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What Fathers Must Know About Illinois Paternity Laws

When a child is born, having a relationship with both parents is in the child’s best interests. But sometimes one parent might deny the father’s paternity. When there are questions about paternity, who the child’s father is must be legally established if the father will have any parental rights under the law. Learn more about paternity in Illinois below. If you have questions, our Illinois fathers’ rights lawyers at Dan Walker Law Office can help you.

Why Is Establishing Paternity Important?

There are many reasons you should establish paternity for your child:

  • If the mother and father live together, child support is not usually a problem. But if they do not, the mother and father may be obligated to pay child support, have health insurance, and pay educational and medical expenses.
  • The parties can work together to make decisions that are in the child’s best interests.
  • By exposing the child to both parents and sides of the family, parents will bond better with their children and give them a feeling of being connected and included. Also, the child will enjoy several benefits when paternity is proven:
  • The birth certificate has both parents’ names.
  • The child can obtain medical histories from both sides of the family.
  • A child can apply for Social Security, medical insurance, and other state, federal, and inheritance benefits through their legal father.

How To Establish Paternity In Illinois

There are four ways you can prove paternity in Illinois. They are:

  • Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (VAP) document
  • Administrative paternity order from the Department of Healthcare and Family Services Child Support Services
  • A paternity action to obtain a paternity order from a judge
  • Marriage after the child is born

Signing The Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity

This is the simplest way to prove paternity. You should be given the VAP when you go to the medical facility to deliver the baby. If both parties agree, they should sign and date the VAP before a witness of at least 18. The father’s name is then put on the birth certificate. Signing the VAP is stating that the person signing is the biological father and both parties agree to support the child financially.

Administrative Paternity Order

The next way to prove paternity is through an administrative support order. Illinois Child Support Services is interested in paternity cases because it is critical that both parents financially support children. You can contact the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services Child Support Services if you need help proving paternity.

File A Paternity Action

The next way to prove paternity is through the judicial system. A paternity action can be filed by the mother, child, pregnant woman, government agency with child custody, or the alleged father. The paternity case is heard in circuit court in the county where the party or parties live. At the end of the hearing, the judge will determine if the alleged father is the baby’s biological father. If so, the judge will issue the final paternity order.


The last way to prove paternity is for the father and mother to marry after the baby is born.

Talk To Our Illinois Fathers’ Rights Lawyers Today

Proving paternity has many critical benefits for the parents and the child. If you need assistance with paternity issues contact our Illinois fathers’ rights lawyers at Dan Walker Law Office can help at (630) 920-8800.

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