Why Should I Establish Paternity?

Why Should I Establish Paternity?

By: Gordon & Perlut, LLC

Whether you are a parent (or you believe you are a biological parent), or you are an adult child and do not have legal proof of paternity, you might be thinking about establishing paternity. Establishing paternity is important, depending upon who you are — a parent, a possible parent, or a child.

If you are seeking to establish paternity in the Chicago area, you should know up front that paternity issues are governed by the Illinois Parentage Act of 2015. The following are just some of the reasons it may be important to establish paternity.

You Need to Move Forward with Child Support Collections

Under Illinois law, both parents of a child are responsible for contributing to a total child support obligation. Since Illinois uses the “income shares” model to determine the appropriate amount of child support for a particular child, the court will combine the incomes of both parents and will use that total figure to look at the appropriate amount of child support to be given each month, based on state guidelines and the total number of children. Next, the court will consider a variety of factors to figure out which portion of that child support obligation each of the parents will be responsible for paying.

If your child does not have a legal father and you need to seek child support, it will be critical to establish paternity. Without establishing paternity, you may not have any legal grounds for pursuing a child support action.

You Want to Seek Parental Responsibilities

In most circumstances, if you want to be eligible to allocate parental responsibilities (i.e., child custody), you will need to be recognized as the legal parent of the child. If you believe you are the biological father of a child, but paternity has not been established, it will be necessary to take steps to establish paternity under Illinois law. If you do not establish paternity in this circumstance, you will be ineligible for parental responsibilities, including significant decision-making responsibilities and parenting time.

You Want to Be Eligible for Your Parent’s Benefits

If you are an adult child but you do not have a legal father according to Illinois law, and you could be eligible for certain benefits through your legal parent, it is essential to establish paternity in order to prove you are eligible for those benefits. Examples of benefits may include Social Security benefits or certain types of insurance.

You Want to Know About Your Identity

Whether you simply want to know who your legal father is in order to trace back your family history and to learn more about your own identity, or you need information about genetic issues pertaining to your health, you may need to establish paternity.

Contact a Paternity Lawyer in the Chicago area

The process of establishing paternity can be complex, and it typically requires at least one court appearance (although situations can vary depending upon the particular facts of any given case). If you are in any of the above situations, it may be necessary, or at least be in your benefit, to establish paternity. A Chicago paternity lawyer can speak with you about your case. Contact Gordon & Perlut, LLC today.