Posted on in Paternity

IL family lawyerFinding out that you are about to become a parent should be a fun and exciting time; however, this is not always the case. For some men, they have to prove that they are the father, rather than being told by their soon-to-be co-parent. Proving that you are or are not the father of a child is a medical and legal process which can be more involved than just going to the doctor. Continue reading to learn more about the process of proving paternity.

The Need to Know

There are many reasons why people will seek to find out the identity of the biological father of a child. Many mothers and potential fathers want to know the child’s father because of the need for monetary and parenting support. If the father and mother are not married, the parent without primary custody, in which case is usually the father, will be required to pay child support. Many mothers also want help from the father in regards to raising their child. Knowing the identity of both parents is also important in regards to health benefits and insurance. The child will be covered by his/her father’s health insurance, social security, inheritance, and veteran’s benefits. It is also crucial to know a father’s identity to have a better understanding of the child’s health background as well as the child’s own sense of identity.

The Procedure

Paternity proceedings are not always filed by the father, but rather can be filed by the father, mother, or child. Many paternity tests are performed without the intervention of the court. If not done voluntarily, a court can mandate for the test to be taken thus making the mother, father, and child all submit to testing. There are multiple types of tests that can be performed including a blood or swab test to collect DNA samples. Funding for the tests depends on the results. If the testing for the father is positive, the man will pay for the test. On the other hand, if the testing for the father is negative, the mother will be responsible for the payment.

Contact an St. Charles, IL Family Lawyer

Though paternity tests are fairly easy and harmless, getting the process moving is not always so simple. It is common to have a refusal to take the paternity test from either party involved. To ensure that you and your child’s rights are met, it is important to have a parentage lawyer on your side. At Shaw Family Law, P.C., we understand the high stakes involved in parentage cases and we have extensive experience in this field of law. Contact our Kane County paternity attorneys at 630-584-5550 for a free consultation regarding your parentage situation.

 

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Yes. But you cannot officially establish your child’s parentage until he or she is born. In other words, though you might know who fathered your unborn child, that man does not have parental rights until the child is born and if you are not currently married to him or were not married when the child was conceived until he officially acknowledges his parentage or the court makes this determination.

It is important to note that although the term “paternity” is often used in this type of discussion, the Illinois Parentage Act contains gender-neutral language. When a child is born, any individual who was married to the child’s mother at the time of conception or birth has automatic parental rights to the child, regardless of his or her gender.

Prenatal Paternity Testing

There are a few different ways to determine paternity before a child is born. The most accurate method is known as Non-Invasive Prenatal Paternity (NIPP). It can be performed any time after the eighth week of pregnancy by taking a sample of the alleged father’s blood and the mother’s blood and comparing it to the fetus’ DNA that can be found in the mother’s bloodstream.

Other methods of prenatal paternity testing include amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling.

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Illinois child custody attorney, Illinois paternity lawyerWhether you are in an unmarried partnership, are in the midst of a divorce, or are planning to re-marry in the near future and share a child with someone else, paternity establishment is important. It ensures your rights as a parent are protected and that your child’s rights are protected as well. Without establishing paternity, your child’s medical and financial benefits might be at stake, and your parenting privileges can be compromised.

The state of Illinois utilizes various methods to help parents establish paternity, including personal interviews, genetic testing, and judicial court hearings, when necessary. However, you can opt to complete something called a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (also called a VAP) if you would like to establish paternity in a simple, straightforward manner. This is typically done right at the hospital when the child is born, although a VAP may be completed, signed, and witnessed at any time for any child born to unmarried parents.

VAP Requirements and Where to Get One

You will find instructions for how to complete the VAP on the front and back of the form, as well as a list of the parents’ rights and responsibilities. To properly complete the form, you will be required to provide information about both parents and the child, and you must also have a witness present to sign and date the form beneath the parents’ signatures. Your witness must be at least 18 years of age and will need to provide their full name, address, and telephone number. It is common practice for the hospital to provide you with a VAP when your child is born if you are not married at the time of the birth, but you can request one at any time at any County Clerk, Human Service, or Child Support Regional Office.

The Purpose of the VAP

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