Tag Archives: Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity

IL divorce lawyerThe legal relationship between a father and his child is known as paternity in Illinois. When a child’s parents are married, legal action is not necessary to establish paternity. However, if their parents are not married, a court order or formal document is necessary for the establishment of paternity. If possible, both parents should start the process of proving paternity as soon as possible.

A Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity Form

In Illinois, the easiest method of establishing paternity is for both parents to sign a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity. An Administrative Paternity Order by the Department of Healthcare and Family Services Child Support Services, or a court Order of Paternity are other options. In the event it is unclear who the father may be, parties should not sign the Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity.

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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:

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Illinois family law attorney, Illinois paternity lawyerUnder the Illinois Parentage Act of 2015 (750 ILCS 46), the determination of parentage is defined as the establishment of the parent-child relationship through the voluntary and legal acknowledgment of a declared minor child. In the event the parents of the child were not legally married before or following the birth of a child, Illinois law requires the alleged father to establish positive paternity via a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity (VAP) form following the legal establishment of paternity through voluntary declaration or testing before his name can be recorded on the child’s birth certificate.

Currently there are three ways to establish legal paternity in the state of Illinois of which include:

  • Both parents voluntary complete, sign and bear witnesses on the VAP form;
  • An Administrative Paternity Order is requested by the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) Child Services; or
  • An Order of Paternity is requested by the Illinois judicial system.

If parentage is in question, the HFS may opt to establish paternity through established guidelines under their administrative process or seek to establish paternity through the judicial process.

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