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Decatur Paternity Lawyers

Paternity Case Representation in Macon County & Surrounding Areas

Paternity law establishes the parentage of fathers, generally in cases where a child is born to an unmarried mother. It can also establish the actual biological father of a child in other situations. Paternity becomes an important factor in establishing child support through the courts by mothers for the benefit of the child as well as custody and visitation rights for fathers seeking to play a role in their child’s life. However, establishing paternity is just the first step in these cases and does not automatically confer these rights by itself alone. 

If you need to establish paternity, whether as a mother seeking child support or as a father seeking custody rights, Hawkins, Amero & Root, P.C. can provide the assistance and representation you need. We are here to help you understand your legal rights and the issues that need to be resolved that are related to paternity. As a firm that focuses a large portion of its practice on Illinois family law, we are experienced and prepared to help you navigate the legal system in this vital matter. 

How Is Paternity Established in Illinois?

When a child is born to married parents, it is automatically presumed that the child’s biological father is the mother’s husband and thus the father is named on the child’s birth certificate. If the parents are unmarried, however, the father will not be listed on the birth certificate until his parentage has been established. 

Paternity can be established in the following ways:

  • The parents both sign a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity form. This is commonly done at the time of the child’s birth in the hospital.
  • The Illinois Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) Child Support Services establishes and enters an Administrative Paternity Order. This is usually done when a mother seeks to secure child support payments from the father. 
  • A family court judge establishes and enters an Order of Paternity after reviewing the facts and evidence. 

In a paternity case taken to court, the court generally requests DNA testing to prove or disprove a father’s parentage. If the alleged father in question refuses such a test, the court will likely rule against him.

Establishing paternity does not automatically grant legal parental rights to a biological father. Once paternity is established, the father then must take the additional steps of pursuing custody and visitation rights through a court order. Mothers who successfully establish the paternity of a child can then pursue child support court orders as well. 

Need help with a paternity case? Contact Hawkins, Amero & Root P.C. via email or by phone at (217) 599-6110 to arrange for a free initial consultation with a Decatur paternity attorney today. 

Turn to an Established Legal Team for Help with Paternity

If you are involved in a paternity issue or dispute, getting competent legal advice and guidance is vital. At Hawkins, Amero & Root P.C., we can help you in not only establishing paternity but with the additional legal follow-up of seeking child support and child custody rights. We can guide you through all of the legal processes and represent you in court in seeking your child’s best interests both financially and emotionally through legal parentage.

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