The process of establishing paternity can be very complex, with many steps to follow. However, this process is not impossible. The parents need to know how to navigate through the steps to ensure legal paternity for their child, and to establish healthy and mature relationships for the years to come.
Paternity is defined as the legal relationship the father has with his child. If the child was born when the parents were married, the father is automatically the legal father. If the child was born when the parents were not married, the father is considered the “alleged father.” Until paternity is legally established, the alleged father cannot have his name listed on the child’s birth certificate.
How to Establish Paternity
Establishing paternity can be handled in three different ways:
- Both parents complete, sign, and date the Illinois Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity form.
- The State of Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services enters an Administrative Paternity Order.
- A judge enters an Order of Paternity in court.
When the child is born, both parents can complete the Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity form at the hospital. The parents can read the instructions that explain how to complete the form, as well as understand the rights and responsibilities listed.
When the Healthcare and Family Services uses the process to obtain an Administrative Paternity Order, an interview will be conducted. This will be a face-to-face, phone, or mail interview, to receive information from the mother and to obtain her signature on paternity documents.
The Healthcare and Family Services will also schedule an interview with the alleged father to find out if he will acknowledge paternity, or to schedule paternity testing. Legal paternity may be established by default if the alleged father does not attend the interview.
Contact a Wheaton Family Law Attorney Today
It is always best for a child to develop a healthy relationship with his or her father in order to improve quality of life. Attorney Anthony Abear understands the complexity of the process of establishing paternity, and he is happy to assist you. Practicing law for almost twenty years, Attorney Abear established his own law firm in 2003 with the aspiration to help those who have been struggling with family law matters.
The skilled Wheaton paternity attorneys at Abear Law Offices would love to help you in any way possible. To schedule your free initial consultation, please call our office at 630-904-3033 today.