At Johnson and Johnson, we have helped many Illinois fathers pursue their parental rights. We understand how difficult it can be to be isolated from your child. As such, we work hard to ensure that you receive the visitations and custody time to which you are entitled. However, we also appreciate that paternity is a complicated legal issue. Prior to pursuing paternity, we make sure that our clients fully understand the consequences of taking such action.
According to the Illinois Legal Aid website, paternity comes with both rights and obligations. The rights of a legal father include visitation, the chance to petition for custody and a voice in how your child is raised. These rights may, however, be restricted if the child’s mother is able to prove that you pose a danger to your child.
Along with these rights come certain obligations. One of the most substantial of these is child support. If you are the legal father of a child, you must provide financial support until that child reaches 18 years of age. In addition, you may be required to cover certain child-related expenses, such as medical insurance premiums and educational costs. These financial responsibilities exist regardless of whether you are allowed to see your child.
It is important to note that seeking paternity does not have to be a contentious issue. As noted by the ILA, you may be able to do so by signing a voluntary acknowledgment of parentage/paternity. If your child is not yet born, providing written permission to be listed on your baby’s birth certificate is also an option.
To learn more about requesting visitation rights or child custody, please visit our page on paternity.