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Illinois Divorce When Your Child is Not Yours

 Posted on March 28, 2024 in Paternity

IL divorce lawyerThis is a relatively common situation, especially for married men who knew that their wives had been unfaithful. Infidelity is a common cause of divorce all over the United States. The emotional impact of finding out that your wife has had an affair can be devastating, even more so if you determine that a child you thought was yours may not be. Getting divorced can be quite complicated when there is a question of paternity for a child who was born during the marriage and will need a parenting plan. A large number of factors may become relevant, including the wishes of the man who has found out he is not a biological father. If you are getting divorced after learning that a child born to your wife is not genetically your child, it is important to work with an experienced Naperville, IL divorce and paternity lawyer.

The Presumption of Paternity in Illinois 

In Illinois, a man is automatically deemed a child’s legal father if he was married to the mother at the time of conception or at the time of birth. This is why married fathers do not need to get a paternity test or sign a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (VAP). However, this is a rebuttable presumption, meaning that you can challenge it if you know or suspect that you are not actually the child’s birth father.

How to Challenge the Presumption of Paternity During Divorce 

If you do not want to be obligated to pay child support or spend time caring for a child that is not yours, it is important to rebut the presumption of paternity during your divorce. In some cases, this can be quite simple. If the genetic father and your wife are both willing to sign a VAP, the court will likely determine that you are not the father. If either party will not agree to this, your attorney can ask the court to force a DNA test to prove that you are not the father of the child in question.

What if I Still Want a Relationship With the Child? 

In some cases, a man may not be a child’s father but has become the child’s dad. If you have devoted years to raising the child you thought was yours and have formed a strong parent-child bond, you may still have legal rights. The court will consider what is best for the child, which may mean not forcibly removing you from his or her life.

Contact a DuPage County, IL Divorce and Paternity Lawyer 

Calabrese Associates, P.C. is experienced in helping people get divorced when there is a paternity question. Our experienced Naperville, IL divorce and paternity attorneys will do all we can to provide you with a just outcome. As the former chair of the DuPage County Bar Association Family Law Committee, Attorney Calabrese is highly experienced in complex family law matters. Contact us at 630-393-3111 for a confidential consultation.

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