Paternity Lawyer Lake Forest, IL
Part of the divorce or separation process, when a child is involved, is determining who pays child support and how much. But even before the court can order child support, paternity needs to be established. Establishing paternity is not always an easy task.
Until paternity is established by the courts, the father of a child is not generally granted any legal responsibilities or rights, including child support responsibilities and custody/visitation rights. A paternity case can be requested by either parent or the court can choose to proceed with the case independent of a parent specifically requesting action. An experienced Lake Forest, IL paternity lawyer can answer questions you may have concerning proving paternity, child support and/or child custody matters.
Unmarried Parents and Presumed Father
If the parents are not married when a child is born, determining the legal father can be accomplished in a few ways. In order to establish paternity, both parents can agree on the paternity or the biological father can create an affidavit stating he is the father. In either case, child support is required of an admitted father. It is important to double check that this is the process established by your state of residence. An experienced Lake Forest, IL paternity lawyer can help you to ensure that you have followed all proper protocol for establishing paternity if you and your child’s other parent are unmarried.
If the child was conceived or born when the couple was married, most states will presume that the husband is the child’s biological father. However, in some states, if the couple was not together at the time of conception or birth, the presumption of paternity may be invalidated.
If the man wishes to repute the paternity he would generally file a legal request to do so with the court. It is important that if the man wishes to do this, he must contact Lake Forest, IL paternity lawyer as soon as possible. If this is not done in a timely manner, the court may rule that a father must pay child support even if a child is not biologically his.
A man may be presumed to be the father if the following situations are true:
After the child was born the couple were legally married and the husband agreed to put his name on the child’s birth certificate or agreed to financially support the child
The man tried to marry the mother and during that time period the child was conceived or born
The child was welcomed into the man’s home and the man regarded the child as his own.
If the court believes that an unwed man is the biological father of a child, he is said to be the alleged father. In presumed paternity, it is the responsibility of the father to prove the allegation is false. The court must offer an alleged father the right to take a DNA or other paternity tests prior to proceeding to any child support case. An experienced Lake Forest, IL paternity lawyer can help you, if you find yourself affected by similar circumstances.
Never ignore any paternity petitions from the court. If you do not respond to the petition, the court could issue a default judgment against you. This could result in the judge declaring you as the biological father even without doing a paternity test. Bottom line, if you ignore the court, you could pay child support to a child that is not biologically yours.
Contact an Attorney
If you have questions concerning paternity issues and child support, please consider contacting an experienced Lake Forest, Illinois paternity lawyer. The legal team at Hurst, Robin & Kay, LLC would be happy to answer your questions and advise you as to your legal options at this time. Please consider scheduling a confidential, risk-free consultation today. We look forward to speaking with you.