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Three Tips for Unmarried Fathers Seeking Parental Rights in Illinois 

 Posted on December 22, 2021 in Child Custody / Allocation of Parental Responsibilities

dupage county visitation lawyerThe relationship between a child and his or her father can be one of the strongest bonds a person ever experiences. Unfortunately, in the past, many unmarried fathers have experienced difficulty and frustration when trying to pursue a relationship with their child. For some fathers, these challenges continue even today - but most would agree that their relationship with their child is worth the fight it sometimes takes to get there. If you are a father in Illinois and you want to seek parental rights, including parenting time and allocation of parental responsibilities, read on. 

Establish Paternity

No father has a legal claim to spend time with a child with whom he does not have a legal relationship. Establishing paternity over your son or daughter is the most important first step in a lifetime of love and support. If your child’s mother rejects the possibility of your presence at birth and you cannot sign a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity, you may need to get a court-ordered declaration of parentage. You may need to submit to a DNA paternity test to confirm the biological relationship to the child and establish paternity. Once paternity is established, you can petition the court or parenting time and parental responsibilities.  

Show You Are Responsible 

Although it may seem unfair that a father has to prove his worthiness as a parent, it is important to act responsibly - even if the outcome seems unfair at the moment. It can take time to establish parental rights, which can be frustrating. However, a court is more likely to take your claims seriously if you always pay child support, demonstrate your home is a safe and nurturing place for a child to live, and show up to your court dates looking clean and organized. 

Start the Process Early

As soon as you find out that you are or will be the father of a child, it is important to begin the process of establishing your parental rights. When making decisions about parenting time and parental responsibilities, courts will consider whether any decision would be in the best interests of the child. Because instability is disruptive to children’s development, courts often prefer to preserve the status quo - meaning that if the mother of your child has been the child’s primary caregiver for several years, the court may be hesitant to change that arrangement. The sooner you become involved in your child’s life, the easier it will be for you to continue and develop the relationship. 

Call a DuPage County Fathers’ Rights Lawyer

The experienced Naperville, IL fathers’ rights attorneys with Calabrese Associates, P.C. understand how important it is for fathers to have strong relationships with their children. If you need help proving parentage, getting parenting time, or simply need advice about your next steps, let us help. We are ready and willing to support you as you transition into fatherhood and will passionately defend your parental rights. Call us today to schedule a confidential consultation at 630-393-3111



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