Establishing Paternity

Family Law

Asserting Paternal Rights and Responsibilities

There are two reasons for asserting paternity: the unmarried mother of a child wants the father to share in the responsibilities of parenting, or the unmarried father wants to have a relationship with his child, and to grant the child the benefits of having a father. Establishing paternity is necessary to have custodial rights or visitation privileges.

DNA testing is sometimes part of establishing paternity. A cotton swab is rubbed against the inside of your cheek. But this testing is not absolutely required. Paternity can also be established by:

  • The two parties agreeing who is the father
  • Having been married to the child’s mother when the baby was born or conceived
  • Requesting that your name appear on the birth certificate or acknowledgment of paternity form
  • An order of paternity issued by the Illinois Department of Public Aid

At Johnson, Johnson, & Nolan, Attorneys at Law, we can help you with every step – arranging for testing, managing the forms, and presenting them to the court. We are also available to discuss issues of child custody, visitation, and support.

Illinois Grandparents’ Rights Lawyers

In recent years, grandparents’ rights to visitation in Illinois have fluctuated. State statutes defining grandparent visitation rights were thrown out by the Illinois Supreme Court following the U.S. Supreme Court case of Troxel v. Granville. New laws passed in 2005 and 2007 restored legal rights to visitation by grandparents under certain circumstances.

The firm of Johnson, Johnson, & Nolan, Attorneys at Law has helped many grandparents, great-grandparents and even siblings to have visitation rights to children. If the child’s parents are barring you from access, we can help you file a petition stating that you have been denied access to the child, and requesting that the court grant you visitation.

Getting visitation is not guaranteed. The child’s parents must be unfit in some way – incompetent or incarcerated, or one parent may be deceased. If the parents are ruled to be fit, they are within their rights to deny you visitation.

Unmarried, but looking to tighten family connections? Call the Belleville establishing paternity lawyers at Johnson, Johnson, & Nolan, Attorneys at Law at 618-277-3600, or write our attorneys using this online form.