The Effects of Establishing Paternity in Illinois
According to Illinois law, if an unmarried couple has a child together, the father will not have any legal rights regarding custody or visitation unless he establishes paternity. The mother will also not be able to obtain child support payments unless the father's paternity has been established. For establishing Paternity in Illinois, a man who believes himself to be the father of a child may register with the Putative Father Registry either before or within 30 days of a child's birth. This applies to establishing paternity in Illinois such as Cook County, Lake County, Palatine, Arlington Heights, Rolling Meadows, etc.
A father or mother can request a DNA test to establish paternity. A judge may also order a man to take a paternity test. Following that, the parents could try to work out a custody agreement that takes into account the best needs of the child. If either parent receives full physical custody, they can arrange a visitation schedule. The mother is not obligated to allow the father visitation until paternity is established.
While custody and visitation is part of a father's rights following a paternity test, the mother may also claim child support if she is granted custody. The mother may have to pay child support if the father is granted custody. Support amounts may be based on each parent's income, their respective percentages of custody and the needs of the child.
If you believe yourself to be the father of a child and are not married to the mother, you may wish to take a paternity test in order to establish your parental rights. This can be a complicated legal process, but the results can be rewarding for both you and your child. If you wish for more information, please visit our page on fathers' rights.
Source: The Law Offices of James M Kelly, "Paternity", October 15, 2014