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New legislation inspired by real child support case

Illinois family law legislation is intended to, among other things, protect children while upholding the rights of both parents. Policies regarding issues like child support are in place to help guarantee that mothers and fathers meet their responsibilities as parents, providing for the financial needs of their kids. And while thousands of child support agreements are settled upon each year, there are instances where such arrangements should be reconsidered or even dissolved. In fact, one fairly unique case involving paternity and child support issues has prompted the state of Illinois to consider enacting new legislation.

The case that started it all involves a man who has been paying child support for years for a boy he never met. Even though he didn’t meet the child he assumed to be his son until around 11 years after the boy’s birth, the man claims that he believed he was in fact the boy’s father. That is why he opted out of taking a paternity test in 2001, and only decided to do so after meeting the child in 2011. Unfortunately for the man, by the time he was ready to contest his paternity and be relieved from making support payments, it was well beyond the statute of limitation.

The proposed piece of legislation would allow DNA evidence to be used even after the statute of limitations is up to challenge paternity. The bill just passed through the state senate with a unanimous vote. Some legislatures are pleasantly surprised by how easily it passed, as a matter of fact.

Even though this particular bill may only impact a few cases if it passes into law, it gives men the opportunity they deserve to question their paternity and respond accordingly under the law.

Source: News-Gazette, “Child-support bill approved,” Tom Kacich, April 24, 2013

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