What is the definition of Paternity?

Paternity is a legal relationship between a father and his child.

Why does establishing Paternity matter?

If a father’s name is not on the birth certificate, he has no legal rights to the child. Although he may be the biological father, he is not the legal father because his name has been omitted from the legal document. He needs to establish paternity.

How do I establish paternity?

There are 3 ways to establish Paternity in Illinois:

  • Both parents complete, sign and have witnessed/dated a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity form
  • An Administrative Paternity Order is entered by the State of Illinois’ Department of Healthcare and Family Services’ (HFS) Child Support Services
  • An Order of Paternity is entered in court by a judge

What will happen in Court?

If there is a dispute over the paternity of a child, the Court can order a DNA test to determine the biological father.

What is a DNA test?

A paternity test is a genetic test that compares the DNA of a child, mother, and alleged father to determine whether the man is or is not the biological father of a child. In most instances, DNA is obtained by swabbing the inside of a person’s cheek. If the man tested is not the biological father, the genetic testing results will prove that with 100% certainty.
paternity test

What happens if the DNA test says I’m the father?

Your name will be placed on the birth certificate so you are legal father also.
After that a Parenting Plan and Child Support can be specified by the judge.

How do I get my name off the birth certificate because I’m not the biological father?

If you signed a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity, it can be withdrawn if either parent signs a Rescission of Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity form and has it witnessed. It must be received by HFS within 60 days of the date the VAP was signed or the date of an administrative or judicial proceeding related to the child, whichever comes first.
unknown father

What if it’s more than 60 days after I signed the VAP?

You can challenge it in Court only on the basis of fraud, duress or material mistake of fact. You will need to provide the proof that one of those happened.

Specifics are provided by the State of Illinois Paternity Information Page.

Confused by all these terms? Call us at (312) 558-9100 for a free phone consultation.