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When and how can paternity be challenged?

| Apr 15, 2015 | Paternity |

Given that the legal establishment of paternity plays a major role in Illinois family law arrangements like child custody and child support, it is important that the identification of the child’s biological father is correct. If paternity was mistakenly assigned for your child, or you wish to challenge the assumption that you are the biological father, there are several factors that you should keep in mind.

The Illinois Child Support Services agency explains that the state may automatically identify you as the legal father of the child in question if you were married to the child’s mother when he or she was born and/or conceived. As a result, it may be necessary to challenge paternity if you were or are married to the child’s mother but do not believe that you are the father. In such cases, you and the child’s mother can typically sign a “denial of paternity” document.

If you and the child’s mother were not married at the time of his or her birth, you may have still been identified as his or her father under the law. For instance, the Illinois Department of Health Care and Family Services may have entered an administrative paternity order recognizing you as the father or a state family law judge may have submitted an order of paternity with your name on it. In either case, you have the right to challenge your paternity status. It is also important to note that you can withdraw your Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity claim in many cases as well. Submitting to DNA testing may be necessary in such cases to definitively illustrate that you are not, in fact, the child’s biological father. You could also be obligated to provide evidence and challenge your VAP in court.

Other factors can play a role in establishing and challenging legal paternity in the state of Illinois. Consequently, you should not use this general information as legal counsel or advice.

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