When you have a child with someone in Illinois and the two of you were not in a marriage, you need to establish paternity if you wish to either collect child support or secure parenting time for that child. There are several different ways to establish paternity in Illinois, and doing so offers numerous benefits for the child at the center of the matter.
Per the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, the state automatically considers parents involved in civil unions or marriages at the time of a baby’s birth to be the child’s valid, legal parents. Otherwise, the presumed father becomes an “alleged father” until the state establishes legal paternity. The following are some of the ways you might establish paternity in Illinois.
By filling out an Acknowledgement of Paternity form
You may establish paternity if both you and your child’s other parent agree about who fathered the child and sign a voluntary form dictating as much.
By having a child support agency enter an order
Another way to establish paternity in Illinois involves having a state child support agency enter an Administrative Paternity order after genetic testing takes place.
By having a judge issue an Order of Paternity
Another way to establish paternity that involves genetic testing is to have a court judge issue an Order of Paternity.
While establishing paternity helps mothers collect child support and fathers secure rights to their children, it also benefits the child involved to know who his or her father is. Knowing the identity of his or her father helps a child learn about his or her medical history, and it may also expand that child’s familial and other resources, among other benefits.