For unmarried couples, establishing paternity is an important legal issue. In addition to ensuring children receive the support they need, it also protects their rights to other important benefits. At Delaney Heckman, our Chicago paternity attorneys offer the aggressive legal representation you need in these situations. Whether you are a parent seeking a paternity order to establish support or a parent seeking rights to custody and visitation, we can guide you through the legal process to ensure that you and your child’s best interests are served.
Establishing Paternity In Illinois
For married couples, the husband is assumed to be the child’s father, with legal rights and responsibilities established at birth. For unmarried couples, the situation is somewhat more complicated and the legal standing of the father is an issue. The Department of Health and Family Services ( HFS) advises that there are three main ways in which paternity is established in Illinois:
- Both parents complete and sign a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity;
- An Administrative Paternity Order is established through HFS;
- An Order of Paternity is established and entered through the Illinois family courts.
Without a voluntary acknowledgement by the father, genetic testing is required in order to prove paternity. While a positive test result can form the basis for a paternity order, further steps may be taken to determine parenting time and visitation rights.
Benefits of Establishing Paternity
At Delaney Heckman, our Chicago paternity attorneys can advise you on how Illinois parenting laws apply to your situation. We provide the caring, professional legal representation needed to defend the rights of parents, while ensuring children receive the benefits they are entitled under the law.
- Access to information relating to family health history;
- Rights to child support and enforcement of orders;
- Access to health and life insurance;
- Rights to government benefits, including those available through Social Security and the Veterans Administration;
- Inheritance rights through the Probate Court.
We Can Help You Today
Establishing paternity can be a complicated and contentious process, requiring experienced legal representation to ensure you and your child are protected. Reach out and contact Delaney Heckman today to request a consultation with our Chicago paternity attorneys, who can advise you on the best course of action in your particular case.