There may be a number of reasons why people choose to establish or contest paternity. At the Law Offices of Nick Kulagin, our capable family law lawyers can guide people across DuPage and Kane Counties through these delicate matters. We understand that emotions can run high when paternity is in question, and you can expect the utmost compassion from us. Our Wheaton attorneys are dedicated to protecting the interests of your family, bolstered by our 15 years of experience.Paternity Determinations in Illinois
A paternity suit is a legal action taken to determine the official father of a child. It can be important in defining parental rights and responsibilities, such as obligations of child support, child custody, and visitation. A mother, potential father, child, or any other party who has an interest in establishing paternity can file this type of action. Paternity can be established by presumption, consent, or court determination.
Under Illinois law, a man is presumed to be the natural father of a child if:
- The man and the child’s birth mother were married at the time of the child’s conception or are married at the time of the child’s birth;
- The man and the birth mother got married after the birth, and the man’s name is listed on the birth certificate;
- The man and the natural birth mother signed a voluntary paternity acknowledgment;
- The man and the natural birth mother signed an acknowledgement of parentage; or
- A judge enters an order of paternity.
A belief is not sufficient to establish paternity. Instead, a court order or a signed and filed Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity is needed.
When paternity is disputed, a DNA test may be required. The State of Illinois recognizes a DNA paternity test as a valid tool to establish paternity. These tests can prove with 100 percent certainty when a man is not the father of a child. The test can also prove with near certainty that a man is a child’s father. Under state law, if the DNA results demonstrate that the man is 1,000 times more likely to be the father than a randomly chosen man, he will be the presumed father.
Many times, a mother will file a paternity suit in order to seek child support from the father. However, there are times when a father wants to establish paternity because the mother is not letting him see his child. In Illinois, there is a presumption that an ongoing relationship with both parents is in the best interest of the child. As a result, one parent cannot deprive the other of having a relationship with the child, even if that parent does not pay child support. The only time that a court may limit or terminate a parent’s interaction with his or her child is if it can be shown that it would be harmful to the child.Discuss a Child Support Matter with a Lawyer in DuPage or Kane County
Assisting residents of Kane and DuPage Counties, the experienced child support attorneys at the Law Offices of Nick Kulagin can help establish or contest paternity in your case. Determining paternity can have critical consequences for you and the child involved. We also represent individuals in communities such as Naperville, Hoffman Estates, Mount Prospect, and Oak Park. Call us at 630-480-6399 or contact us online to set up a free consultation.