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What you should know about establishing paternity in Illinois

Many of our readers here probably know that child custody and support can be some of the most heavily contested family law issues in Illinois. After all, these issues deal directly with the most important thing to most people: their children. However, before these issues can be determined, establishing paternity is oftentimes an important first step that must be addressed.

Establishing paternity in Illinois

How do you go about establishing paternity in Illinois? One option is if both parents have signed a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity form, commonly referred to as a VAP, on which both parents essentially state formally that they both acknowledge that the person listed as the biological father of the child on that form is, in fact, the father. But, if this form isn’t filled out by the parents, then one parent or the other could seek a court order to establish paternity.

If one parent or the other seeks a court order, a simple first step in the process is to undergo a DNA test. This test is typically completed by rubbing a swab in the purported father’s mouth along the inside of the cheek, and then that sample is compared to the DNA of the child in question. If there is a “match,” then paternity is fairly conclusively established.

If you are seeking to establish paternity so that you can have a relationship with your child, or if you are a mother seeking to establish paternity so that the father will help with the upbringing of the child, there are many different legal aspects of the process to understand. Be sure to get the right information to establish paternity correctly.

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