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Zion Father’s Rights Attorney

When you look at any state law, the mother is always given legal rights to their child if born out of wedlock. While some unmarried couples can exercise their parental rights and live with their child without problems, some have fathers left out of the sphere and cannot use their rights to be involved in their child’s life.

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This plight of being unable to exercise their father’s rights isn’t just limited to unmarried fathers. It is also the same for divorced fathers who had a nasty separation from their ex-spouse. Some mothers will go to great lengths to deny these fathers the right to be involved in their child’s life and decline any custody arrangements that benefit all parties. There are also cases where fathers cannot verify their paternity because they are unsure how to start the process and have it recognized by all parties.

Fortunately, Illinois has an extensive family law determining how fathers can fight for their rights or contest their paternity. With our Zion father’s rights legal team at Davis and Associates, Attorneys at Law, LLC as your legal partner, you can move through the legal process easier and make sure that your fathers’ rights are established. If you wish to contest paternity, our team will help you fight for a resolution that will not affect your relationship with the child or their growth.

Call Davis and Associates, Attorneys at Law, LLC at (847) 610-6791 for your Consultation with a Zion Father’s Rights lawyer.

How the Law Addresses Paternity

Illinois’s Parentage Act is the primary law used by the state to describe the responsibilities of parents, even those unmarried and with children born out of wedlock. It also has a specific section that involves paternity and those who wish to contest it.

father and child 300x200 Zion Father's Rights AttorneyIf an unmarried couple is both present during the child’s birth, 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’ present since birth, they must also sign the forms. Should there be any questions about paternity or if a father wishes to fight for their rights, they must take the right legal action in court to resolve it.

Our Zion father’s rights experts at Davis and Associates, Attorneys at Law, LLC are ready to explain the law so you can take the right legal steps to get your paternity recognized or contest it if you have any doubts.

Protecting Your Child

When paternity is established for a child, the effects are not just focused on its impacts on the child’s life. It will also be focused on your familial relationship with these children. It is very difficult to predict what can happen in the future that may affect the lives of the child and the parents.

paternity segment 1 300x199 Zion Father's Rights AttorneyIt may be possible that the mother will be unable to take care of the child in the future, leaving them with no parent to rely on if their paternity is not recognized. Should that happen, the child will be sent to one of the many state or temporary shelters and be under the state’s guardianship.

If you establish your paternity and utilize your father’s rights in the process, your child or children will have another parent they can rely on should their mother be unable to care for them. You can also act on their behalf and ensure they get all the support they need to grow, even if they are not in your physical custody. You are also giving the child the right to claim any death benefits or inheritance in the future.

Proving or Contesting Paternity

Under Illinois’ Parentage Act, paternity can be established in four ways, and it also highlights how it can be disputed.

1. Presumed Paternity Through Marriage

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If a father is married by a church or civil wedding, they are immediately presumed to be the father. They will continue to do so as long as they are together. Should the pair separate through divorce or separation, any child born within 300 days before their separation is immediately seen as the child of the ex. If the child were born after the second or nth marriage, the new spouse would be seen as the child’s father.

The father’s paternity can be indicated on the child’s birth certificate or through verified written consent.

2. Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity

If the father is not married to the mother and wishes to establish paternity, the best option for them to be recognized as the father is by filing a completed and signed Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity (VAP) form. Both parties must sign the form if they are 100% certain about the identity of both parents, and it must be done at the hospital where the child is born so it will be verified immediately. When the form is complete, parents must file it with the Department of Health and Family Services (HFS).

If the parents wish to submit the form later, they must have another adult witness the parents signing it. The form can then be mailed to the HFS’ Administrative Coordination Unit, which will verify the form and accept it on behalf of the HFS.

It is important to note that the child’s father will not be required to pay for child support when they sign the VAP.

If a VAP is signed by both parties, but a party wishes to contest the paternity, the party has 60 days from the day the form was signed to contest it. Either party can contest the VAP through a Rescission of Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity. If 60 days have passed since the signing, a Motion to Vacate the VAP must be filed in the party’s nearest local court.

It is crucial that the filing is done immediately because overturning paternity is quite difficult. There are even cases where the courts do not permit genetic testing if they believe it will not benefit the child.

If the VAP was signed due to fraud, duress, or material mistake, a person has two years since the VAP was validated to file their case.

3. Administrative Paternity Order

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Zion’s Child Support Services can issue an administrative paternity order if the child’s mother wishes to claim child support from the supposed father.

The Child Support Services offer free services to any parent, including if these parents approach them for paternity cases. When their involvement is requested, the agency will ensure that the parents can support the child and provide for their needs. However, before they consider the ‘father’ as the true parent of the child, it must be proven because, under the law, biological parents are legally responsible for their child’s needs.

A genetic or DNA test will be ordered to establish the father’s paternity. If the results are positive, the agency will arrange child support and custody for the parents.

4. Judicial Paternity Order

Should there be any questions regarding a child or children’s paternity, any party can seek the assistance of the court to review the case. Once the court receives a petition, a series of hearings will occur to sort out paternity. The court would often order a genetic test to be done since it can accurately verify a child’s paternity. They will also outline the arrangements for child custody, visitation schedules, and child support when the results are given to the court.

A statute of limitations is also included in the Parentage Act to provide more opportunities for parents to contest paternity. If the child has two legally established parents, no party can challenge paternity unless two years have passed since the child’s parentage has been established. If either the child or one of the parents wishes to challenge the child’s parentage, they have two years to contest it since they learned of the information that caused them to question their parentage or when they knew the information should have been filed in court.

Our experienced lawyers specializing in Zion father’s rights can guide you through the paternity case and help you establish your status. We can also check if the statute of limitations will be applied in your case and apply the necessary changes in our legal strategy.

Talk To Our Legal Experts Today

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As a father, you have the right to be involved in your child’s life and future, whether you may be unmarried to the mother or just separated from them. You should also be given the opportunity to prove your paternity, especially if you have doubts about the child’s true parentage.

Our family lawyers at Davis and Associates, Attorneys at Law, LLC are ready to help you fight for your father’s rights and resolve your paternity case to the best of our abilities. We also guarantee that we will do our best to fight for a result that will not disrupt the lives and relationships of all parties, especially the children.

Call Davis and Associates, Attorneys at Law, LLC at (847) 610-6791 for your Consultation with a Zion Father’s Rights lawyer.