In cases where the biological parents are not in a civil union or married when their child is born, the biological father is not “legally” recognized as the child’s father. Even in cases where the parents are residing in the same home and they have plans for marriage, the father’s name may not be added to their child’s birth certificate until paternity has been legally established.
Establishing paternity is very important and provided children with special rights such as:
- Child support and other financial support
- Health and life insurance benefits
- Inheritance rights
- Access to biological parent’s medical history and information
- Social Security
- Veteran’s benefits
This process of legally establishing paternity enables the father to parenting time (visitation) and paves the way for legal responsibilities such as child support.
In the State of Illinois, parents who want certain rights and responsibilities for their child must determine paternity through the legal system to define those parental rights. These rights would include decision-making rights, custodial arrangements, visitation schedules, and child support payments. If you want to establish paternity legally or if you are trying to contest a paternity claim, you need an attorney to help you through the legal process.