It is common for people to hear about child custody determinations in divorce cases but those are not the only times when custody issues can surface. Some people in Illinois may be in situations in which the male parentage of a child is in question or needs to be established. As noted by the state's website, ChildSupportIllinois.com, for people who are married either when a child is conceived or born, the husband is automatically deemed to be the baby's legal father. However, when a baby is born to or conceived by an unwed mother, the establishment of paternity is legally required.
Paternity in Illinois can be established either via a father voluntarily accepting parentage and signing appropriate documentation. This can easily be completed at a hospital when a baby is born. A paternity case can also be confirmed via genetic testing either at the request of a man or of the court.
Determining paternity is important for multiple reasons. For starters, it can provide parental rights to the father. This also facilitates visitation and helps to create a relationship between father and child. A father may also choose to request joint custody with the mother. Once paternity is legally determined, a mother can request child support payments from the father. Children are also then able to be eligible for benefits such as Social Security disability when legally linked to their father.
The attorneys at Lois Kulinsky and Associates, Ltd. are well-versed in helping people navigate the determination of paternity and related issues.