What legal rights do fathers have in Illinois?
Society has shown us that the mother is viewed as the most important individual in a child’s life. More importantly, history has shown us that the court systems tend to agree with this point. The result is that fathers often have to fight for their rights when it comes to child custody battles. As a father gearing up for divorce proceedings, it is important that you understand your rights and how to protect them.
The state of Illinois will require you to establish paternity when it comes to your child. In other words, you need to prove that you are the father of the child in question.
Under Illinois state law, this can be done in one of four ways
- Marrying the child’s mother after birth
- Submitting a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity
- Brining a paternity suit to the court
- A paternity order issued by the Department of Healthcare and Family Services Child Support Services
A Father’s Rights To Custody and Visitation
An Illinois state judge will rule regarding custody and visitation of a child based on their best interest. When making this decision, that will take the following factors into account:
- Relationship between each parent and the child
- Relationship between the child and other siblings
- Living situation of each parent
- History of violence or abuse
- The physical and mental health of both child and parents
- Parent and child’s desire for custody
A Father’s Right To Child Support
In the event custody is granted to the mother, the father would most likely be ordered to pay child support. This includes providing money to cover various expenses such as food and clothing. However, if the father ends up with custody, they are entitled to child support from the mother. While a father is oftentimes expected to pay child support without question, it can be more challenging to get the mother to do the same.
If your child’s mother is not paying her court-ordered child support, you can contact the Illinois Department of Child Support Services. In addition to collecting your owed child support, they provide a variety of additional services to help support and care for your child. To avoid a stressful situation, we advise working with an experienced divorce attorney who will ensure you receive the support you are owed.
Work With A Divorce Expert
As a father, you have just as many rights as a mother when it comes to child custody proceedings. We understand the deck might be stacked against you. and we are prepared to fight for your rights.
Even if you and your spouse have some type of verbal agreement in place, we still highly suggest you consult with one of our experienced divorce attorneys. They can walk you through your options and discuss how to legally bind your spouse to your current verbal agreement.
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Please call us at 847-234-4445 to set up your free consultation with one of our attorneys. They will examine your situation and provide options regarding the best plan for you and your family.
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