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Establishing paternity important in child support cases

Moms and dads often look forward to the birth of their child. After months of planning and dreaming, the little bundle of joy arrives and the lives of two Illinois residents are forever changed. At least this is what happens in many cases. However, in other instances, the question of paternity may arise and the need to establish child support may be a concern.

Paternity involves identifying the baby's father. If the mother is married, or was married or involved in a civil union within 300 days of when the child is born, the man is presumed to be the father. Or, if unmarried and not married within 300 days of birth, the man she names as the birth father is designated as the "alleged father" until paternity is established through voluntary acknowledgment or paternity testing.

Establishing paternity is important for a variety of reasons. In addition to providing child support for the child, the proper paperwork allows the father to add the child to his medical insurance. Additionally, this information is often necessary for the child to receive needed medical information and to be eligible to receive the father's Social Security or other benefits if he dies.

Paternity is an important consideration in Illinois child support cases. When there is no question as to who the father is, and the father acknowledges the child, the paperwork to establish paternity can be completed at the hospital or at the individual's convenience and filed. However, if this is not the case, it may be necessary to take legal action.

Source: illinois.gov, "Child Support Services", Accessed on Jan. 17, 2018

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