7000 W. 127th Street, Palos Heights, IL 60463

708-448-LAWS [708-448-5297]

Law Office of James A. Podgorny

Palos Heights Paternity Lawyer

Midlothian paternity lawyers

Family Law Attorney for Parentage Cases in Hickory Hills, Crestwood, and Alsip

When a child is born to parents who are unmarried or not in a civil union, a father's name cannot be placed on the birth certificate until the establishment of paternity, which is the legal relationship between a child and their father. This is true regardless of whether the parents currently reside together, intend to marry, or are no longer involved.

Paternity must be confirmed in order for child support, the allocation of parental responsibilities, and parenting time to be established. It is also a requirement for a child to be eligible for health and life insurance, Social Security benefits from a deceased or disabled parent, veteran's benefits, and even some aspects of inheritance.

Most fathers want to know if a child is theirs, but some attempt to hide from their possible responsibility. Similarly, most mothers want to know who their child's father is, but some intentionally tell an individual who is not the actual parent that the child is theirs.

Whether you are a mother looking to establish paternity for support reasons, a father who wants to establish paternity, or someone who is not sure and wishes to get definitive answers, the Law Office of James A. Podgorny can help. We take an aggressive approach in all family law matters, and our goal is to protect your rights and those of your children.

How Do You Establish Paternity in Illinois?

When two individuals are certain of paternity upon conception, they can file a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity (VAP) with the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS). This legal document allows a father's name to be added to a newborn's birth certificate. If one of the parents listed on the VAP wishes to cancel it after it is signed, they must complete a rescission of VAP request form and file it with HFS within 60 days of the VAP effective date.

The Law Office of James A. Podgorny can help ensure your VAP is filled out correctly, that it is properly witnessed as required by law, and that it has been filed with HFS. We will act quickly so you are free from difficulties when your baby's birth certificate is issued.

Paternity Tests in Illinois

Sometimes, mothers and potential fathers are unsure who a child's father is. If this is your situation, you should not sign a VAP, but instead confirm paternity through a genetic test, which can be performed either during pregnancy or after childbirth.

A paternity test determines whether a man is the father by comparing DNA of the child, mother, and possible father. These tests, which involve swabbing the inside of a person's cheek for a DNA sample, are essentially 100 percent accurate. At-home paternity tests are not allowed for official court records. A paternity test must be administered by a medical professional for acceptance by the court. Once paternity is established, the parties can sign and file a VAP.

Not all alleged fathers voluntarily commit to a paternity test. If you are a mother who faces this scenario, the Law Office of James A. Podgorny can file a paternity suit to legally compel an individual to take a DNA test, with an order of paternity issued by a judge. We can also file a paternity lawsuit for a possible or presumptive father who seeks to establish paternity that a mother has denied, or for a child or children for whom paternity was never settled.

Contact an Oak Lawn Family Law Attorney

Whether you and your partner want to establish paternity together or you face a contentious paternity case, the Law Office of James A. Podgorny is ready to help. Contact an Orland Park family lawyer at 708-448-5297 for a free consultation. We serve clients throughout Oak Forest, Crestwood, Joliet, Palos Park, Palos Hills, Worth, Alsip, and Burbank.

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