How to Initiate the Paternity Process

When paternity, also known as parentage in Illinois, is not legally established, it is essential to begin working with an Illinois paternity lawyer to find out about your options for initiating the paternity process under Illinois law. Paternity cases generally will be governed by the Illinois Parentage Act of 2015, which clarifies the ways in which parentage can be established under state law. In Illinois, the law also recognizes that multiple parties may have an interest in establishing paternity and thus recognizes the right of a child’s biological mother, a person who believes he is the child’s biological father, and the child to petition for the court to establish parentage.

Establishing paternity follows a particular process under Illinois law. While you should always work with an attorney on your case, we want to provide you with more information about how to initiate the paternity process 

Begin by Filling Out and Filing Necessary Parentage Forms

The first step in any process to establish paternity is to fill out required parentage forms and to file those forms with the appropriate court.

The petition you file will depend upon your situation and whether you are the child’s biological mother or an alleged father, according to the Illinois Parentage Act. Once you fill out the appropriate petition form, you will need to move on to other firms that include notice and a summons form. Then you will need to file all required forms in the appropriate court. In most parentage cases, the forms will be filed in the county where the child currently resides, although there are some exceptions that you should discuss with an attorney.

Provide the Other Party With Notice About the Case

The notice form and summons you fill out, and file are part of the process of providing the other parent (or presumed parent) with notice of the case. Typically, the sheriff’s office in the county where the parent lives who is being served will provide services of process. What this means is that the sheriff’s office will serve that parent (or presumed parent) with the court papers. In cases where you do not know the other party’s address, you will need to fill out an Affidavit of Last Known Address form and move forward accordingly.

Plan for the Paternity Hearing

Finally, you will need to plan for the paternity hearing with assistance from your lawyer. Parentage is often determined with genetic testing. Beyond getting ready for this aspect of the hearing, you should also make plans, based on your particular situation, concerning the allocation of parental responsibilities or child support collections.

Contact Our Illinois Paternity Attorneys Today for Assistance

Whether you are a father who needs to establish paternity in order to be allocated parental responsibilities, a parent with primary parental responsibilities seeking to establish paternity in order to collect child support, or a child who wants to establish paternity, one of the experienced paternity lawyers in Illinois at our firm can discuss your options with you. There are many different reasons that parties initiate the paternity process, and we are here to provide you with legal representation throughout your paternity case. Contact Arami Law, Inc. today for more information about establishing paternity in Illinois. 

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