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Illinois Paternity Lawyer Assisting Clients in Cook County
There are many reasons to establish paternity in Cook County, from the emotional needs of a child to situations in which a parent denies parentage in order to avoid contributing to the child support obligation. The Illinois Parentage Act of 2015 (750 ILCS 46/) governs most matters concerning paternity in Cook County and throughout the state.
If you need assistance with a paternity case, you should learn more about your options from a dedicated Cook County paternity attorney. At Arami Law, we have years of experience assisting clients in Cook County with a wide variety of family law matters, and we can speak with you today about your case.
Public Policy and Paternity in Cook County
In Illinois, paternity is defined as the legal relationship between a child and his or her father.
The process for determining paternity or parentage is taken extremely seriously in Cook County. According to the Act, the state recognizes that every child has a right to the physical, mental, emotional, and financial support of both parents. The Act emphasizes that this parent-child relationship the support the parents owe their children applies equally to all parent and all children, regardless of whether the parents are married or the age of the child.
In other words, Illinois emphasizes that every child has a right to a parent-child relationship, and to have clear information about paternity and parentage.
Presumption of Paternity in Cook County
Sometimes there is a presumption of paternity, and there is no need to file a lawsuit in order to establish paternity. More specifically, when the child’s mother either was married or in a civil union at the time of the child’s birth, or if the mother was married or in a civil union within 300 days of the child’s birth, then the mother’s partner is presumed to be the child’s father.
When there is no presumption of paternity, the mother or the child may need to file a lawsuit to establish paternity.
Establishing Paternity in Cook County, Illinois
How can a person establish paternity under Illinois law? Generally speaking, there are three different ways to establish paternity in the state:
- Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (VAP) form: Both parents need to complete and sign this form, and then file it with the Department of Healthcare and Family Services.
- Administrative Paternity Order: This order is created by the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services’ Child Support Services.
- Order of Paternity: This order establishes paternity through judicial means (i.e., by going to court).
Many parents do complete the VAP form immediately after childbirth at the hospital, and this form is sufficient to designate the child’s legal father.
Reasons to Establish Paternity in Cook County
There are many reasons to establish paternity for a child, including but not limited to:
- Child support;
- Social Security benefits from a deceased parent or a disabled father;
- Veteran’s benefits from a father who served in the armed forces;
- Inheritance from a father; and
- Health insurance benefits from a father.
Learn More From a Cook County Paternity Lawyer
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