Lake County Parentage Lawyers

Your Guide to Parentage and Paternity Issues in Lake County, Kane County, McHenry County, and Cook County Illinois

When it comes to matters involving children, establishing parentage is a critical step that can have far-reaching implications for all parties involved. In Illinois, the laws surrounding parentage are complex, and navigating them without the guidance of an experienced attorney can be challenging.

At Manassa Law P.C., our team of dedicated Lake County parentage lawyers understands the emotional weight of these situations. We’re committed to providing compassionate, empathetic, and effective representation to help you get the results you deserve.

Contact us today for a free initial consultation.

Table of contents

What Is Parentage in Illinois?

Prenuptial Agreements

The Illinois Parentage Act of 2015 defines the laws and requirements of legally recognizing a parent-child relationship in the state. Establishing parentage is essential for determining various rights and responsibilities, including allocation of parental responsibilities, parenting time and visitation, and child support.

Marriage, voluntary acknowledgment, or genetic testing can establish parentage.

The Illinois Parentage Act also addresses issues related to assisted reproductive situations and surrogate pregnancies.

Why Do You Need to Establish Parentage?

Establishing parentage in Illinois provides for:

Child Support: Without established parentage, the child may not be eligible to receive financial support from both parents.

Inheritance Rights: Children born outside of marriage may not have automatic inheritance rights from their parents without established parentage.

Access to Benefits: Established parentage can grant a child access to various benefits, such as health insurance, Social Security, and veterans’ benefits.

Emotional Well-Being: Knowing one’s parentage can contribute to a child’s sense of identity and emotional well-being.

What Is a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Parentage (VAP)?

In Illinois, the Voluntary Acknowledgment of Parentage (VAP) is a legal document that allows unmarried parents to establish paternity without going to court.

Both parents must sign the VAP, acknowledging the father’s paternity. This document carries the same legal weight as a court order and establishes the father’s parental rights and responsibilities.

Establishing Paternity in Illinois

If unmarried parents have not signed a VAP, paternity can be established through:

Court Order: If there is a dispute or if one parent is unwilling to acknowledge paternity, either parent can petition the court to establish paternity. The court may order genetic testing to determine biological parentage. If the alleged father is confirmed to be the biological parent, the court will issue an order declaring paternity.

Legitimation Through Marriage: If the parents marry after the child’s birth and both agree to legitimize the child, they can complete the proper paperwork to establish paternity. This process is known as legitimation through marriage.

The timeline for establishing paternity can vary depending on the specifics of each case, but the process typically takes several months from the initial filing to the final court order.

Child Custody Rights and Agreements

Once paternity is established, both parents have the right to seek custody and visitation arrangements for the child. In Illinois, courts prioritize the best interests of the child when determining the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time.

Parents can either reach a custody agreement through negotiation, mediation, collaboration, or have the court decide on an appropriate arrangement. Factors considered by the court include the child’s relationship with each parent, the parents’ living situations, and any history of domestic violence or substance abuse.

Child Support Obligations

With established paternity comes the responsibility to provide financial support for the child. Illinois courts calculate child support based on each parent’s income and the amount of time the child spends with each parent.

The parent who does not have primary physical custody (the non-custodial parent) typically must pay child support to the custodial parent. Child support payments cover the child’s basic needs, such as food, clothing, shelter, and medical expenses.

Vacating Paternity or Parental Rights

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In some cases, a parent may seek to vacate (or terminate) their parental rights or challenge an existing paternity order. This complex process can have significant legal and emotional consequences for all parties involved.

Reasons for vacating paternity or parental rights may include:

● Fraud or Misrepresentation

● Lack of Biological Relationship

● Abandonment or Neglect

Never try to vacate paternity or parental rights without the guidance of an experienced attorney. They can protect your rights and advocate for you and your child’s best interests.

The Benefits of Having an Attorney Represent You

Do not try to navigate parentage and paternity issues on your own.

Having an experienced Lake County parentage lawyer from Manassa Law P.C. by your side can provide many benefits:

● Our attorneys have extensive knowledge of Illinois parentage laws and regulations. We have successfully handled many parentage cases throughout the state and can help navigate the process effectively.

● You can rely on us to advocate aggressively for you and your children. Through thorough preparedness and using our resources, we can develop and present a compelling case on your behalf, supported by evidence.

● Most parentage matters involve a wide range of emotions on both sides. We can serve as a calm and steady hand to guide you in addressing conflicts so as to not escalate the situation.

● With our outstanding negotiation skills, our lawyers can work toward solutions that account for and benefit all parties involved. We can help you reach agreements and obtain results while avoiding adversarial confrontations or costly and time-consuming court battles.

At all turns, we’re here to protect your rights, uphold your child’s best interests, and increase your chances of getting the favorable outcomes you seek.

Get Help from an Experienced Lake County Parentage Attorney

Lawrence S. Manassa, Lake County Parentage Lawyer
Lawrence S. Manassa, Lake County Parentage Lawyer

At Manassa Law P.C., we understand the emotional complexities and legal intricacies surrounding parentage and paternity issues. Our dedicated Illinois parentage attorneys can help you navigate the process and serve as valuable advisers along the way.

We have the skills and resources to customize our services and strategies to your unique situation, and you can count on us to work diligently to help you get the results you seek as quickly as possible.

If you’re facing parentage or paternity issues in Lake County, Illinois, don’t hesitate to seek the guidance of our experienced Lake County parentage lawyers. Contact us today at (847) 221-5511 to request your confidential and free initial consultation.