Parental Rights in Illinois

Child custody disputes often turn on the legal rights of parents. Parental rights are important and Illinois has a whole act dedicated to parental rights and obligations.

RigsPursuant to the Illinois Parentage Act, every child has the right to emotional, mental, physical and monetary support by his or her parents. Before such rights exist, however, the Illinois Parentage At requires the existence of a parent-child relationship, which it defines as “the legal relationship existing between a child and the natural or adoptive parents, incident to which the law confers or imposes rights, privileges, duties, and obligations. It includes the mother and child relationship and the father and child relationship.”

Once established, these rights and obligations do not depend on the marital status of the parents, i.e., the parents do not have to be married to each other or anyone else, nor on the age of either parent, i.e., parents who are still minors are going to be liable for support obligations.

One can establish a parent child relationship either presumptively or by express consent. For fathers, a presumption of paternity exists when: (1) he and the mother are or have been married to each other and the child is born or conceived during such marriage; (2) after the child’s birth, he and the mother have married each other, and he is named, with his written consent, as the child’s father on the child’s birth certificate; or (3) he and the child’s natural mother have signed an acknowledgment of paternity.

The presumption of a parental relationship established under (1) and (2) above can only be rebutted by a showing of “clear and convincing” evidence to the contrary, which usually means an admission or DNA test stating that the man is not the natural parent.

Independently of how parental relationships are created, they can impose obligations and award privileges that will follow someone for a long time to come. If your parental rights are being challenged, consult an experienced Illinois family law attorney to discuss your options.

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This entry was posted in Chicago divorce attorney, Child Support, Children of divorce, Illinois family law attorney, Parental Rights, Paternity and tagged , , , , , , , , .

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