Paternity Lawyer Lake Forest, IL
If you wish to establish the identity of your child’s father, our paternity lawyer in Lake Forest, IL from Hurst, Robin & Kay, LLC can help you. We also accept clients who wish to prove that they are the father of a child in order to petition for visitation rights. Paternity laws can be confusing, and a paternity ruling is legally binding which makes it imperative to hire an experienced IL paternity lawyer in Lake Forest. Contact us to learn how we can assist you with the process of establishing paternity.
Paternity Laws Across the Country
Paternity laws vary from state to state. This may be an issue if you are a resident of one state and the child or the other parent is a resident of another state. We can review the details of your case to determine if residency or variances in state laws will affect you. In most instances, the mother of a child files a paternity suit against a man from whom she wishes to collect child support. If the man does not deny he is the father, or if he voluntarily agrees to pay child support, we can provide legal advice as to whether or not a suit is necessary.
If the alleged father resides in a different state than the mother and child, we may request a default judgement against him if he does not respond to the complaint filed against him. Along with the judgement against the alleged father, the Court may issue an order that he pay child support. Should this occur, the state in which he resides will honor the paternity rulings made by the Judge in your state. This ensures that the paternity rulings will be legally binding.
Contesting a Paternity Claim
When either the mother or the alleged father wishes to contest paternity, should the case go to Court, the Judge will require the mother, alleged father, and the child to submit to DNA testing. The results will be reviewed by the Judge and will strongly influence the decision making process. Your paternity lawyer in Lake Forest, Illinois can provide you with the accuracy threshold that is required in Illinois for proving the validity of the paternity claim. Important points to keep in mind:
- If the alleged father refuses to take a paternity test, the Court can order him to undergo one regardless. Talk to our Lake Forest, IL paternity lawyer to learn more.
- If the paternity test result is positive, the father can contest the result and request another test. However, the burden of paying for it will likely rest on his shoulders.
- If a second paternity test result is positive, the father will legally be recognized as the father by the Court.
If you are looking into establishing paternity while also considering child custody or support, you need the help of a paternity lawyer in Lake Forest at Hurst, Robin & Kay, LLC. 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. We 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. We 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 a 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 was 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, Illinois 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.
How do I modify child support orders if I am not the father?
Family life rarely stays relatively predictable for long. Kids get sick, the work and/or educational needs of family members change, parents face financial challenges, and on and on. Thankfully, the law recognizes that families evolve and the needs of children evolve over time.
As a result, family law courts provide mechanisms by which parents may mutually agree on modifications to their existing child custody orders and by which parents may formally request such modifications even if a child’s other parent does not agree to the change. One of these situations is when one of the people responsible for the child takes a paternity test and discovers they are not a parent.
These are the two primary ways that parents modify existing child custody orders. They either work with their attorneys and each other in order to formalize agreed-upon modifications or they work with attorneys to request that the court rule upon a requested change in their favor. This can be done with the help of an IL paternity lawyer at Hurst, Robin & Kay, LLC. These potential paths toward child support modification are relevant for both parents who are required by law to pay child support and parents who receive child support payments.
In general, courts are usually content to approve modifications that have been agreed upon by both parents, provided that the requested changes do not significantly interfere with a child’s best interests. A modification situation tends to become a bit more difficult to navigate when one parent is seeking a change that the other parent does not agree with, especially if the alleged father is now seeking not to pay future child support payments because new information has come to light.
Family law judges only tend to rule in favor of one-sided modification requests if certain criteria are met. These criteria often vary from state to state, so it is important to speak with an experienced lawyer in Lake Forest, IL for paternity testing about your unique circumstances, if you are interested in pursuing a one-sided modification request. But in general, either a child’s needs or a parent’s financial situation must have changed in a truly significant way before a judge will approve a support modification request that has not been agreed upon by both parents. De-establishing paternity is one of these significant changes.
Child Support Assistance Is Available
If you are interested in modifying your existing child support orders because you have found new information after taking a paternity test, please consider scheduling a consultation with our team. Every family’s situation is different, so it is generally a good idea to speak with an attorney before deciding that a specific approach to modification best fits your situation. In addition to advising you about your legal options, an attorney will be able to explain how unique state laws may impact your situation. Once your choices have been informed by an attorney’s guidance, you will be able to move forward in your decision-making process more confidently.
Contact an Attorney
If you have questions concerning paternity issues and child support, please consider contacting us today. Our legal team would be happy to answer your questions and can advise you as to your legal options at this time. Please consider scheduling a confidential, risk-free consultation today with a Lake Forest paternity lawyer in Illinois from Hurst, Robin & Kay, LLC.