Disputing Paternity Presumption

Illinois paternity lawyer, Illinois family law attorneyA mother and child relationship establishes at the time of birth; except under surrogacy laws, the woman giving birth is the presumed mother. If the mother is married, in a civil union, or in another similar legal situation at the time of conception or delivery, the spouse assumes the role of the presumed father. The process cuts down on a significant amount of paperwork, thereby streamlining the process at the joyous birth of the child. However, occasionally new information comes to light in which the presumed father is not the biologically the father of the child. Many men in this situation opt to sever the legal paternity ties with the child.

Presumed paternity extends for almost a year past divorce.

For up to 300 days following a divorce, any child born remains covered by the presumed-parentage laws. What this means is that if you were on a “break,” separated, cheated on, or already in the middle of a divorce, if the woman in the relationship conceives and births a child before that 300-day mark, the child is legally yours. There are steps to refute the process. You may enter a Denial of Parentage form if you know the child is not yours at the hospital. Other necessary steps include:

  • If you signed a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (VAP) form, you can rescind the form within the first 60-days,
  • The mother and true father both need to file a VAP.
  • If they will not sign, evidentiary support proving your denial is necessary, such as:
    • Proof that you had no contact at the time of conception, i.e., you were out of the country; or
    • Genetic testing.

Act quickly; time runs out.

You have up to two years after the discovery that the child may not be yours to rebut presumed parentage. Therefore, while there may be a moral dilemma of whether you want to maintain a paternal relationship, remember that paternity is simply the legal ties and has less to do with the emotional bond. You may still be able to maintain a mentoring and loving relationship with the child, yet free of the legal obligations. Remember, paternity requires your involvement with all of the following issues:

  • Financial support,
  • Life provisions (food, water, shelter, clothing, etc.),
  • Medical care,
  • Dental care,
  • School attendance,
  • Inheritance, and
  • Military enlistment.

Ask an attorney.

A discovery of this nature shakes the world of any parent. However, the relationship in question is not between you and the mother; it is between you and the child. Remember, severing paternity also breaks any legal obligation for her to allow you visitation and a say in the upbringing of the child. If you would like to discuss this complicated matter with a proven and compassionate DuPage County, IL paternity lawyer, contact the Law Office of Martoccio & Martoccio today. We proudly offer a free consultation to answer any of your questions you may have. Take advantage of this opportunity by calling 630-920-8855 today.






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