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If you have just found out you will be a father and are not married to your pregnant partner, you may be concerned about your legal rights. In Hinsdale, Illinois, fathers have the same rights as mothers regarding their children. However, unlike married fathers, you will have to take steps to establish parentage and father’s rights.
In Illinois, a child’s relationship with their mother and father is legally binding. Biological mothers and the man they fathered the child with can establish their parentage easily. When a man’s wife gives birth, he is considered the legal father automatically and doesn’t need to take further action to prove it.
Unmarried fathers have a harder time establishing parentage in comparison. You will have to prove paternity to get the parent rights you deserve. As per the Illinois Department of Health, you have several options in this regard. You can fill out a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (VAP) form and get it signed by the mother. If there is a dispute over parentage, all is not lost. You can seek a gene test either with permission from the mother or with a court order.
The fact is that without proving you are the biological father of a child, you cannot access parental rights. Proving paternity is just the first step. Once that is established, the court will treat both parents equally.
In other words, it won’t grant the mother more rights than the father whether they are married or not. Unmarried fathers can get visitation and custody rights. This includes an equal share of parental responsibilities and parenting time.
All of the court’s decisions are based on the child’s best interests, not just the parents’. For example, while deliberating parenting time, the Hinsdale court will consider the following:
If you have a dedicated and professional Hinsdale family lawyer in your corner, you can increase your chances of getting equal parental rights, if not more.
If you are an unmarried father and looking for an attorney who can help you establish parental rights, contact our father’s rights attorneys at Michael D. Ettinger & Associates. We offer clients thorough litigation services and proactive counsel to mitigate future disputes. Clients from as far as Cook County and beyond turn to us to overcome legal hurdles that can otherwise cause serious damage to their future.
So whether you have queries regarding your rights as a father or need help addressing parental responsibilities and custody for your case, we can help. Contact us at our office and schedule a confidential consultation today. We have several solutions to your dilemma that can work in your favor and are averse to getting aggressive if it means you get what you need.