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How to Contest Paternity of a Child

Posted on in Family Law

How to Contest Paternity of a ChildIllinois law has presumptions of paternity that help men establish their rights as fathers. If a child was conceived or born during a marriage, the husband of the mother is presumed to be the biological father of the child. If the parents are unmarried, the father can sign a voluntary acknowledgment of parentage (VAP) form that will list him as the biological father on the child’s birth certificate. However, these same laws can become an obstacle if a man believes that he is not the biological father of a child and does not want to be responsible for the child.

Paternity and Marriage

Most husbands have no reason to believe that they are not the biological father to their wife’s child unless they used a sperm donor to conceive the child. If you learn that your wife conceived the child through infidelity, you may understandably be upset and wish to have nothing to do with your wife or the child. However, you cannot sever your financial obligation to the child by divorcing your wife and proving that you are not the biological father. You would still be responsible for paying child support until the child becomes an adult. To deny paternity in Illinois, you must:

  • Sign a denial of parentage form
  • Identify the biological father of the child
  • Have the biological father sign a VAP form

Illinois wants a child to have two legal parents to ensure that they are financially supported by more than one parent. If you cannot identify the biological father, you will still be the legal father of the child, even if a DNA test proves that you are not the biological father. If the biological father refuses to sign the VAP form, you will have to challenge your paternity in court if you want to transfer parental obligations to the biological father.

Rescinding a VAP

In some situations, a man may sign a VAP form only to learn afterward that he is not the biological father to the child. You have 60 days after entering a VAP to submit a recission of a voluntary acknowledgment of parentage form. If the deadline has passed, you can still petition to rescind your VAP if you can prove that you signed the VAP form due to fraud, threat, or a material mistake of fact.

Contact a McHenry County Family Law Attorney

Illinois makes it difficult to deny paternity because it wants to avoid having children rely on a single parent’s income. A Crystal Lake, Illinois, family law lawyer at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, can discuss your options for denying your parentage if you believe that someone else should be financially responsible for a child. Schedule a free consultation by calling 815-338-3838.

Source:

https://www.illinois.gov/hfs/SiteCollectionDocuments/hfs3416d.pdf

Illinois State Bar Association State Bar of Wisconsin Crystal Lake Chamber of Commerce Illinois Trial Lawyers Association McHenry County Bar Association
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