Paternity Lawyers in Wheaton, Illinois
DuPage County Parentage and Paternity Attorneys
Fathers have legal rights with regard to their children, such as visitation privileges, the right to be named on official records, the right to attend important life events, and the right to be an emergency contact person. In a similar vein, legal fathers have an enforceable obligation to pay child support. Establishing paternity is typically rather straightforward, as most contested cases are easily resolved through a non-invasive and private DNA sampling.
While the overall process may be straightforward, certain rules and procedures must be strictly adhered to, or the entire process may be later invalidated. At The Law Office of Judith Jenz, we routinely handle paternity matters in Illinois courts. Whether you want to secure financial support for your children or play a more active role in your children's lives, attorney Judith Jenz is here to help.
If a woman is married at the time she gives birth or at the time she conceived, her husband is presumed to be the father. If she subsequently gets married following conception or birth, her new husband is presumed to be the father if he signs a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity (VAP). If the biological father is a man who is not her husband, she and her legal husband must both sign a Voluntary Denial of Paternity (VDP), and the biological father must sign a VAP.
Paternity may also be established by consent if the biological father signs a VAP. The mother automatically receives legal and physical custody, and the father must pay child support. The VAP does not resolve any other legal issues and does not establish the father's right to access. Furthermore, since it is not a judicial proceeding, a consent to paternity may not have the same legal force and effect as a judicial order. If the father changes his mind later, he can challenge the VAP, but only for a very limited time and under very limited circumstances.
In a judicial paternity action, the court will enter orders concerning child custody and child support. Either parent can file a paternity action, and the petitioner must give formal notice to the other parent. The judge will deny the petition if the mother and father have signed a VDP or if a DNA genetic test reveals that the man is not the biological father. This test is nearly always a non-invasive swab test, and its accuracy is essentially indisputable.
A legal paternity action is an important step towards the long-term stability of your family. For a confidential consultation in this matter, contact The Law Office of Judith Jenz at (630) 225-8282. We serve clients throughout DuPage County and neighboring jurisdictions.