If you and a partner or former partner have a child together and are not married, your parental issues are addressed through a Parentage Action. Paternity cases involve issues such as establishing parentage, contesting parentage, obtaining DNA testing to determine parentage, parenting issues including allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time, child support, medical insurance, medical expenses and other issues relating directly to the child. Our family law attorneys and legal team at Gwendolyn J. Sterk and the Family Law Group can help you with the above mentioned matters.
Generally, voluntary acknowledgement of paternity by the mother and father is the simplest way to determine parentage. Alternatively, either parent can request that a DNA test be performed to verify parentage. Either way, it is important to establish the legal rights of the child.
Unless otherwise noted, a child born to a married couple is legally presumed to be the child of both parents. If another party believes he is the biological father, determining parentage is more complex than a voluntary acknowledgement. A DNA test may be required to override the legal presumption. Other factors may also affect the outcome.
We understand that parentage issues can be stressful and emotionally taxing, especially in situations with uncooperative partners. This is just the first step in your family law journey, and our legal team dedicates itself to guiding you throughout the entire family law process.
Once paternity is established, legal proceedings for support and allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time may begin. Either parent in Illinois can file an action with regard to parentage issues. If you have a child with an individual who is not your spouse, we can provide you necessary information to address your concerns. Even before the birth of your child, you should contact us to discuss your options.