Determining Paternity for Child Custody

Illinois custody attorney, Illinois family law attorney, Illinois divorce lawyer,When a child custody decision must be made by the court, one of the first jobs is to determine who is and is not a legal parent. A few years ago, the Illinois legislature completed a massive rewrite of the Illinois Parentage Act to better clarify who in a relationship has a parental claim to any children that are part of the union in question.

What the Courts Look At

While the courts and child advocate representatives are required to make decisions based on what is in the best interests of the children in question, other factors may impact who is awarded custody and who earns child visitation rights once a relationship has ended. This is where stipulations set forth in the Illinois Parentage Act spell out that which is to be considered.

In the case of determining a relationship between a child and a woman claiming to be the mother, the following scenarios are considered:

  • The woman gave birth to the child, EXCEPT in cases that involve a valid contract of surrogacy.
  • A complete and valid adoption.
  • Custody following completion of a valid surrogacy contract.
  • A previous court judgment of the woman’s parentage.
  • A previously stipulated acknowledgment of the woman’s parentage.

When determining a man’s claim of parentage, the scenarios considered are similar in nature, but with one obvious exception.

  • A legal and voluntary acknowledgment of paternity, unless successfully challenged and rescinded.
  • An unrebutted presumption of parenthood.
  • A previous court decision acknowledging the man’s parentage.
  • Completion of a valid adoption.
  • Custody following execution and completion of a legally binding surrogacy contract.

The Illinois Parentage Act guides the process of determining a parent-child relationship. It further authorizes genetic testing, establishes the procedures regarding parents of a child created using means of assisted reproduction and identifies who is obliged in matters of child support.

Rely on an Experienced Illinois Child Custody Attorney for Proven Help

When ongoing custody and questions of visitation are at stake, parents would rather not leave these matters to chance. Seeking the assistance of a knowledgeable DuPage County child custody lawyer will allow you the representation necessary to fight for a fair child custody agreement. The Law Offices of Matthew M. Williams, P.C., are aggressive advocates for their clients, using all the resources available to pursue a fair and favorable outcome. Do not allow your custody case to proceed without qualified representation. Call their offices today to schedule a free initial consultation.

 

Sources:

http://www.cookcountycourt.org/Portals/0/Domestic%20Relations%20Division/Seminar%20Materials/DR.Summary%20of%20Parentage%20Act.pdf

http://www.fox32chicago.com/news/local/237-new-illinois-laws-take-effect-january-1-2016

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