not sure who the biological father is.
  • Children question who their biological father is.

After paternity is established, the legal father has important rights and responsibilities. In Illinois, there are different ways in which paternity can be established.

The Law Office of Kristie C. Fingerhut can assist in establishing paternity

There are different situations in which paternity is established and the father’s name is entered on the child’s birth certificate. Kristie C. Fingerhut, a Libertyville paternity/parentage attorney can assist you in this legal process.

  • The man the mother is married to at the time the baby was conceived or at the time of the baby’s birth is presumed to be the legal father and his name is entered as the father on the birth certificate.
  • When parents are not married to each other, and the mother is not married to another man, the two parents can sign a form called Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity and have it witnessed. They then file the form with the Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) and the man’s name is entered on the birth certificate as the father.
  • If the woman is married to a man she claims is not the father, in addition to the Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity form, the woman’s husband must also sign and file a Denial of Paternity form with HFS. If the husband refuses to sign the denial, his name will be entered as the father on the birth certificate even if another man has signed and filed a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity Form.
  • If there is a dispute over who the father is, or the mother is unsure, a DNA test will be done. It can determine who the father is not with 100 percent accuracy. There is a 99.9 percent accuracy rate in determining who the father is.

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