Why is it important to establish paternity for your child?

The establishment of paternity puts into play the issues involving the rights and obligations of the parents/child(ren). Issues such as parenting time, decision-making, support of the child, and other child-related issues can be addressed after the establishment of paternity.

How is paternity acknowledged in Illinois?

There are several different ways to legally acknowledge paternity. Some of these are automatic and others require more effort. These include the following:

  • Marriage: Generally, if you are married at the time the child is conceived, the husband is assumed to be the father.
  • Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity: Many couples sign this and the birth certificate at the hospital. It is filed with the Department of Healthcare and Family Services.
  • Administrative Paternity Order: Established by Healthcare and Family Child Support Services.
  • Order of Paternity: A judge can enter the paternity through a court order. They might order a paternity test to complete this judgement.
How can your child benefit if the father acknowledges paternity?

Your child is entitled to financial support from both parents. This support could include child support, contribution to daycare, extracurricular activities, and school expenses, among other expenses for the child(ren).

Other important reasons that could benefit your child include:

  • Health insurance, medical history information
  • Social Security benefits
  • Inheritance

If you need to establish paternity, you may need legal assistance.

Just remember – there are no problems, only solutions.