Many aspects of Illinois family law require one party to establish the relationship between a father and his child. Legally speaking, this relationship is called “paternity.” Legal paternity may be easily established by sworn statement. However, in some cases, where paternity is unknown or disputed, establishing paternity can be more difficult. If you are in need of an attorney to help you understand how you may establish paternity, contact a dedicated Chicago family law attorney at the law firm of The Taradash Group, P.C. today. Our skilled lawyers have the knowledge and dedication to help you resolve your paternity issue.How to Establish Paternity in Illinois
Any child born to married parents is presumed to be the child of those parents. In other situations that are not so cut and dry, Illinois has devised several different ways to establish paternity:
- Having both parents sign a “Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity” form;
- Having an administrative hearing in front of the Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) Child Support Services; or
- Having a judge enter an order of paternity.
In each of the above situations, there is a 60-day period for a party to change his or her mind. The 60 days starts from when the order was filed. However, even if the 60 days has not yet run, if there is an administrative or judicial proceeding involving the child, paternity cannot be withdrawn.Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity
Out of the three ways listed above, the Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity is the easiest. Most often, this is done at the hospital when the child is born. However, if a child is born to unmarried parents, the Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity can be filled at out any time provided a person who is over the age of 18 and not related to either of the parents witnesses the execution of the document.Rescinding a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity
Once a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (V.A.P.) is signed, it is difficult to cancel. There are basically two ways to cancel a V.A.P.: one is to “rescind” and the other is to “challenge.” Under Illinois law, the time frame in which to rescind is short. One can also “challenge” a V.A.P., but only on the basis of fraud, duress or material mistake of fact.What if Paternity is Disputed?
In some cases, the alleged father of a child may not believe that he is indeed the true father. In such cases, the State of Illinois has determined that DNA paternity tests may be administered to establish paternity. DNA tests can prove with 100% certainty that a man is not a child’s father. They can also prove to a near certainty that a man is a child’s father. In Illinois, if the results of the DNA test show that the man is 1000 times more likely to be the parent than a randomly selected man, he is presumed to be the parent.Are You in Need of an Experienced Family Law Attorney?
If you’re seeking an attorney to assist you in establishing paternity, contact the Chicago matrimonial law firm, The Taradash Group, P.C.. The skilled and dedicated Chicago family lawyers at The Taradash Group, P.C. have ample experience in all matters relating to paternity, including child support, adoption, divorce, legal separation, etc. Meeting with an attorney before any papers are filed is a good way to understand what your rights are and what you might expect as you move forward. To contact The Taradash Group, P.C., fill out our online form or call our offices at (312) 775-1020. We proudly serve clients throughout the Chicagoland area, including Lake, Will, and DuPage Counties.