Site Navigation

Chicago Divorce & Family Attorneys
Cook County Family Lawyers

Request Your Free Consultation

Burbank Father’s Rights

Nowadays, it is common for couples to have children before they are married. Some of these children can live with their parents without issues and get equal support from both parents. However, there are cases where one parent – usually the father – cannot exercise their rights. They do not have legal rights to the child since they are unmarried to the child’s mother. As a result, these fathers cannot build a strong relationship with their children and be involved in decisions for the child’s future.

baby 22194 1920 300x200 Burbank Father's RightsAside from unmarried fathers, divorced fathers also find it hard to exercise their father’s rights even if they were previously married to their child’s mother. Some mothers tend to deny these fathers the right to be involved and even agree to a custody agreement that will benefit all parties. Father’s rights are also hard to utilize for fathers who wish to verify their paternity after certain events that led them to question the child’s true background. The reason for this issue is that they are uncertain how to kickstart the process and have the result recognized by the courts.

Our Burbank father’s rights legal team at Davis & Associates can help you understand Illinois’ family law and find the right legal avenue to use so your father’s rights will be recognized by all. We will represent and fight for your interests in court and ensure the other party cooperates once a legal decision is made.

Call Davis & Associates at (312) 548-1528 for your Consultation with a Burbank Father’s Rights attorney!

How the Law Addresses Paternity

father and child 300x200 Burbank Father's RightsIllinois established the Illinois Parentage Act to highlight the responsibilities of parents regarding their minor children, including unmarried parents and their children born out of wedlock. It also has several clauses that involve paternity and those who wish to contest it.

If an unmarried couple is both present upon the birth of the child, they must submit to the clerk of court an agreed order to establish paternity by consent and a verified petition to declare paternity. If there is a presumed father other than the “father” signing these forms, they must sign these forms as well. If there are any questions about a child’s paternity or if a father wishes to fight for their rights, they must take the appropriate measures to have it recognized by all parties and the court. Our Burbank father’s rights legal team at Davis & Associates can help you take the legal measures to get your father’s rights recognized or contest paternity.

Protecting Your Child

paternity segment 1 300x199 Burbank Father's RightsThere are many benefits to having paternity established, especially when it comes to protecting children. Life can be unpredictable, and some occurrences may affect a child’s needs, from health care and housing to overall care. The mother may even be unable to care for the child in the future. If there is no other parent available to take care of the child, they may be sent to state or temporary shelters and be in the guardianship of the state.

By establishing your paternity, your child or children will have another parent they can rely on in case they have to be removed from the care of their mother. You can act on their behalf and ensure they are getting the right care, even if you do not have physical custody. You will also be able to ensure they become eligible for death benefits and get their inheritance when the time comes.

Proving or Contesting Paternity

In Illinois, there are several ways how paternity can be established and how it can be disputed. Below are the four options used to prove paternity, which have clauses for anyone wishing to challenge a child’s paternity.

1. Presumed Paternity Through Marriage

support segment 300x199 Burbank Father's RightsUnder state law, if the father is in a marriage or civil union with the mother, he is presumed to be the child’s legal father. This presumption is valid as long as they continue to be together.

The presumption also includes the time before and after the marriage or civil union. With this said, a child born within 300 days after the couple divorced or separated is assumed to be the child of the ex. If a child is born after the marriage, the new spouse is legally considered the child’s father. The father must be named on the birth certificate or provide written consent for their paternity to be recognized.

2. Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity

For unmarried parents who wish to establish paternity, the best option is to file a completed and signed Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (VAP) form. Both parties should sign the form if they are 100% certain about the father’s identity, and it must be done at the hospital where the child is born for verification. Once the form is complete, the parents can file it with the Department of Health and Family Services (HFS).

Parents can bring home the VAP form and submit it later. However, it will only be valid if another adult witnesses the signing. The form can then be mailed to the HFS’s Administrative Coordination Unit for verification and acceptance.

It is important to note that even if you signed the VAP, you are not automatically required to pay child support.

If a VAP is signed by both parties, but you now have a question regarding your child’s paternity, you have 60 days from the day the form is signed to contest it. Either party can contest the VAP through a Rescission of Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity. Should the 60 days pass since the signing, you must file a Motion to Vacate the VAP in your nearest local court. The filing should be done immediately because overturning paternity anywhere in the state is normally difficult. There have also been cases where courts in the state denied a motion for genetic testing if they believed it was best for the child to retain paternity.

If you wish to contest the VAP because of fraud, material mistake, or coercion, you have two years from the effective date of the VAP to make your filing.

3. Administrative Paternity Order

child support 1 300x200 Burbank Father's RightsBurbank’s Child Support Services can also get involved in paternity cases by ordering an Administrative Paternity Order. This order is often requested by the mother in order to secure child support from the other party.

Child Support Services offer their services for free when they are approached for a paternity case. When they get involved, they will ensure that both parents will be ready to support their children. But, before this can happen, they must prove who the child’s father is because, under the law, biological parents have the legal responsibility to provide the support their children need.

One of the ways the paternity order will be done is by ordering the potential father to undergo genetic testing to verify if they are indeed the child’s father.

4. Judicial Paternity Order

If there is any question regarding a child or the children’s paternity, a paternity case can be filed in any local court in Illinois. A petition should be filed by one party, and a series of hearings will take place in order to get the case underway. Most often, genetic testing is issued by the court to verify paternity, and once the results are in, the judge can outline child custody, visitation schedules, and child support, which the parties must follow. The parties may also use the court case to negotiate arrangements for their child’s benefit.

State law also establishes a Statute of Limitations for all paternity cases across Illinois. If the child has two legally established parents, only one can try to sue for paternity if two years have passed since the paternity of the parents has been established. If the child or either one of the established parents wishes to challenge paternity, they have two years to contest it since they knew these details or when they knew this information should have been filed in court.

Whether you are an unmarried father or someone who wishes to clarify their child’s paternity, don’t hesitate to contact our Burbank father’s rights legal team at Davis & Associates. We will examine the case before you and take the necessary steps to help you establish your paternity. We can also look into the statute of limitations for these cases should you wish to contest paternity and help you build your case.

Talk To Our Legal Experts Today

Davis Logo 300x96 Burbank Father's RightsFathers also deserve to have their rights recognized, whether they may be unmarried to their child’s mother or have just undergone a divorce. They should also get the chance to prove their paternity if certain situations cause them to question their connection with the child/children.

Let our Burbank, IL family law firm help you explore all the legal avenues available to resolve your paternity case and ensure that the case result is manageable for all the parties, especially the children.

Call Davis & Associates at (312) 548-1528 for your Consultation with a Burbank Father’s Rights attorney!