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Why Should I Establish My Paternity in Illinois?

 Posted on March 23, 2024 in Family Law

IL family lawyerWhen a woman gives birth to a baby, the state of Illinois automatically recognizes her as the mother. If she is married to a man during the birth, her husband also gets automatic legal recognition as the baby’s father without needing to take a DNA test or prove it in any other way. If the mother is single when she gives birth, there is no one automatically recognized as the baby’s father. That means that if you are a single man who conceived a child, you are not considered the father unless you go through a process of establishing your paternity. Having your paternity legally recognized is a good idea for several reasons that can impact you, the baby’s mother, and even your baby. If you are going to be a father soon and you and the mother are not married, an experienced West Chicago, IL family attorney can help guide you through the process of establishing paternity.

Why Do I Need to Prove My Paternity Even if I Know I Am the Father?

If parents were married and then split up after their children were born, this will not impact their parental status in any way. When a marriage between parents ends, they need to agree to a settlement that addresses every aspect of how they will now raise their children in their new reality of living apart. This settlement protects both spouses. It protects both of their parental rights and also requires them to fulfill their responsibilities and obligations. If a father is supposed to pay child support and stops doing that, he can face legal punishments and consequences. If the father has visitation rights and the mother keeps him away from their child, she can face legal consequences. 

When a baby is born to unmarried people, the father has no legal obligations or rights regarding the child. That means that the mother cannot demand child support and the father cannot demand to see the child or make important decisions for her. But if the father establishes his paternity, it means that the child can have access to medical and other personal information about him, including his blood type and information about any genetic conditions that could affect the child. It also means that the child can be eligible for death benefits like life insurance, social security funds, pension, and veteran’s benefits, as well as any inheritance the father might leave behind. 

Schedule a Free Consultation With a Naperville, IL Paternity Lawyer

If you are about to become a father and you are not married to the baby’s mother, speak with a knowledgeable Winfield, IL family law attorney for guidance on how to establish your paternity. At Hensley Sendek Law, we offer free consultations. Call 630-358-9029 to schedule yours.

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