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DuPage County parentage lawyersUnder Illinois state law, every child has the right to receive emotional, physical, mental, and financial support from both parents. Fathers also have the right to seek parenting time with their biological children, regardless of the status of their relationship with the child's natural mother. But when a child is born to unmarried parents, legal paternity must be established before any rights can be enforced. If you are an unmarried parent, or suspected of being the father of a child, understanding what parentage is and how it can be established is very important.

What is Parentage?

When children are born to married parents, there is little question about their parentage, or the identity of their father. If the child's parents later divorce, the father is legally able to seek parenting time with the child and has an obligation to support the child. However, children who are born to unmarried parents do not have this same built-in parentage. While the tie to their mother is automatic, the paternity (biological tie to the father) must be legally established before it can be considered valid.

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Illinois family law attorney, establishing legal parentagePaternity can be established in a number of different ways under Illinois law. Establishing paternity is important because, once established, a court can allocate parental responsibilities (formerly known as custody), allocate parenting time, and order child support. The level of complexity in establishing paternity depends upon the particular circumstances of the individuals involved.

Paternity Determinations

Under Illinois law, paternity is established through any of the following means:

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Illinois family law attorney, establish paternityWhen a father wishes to establish paternity, there are several important factors to consider. The official establishment of paternity allows a biological father to secure visitation or other custody rights and thereby begin to foster the development of a relationship with his child.

Rights and Benefits

When paternity is established, a biological father is granted certain rights, such as the right to have input on issues related to his child. These issues may include decisions regarding a child's education, medical care and religion. Therefore, establishing paternity can positively impact the indicators of a child's well-being, such as school performance and behavior.

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From our law office in Wheaton, IL the family law and civil litigation law attorneys of Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick and Mirabella, represent businesses and individual clients throughout the western suburbs of Chicago, Illinois including Wheaton, Naperville, Oak Brook, Glen Ellyn, Carol Stream, Lombard, Downers Grove, Burr Ridge, Lisle, Elmhurst, Oakbrook Terrace, Winfield, Woodridge, Warrenville and throughout DuPage, Kane and Kendall Counties.

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