How Paternity Laws Work in Illinois

dupage county paternity lawyerPaternity in Illinois is relatively straightforward when it comes to married couples. A woman’s husband is presumed to be the father of a child automatically when the couple is married. However, complications arise with children born out of wedlock. Paternity needs to be established in such cases, and one of the simplest ways this is accomplished is through a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (VAP) that both parents sign and submit to the  the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS). Establishing paternity without a VAP usually requires either an administrative paternity order or order of paternity.

How Contested Paternity Suits Work

It is important to note that the Illinois Parentage Act presumes that a man is the father of a child if he and the mother are married. However, there are situations in which this assumption may be wrong. There are also situations in which the child’s father is unknown or uncertain. Situations like these often lead to paternity lawsuits. 

‍A paternity suit seeking to establish a father-child relationship may be filed by a mother, any person claiming to be a child's father, any person or agency that has custody of a child, any person or agency currently providing financial assistance to a child, or a child. ‍A suit to declare the non-existence of a father-child relationship can only be filed by a child's natural mother, a presumed father of a child, or a child. 

A paternity case will be initiated by a petitioning parent to determine paternity and serve a responding parent with a summons. Suits can be filed in circuit courts for any county where either party resides. 

Paternity suits seeking to establish the existence of a father-child relationship can be filed until a child turns 20 years of age. Any action to declare the non-existence of a parent-child relationship needs to be filed within two years of a father obtaining knowledge about the relevant facts.

DNA testing is often used to verify the biological relationship between a child and the child’s alleged father. A simple cheek swab is usually all that is necessary to get the results that can determine whether a man is a child’s father.

Call Us Today to Speak with a DuPage County Paternity Attorney

Are you currently in need of help with any kind of paternity action in Illinois? You will want to be sure you are working with the Hinsdale paternity lawyers at Law Office of Martoccio & Martoccio.

Call 630-920-8855 or contact us online to arrange a free initial consultation.



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