As a father, you love your child unconditionally, but sometimes divorce can compromise your fatherly rights. Or, if you were never married to the mother, she could make it difficult for you to see or have a relationship with your child. In either situation, you must take action to ensure you are a part of the child’s life. For questions about asserting your rights as your child’s father, speak to one of our fathers’ rights lawyers in Chicago at Gordon & Perlut, LLC.
Under the law, paternity is the legal relationship between a father and child. If you are married to the child’s mother, your name will be on the child’s birth certificate as the father. If you are not married to the mother, you may need the help of a fathers’ rights attorney to assert your paternal rights. You and the child have rights under the law that are asserted when proper legal documents show paternity.
After you prove paternity, the child has more personal and financial security because it has been proven you are the father. Also, the child will be eligible for life and health insurance, as well as possible Social Security benefits. Furthermore, the child will also be able to inherit assets from you.
You are not required to prove paternity if you are married to the mother when the child is born; it is assumed that you are the father. But if you are not married to the mother, there are steps to take to prove paternity.
If you and the mother get along, you can sign a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (VAP) document. This document is for unmarried mothers and fathers who want to prove their child’s parentage. It is required that the form is completed, signed, and filed with the Department of Healthcare and Family Services. If you get along, you and the mother can take care of the VAP.
If you do not have an amicable relationship with the mother or are unsure if you are the child’s father, you may need to take additional legal steps. You can get a DNA paternity test, which only requires a swab of the child’s, father’s, and mother’s inside of the cheek to prove paternity.
If you and the mother get along, the DNA test can be done yourselves. But if you are not getting along, your fathers’ rights attorney could be a critical part of the process. A court order may be needed to prove that you are the child’s father. Only then will you fully assert your rights as the father.
If you are not married to your child’s mother, you could have difficulty asserting your fatherly rights, such as visitation and making major decisions affecting the child’s life. You should contact our fathers’ rights lawyer in Chicago at Gordon & Perlut, LLC in this situation. Our attorneys can provide detailed legal advice about what you need to do to assert your rights as your child’s father. For more information, call our Illinois legal office today at (312) 360-0250.