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How to Establish Paternity in Illinois

Posted on in Divorce

Illinois paternity lawyersPaternity is the legal and biological relationship between a child and a father. In Illinois, you must establish paternity for a father’s name to appear on a child’s birth certificate, and if you need to set up the allocation of parental responsibilities (formerly custody), child support, and parenting time (formerly visitation) if the parents are unmarried, divorced, or not in a civil union.

To establish a child’s eligibility for health and life insurance, Social Security benefits from a disabled or deceased parent, veteran’s benefits, or an inheritance, paternity must be certified. Sometimes this is done easily, while other circumstances prove difficult. For either scenario, an experienced family law attorney can help.

Establishing Paternity in Illinois

When a couple or two uninvolved individuals agree that paternity is certain, they can complete and file the Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (VAP) form through the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). You can get this form through your county clerk, health office, an Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services aid office, or via the IDPH website. For proper submission, the VAP must be signed in front of a witness who is age 18 or older.

If either of the parents later decides they wish to nullify the VAP, that individual must complete a signed and witnessed Rescission of Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity form within 60 days of the VAP date.

Forcing a Paternity Test

Sometimes a mother is not sure who the father of their child is. In these cases, paternity must be confirmed through a genetic test, which takes a swab inside a person’s cheek to compare the DNA of the mother, child, and potential father. This can also be done during pregnancy by utilizing the same procedure that tests a fetus for Down syndrome to get a DNA sample. To legally establish paternity, at-home paternity tests are not considered official. Only tests from a physician are recognized by the court.

While most fathers want to know if a child is theirs, not all potential fathers willingly volunteer to take a paternity test. When this occurs, a mother can request a court order of paternity from a judge to legally force an individual to submit to a DNA test.

Contact an Orland Park Paternity Lawyer

At Anderson and Associates, P.C., we can help you fill out and file the VAP form to ensure its accuracy, or if necessary, pursue an order of paternity through the court. To discuss your paternity situation, call a Tinley Park paternity attorney at 708-226-9904 for a free consultation.






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