Call today to schedule a free initial consultation
Child custody and visitation can get complicated quickly if you are an unmarried father split from your partner in Illinois. It is clear who a child’s biological mother is, but an unmarried father must prove his paternity. Fortunately, you have rights in Illinois to raise your children if you are an unmarried father. A Palos Heights unmarried fathers’ rights lawyer can assist you today to ensure you will be a part of your child’s life.
When your child is born in Illinois, it is typical for the unmarried father to sign their birth certificate at birth. However, many unmarried fathers do not do anything else to prove their parentage. Note that signing the birth certificate does not bestow parental rights if you are an unmarried father.
To establish your parental rights, you must show in court that you are related to the child. After the court states that you are the child’s legal father, they can enter a court order that provides you with parenting time and a visitation schedule. There also can be other financial arrangements laid out to benefit your child.
Also, the fact that the unmarried father signed the birth certificate does not mean the mother will automatically receive child support if they split. Legal proceedings must happen to ensure the needs of each partner are addressed.
If parents are not married when a child is born in Illinois, the family court must determine paternity if a child support petition is filed. You must also prove paternity if you want child custody or visitation rights. In addition, you can fill out Illinois’ voluntary acknowledgment of paternity form when the child is born. This document establishes you are the child’s father so your rights are protected if you split from your partner. Also, your name will be listed on the birth certificate.
If you want to establish the right to custody, it is recommended that you petition the family court to have your parentage recognized. Then, when the case is filed with the Illinois court, rights for an unmarried father may be established.
Further, the Parentage Act of 1984 in Illinois allows the custodial parent to obtain child support from the father. The right to child support can go back to when the child was born. However, the law will not protect you from the mother moving your child to another state. This limits your ability to visit your child.
If you are a non-married father in Illinois, child visitation and custody can be complicated if you split from your partner. A Palo Heights unmarried fathers’ rights lawyer at Michael D. Ettinger & Associates has the knowledge and skill in this contentious part of family law to get you positive results. We can handle an unmarried father’s parentage case from start to finish. Please contact us now at (708) 923-0368 to learn how we can ensure your parental rights are protected.