Reviewing Illinois’ paternity laws

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in fathers’ rights on Friday, October 12, 2018.

The moment that you learn you are going to be a father can be quite shocking, particularly if you are not married to the child’s mother. Many men from Bloomington come to us here at the Stange Law Firm in this scenario with the same sentiments. Some may be excited at the prospect, others may question the validity of such claims, and others might feel conflicted. Whichever of those groups you happen to fall into, it is important that you understand the local laws regarding men in your position.

Interestingly, a DNA test alone is often not considered to be sufficient evidence to establish paternity. Instead, the state has established guidelines that presume paternity. Per Section 46/204 of the Illinois Parentage Act, you are presumed to be the father of a child in any of the following scenarios:

  • The child was born while you and their mother were married, or were in a civil union (or similar legal relationship)
  • The child was born within 300 days of the end of your marriage, civil union (or similar relationship) with their mother
  • You entered into a legal relationship with the child’s mother (that was later declared invalid) within 300 days prior to their birth
  • Your marry or enter into a civil union (or similar legal relationship) after the child is born and you consent to have your name listed as a parent on their birth certificate

The aforementioned presumptions will often be the basis of a court order establishing paternity. If you wish to assume paternity voluntarily, you can do so be signing a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity along with the child’s mother. A VAP can also be rescinded if you petition to so within 60 days of its filing date.

More information on paternity issues in Illinois can be found here on our site.

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