According to Illinois law, when parents are unmarried, the mother has custody of the child until legal paternity is established. This means that the mother has the right to make all decisions for the child and is not obligated to allow the father to have any time with the child. If an unmarried father would like custody, he must take legal action and will not have any rights to the child until legal paternity has been determined.
How is a Legal Father Defined in Illinois?
In Illinois, a man is the legal father of a child if one of the following circumstances is true:
How is Custody Gained After Legal Paternity Has Been Established?
After legal paternity has been established, the man does not automatically receive custody or visitation rights. If he requests custody or visitation rights, he must prove that it is in the best interest of the child. In order to determine what is in the best interest of the child, the court will evaluate these factors:
Importance of Establishing Legal Paternity
There are a variety of reasons it is important for a man to establish legal paternity. By doing so, he can receive the opportunity to pursue a relationship with his child. In addition, he can be added to the child’s birth certificate, gain access to vital medical information, and secure Social Security, medical benefits, inheritance, and other benefits for his child.
Contact Our Will County Family Law Lawyers Today
By proving paternity, a biological father may gain custody and visitation rights and assist a single mother in obtaining child support. If you would like to prove paternity, it is in your best interest to contact our experienced Will County family law lawyers today at 630-932-9100.