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Presumptions of Paternity in Your Illinois Family Law Case, family law, establish legal paternity, Crystal Lake family law attorneys, Illinois child support, Paternity PresumptionsFans of daytime television in Illinois may remember the talk show Maury, a show wherein a large number of the participants were either attempting to prove or disprove allegations that they were the parent of a particular child. (Those who remember the show may recall the host's famous line and delivery: “You are [or are not] the father/mother!”)  Any entertainment value aside, being found to be the legal father or mother of a child comes with rights and responsibilities, including the right to visit and parent the child as well as the responsibility of financially supporting the child.

What are Paternity Presumptions?

In cases where the child's other parent may not be immediately known or established, Illinois law provides for certain “presumptions of paternity.” In other words, if one or more of the following situations applies to an individual in relation to a child, a court may presume that person to be a parent to the child. These situations include:

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Things To Which You Cannot Agree in an Illinois Divorce Proceeding, divorce, collaborative divorce, Illinois divorce law, Crystal Lake family law attorneys, child custody, law firm, child supportIn a McHenry County child custody or divorce proceeding, parties are generally encouraged to come to an agreement concerning as many of the outstanding legal issues as possible. This is in the best interests of both the parties themselves as well as the courts: the parties benefit by saving time and resources while reaching a resolution that they are more likely to support and be satisfied with. The court, on the other hand, is able to keep its docket and calendar free for other settings and need not worry as much about entering orders one party or the other would find objectionable.

Limitations on the Parties' Ability to Agree

Despite the willingness of Illinois courts to encourage parties to reach agreements in their family law disputes, there are certain things to which spouses cannot agree:

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How You Can Voluntarily Prove Paternity of Your Child in IllinoisThere are numerous reasons why becoming a father is a huge event in your life. Suddenly, you are a big part of someone else's well-being and have a massive responsibility on how someone else will grow up and enjoy their life. People everywhere agree: There is no greater joy or responsibility than being a parent. Legally speaking, becoming a parent also endows you with certain rights and responsibilities, as well. Some of these legal rights and obligations are no small matters and can have a huge impact on both of the child's parents for years to come and, through them, on the child, as well. This is why it is so important for a child's father to voluntarily claim paternity of the child.

Voluntarily Proving Paternity of a Child

For many men, proving that you are a child's father is easy. There is a legal presumption that you are a child's father if you are married to the child's mother. Children born in wedlock are assumed to be the child of the husband and wife.

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Property Rights for Cohabiting Couples in IllinoisNot everyone who is in a committed relationship desires to legalize the relationship through marriage or domestic partnership. Unfortunately, couples who chose to cohabit without the legal recognition and protections of marriage might want to take into consideration Illinois law on the property rights of unmarried couples if the couple later separates. Most couples do not get into a relationship looking to break up, but in light of a recent Illinois Supreme Court ruling, more couples who live together without getting married should consider the ramifications of that decision.

The case involved a judge and a doctor who had lived together and raised children together for over 25 years before splitting up. After the split, the judge sought among other things, a portion of the doctor's interest in a medical practice, as well a fair share of other jointly-owned assets.

The main issue in the Illinois Supreme Court case was whether the judge had property rights to the doctor's interest in the medical practice that she helped her acquire, despite the couple never having been married. The Illinois Supreme Court ruled that the judge was not entitled to such interest because the couple was not married, despite the parties acting like a married couple by living together, commingling funds, and even exchanging rings. Strangely enough, if the judge had provided her share of any money used to buy the interest in the medical practice as an investment, done outside of the domestic relationship with the doctor, she may have been able to receive restitution.

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child support beyond the court orderSome parents who are court-ordered to pay child support may feel like the system is unfair and that they are being taken advantage of when they are ordered to pay a certain amount because they also provide in other ways for their children. These other costs can include paying for a sport, providing clothes or diapers, or paying for a portion of day care fees. These costs are often as a result of an arrangement with the other parent that came before the court ordered child support.

While every parent should provide for his or her own child, sometimes providing beyond the ordered child support can cause a parent to fall short in supporting other children born in a marriage or relationship that comes after the first child is born. In these cases, if the extra costs are not court ordered, the parent may choose to stop providing them, and instead, just pay the court-ordered child support. However, this may not necessarily end the parent's requirement to provide assistance with these costs.

Child support in Illinois is set according to a statutory formula that awards a certain percentage of a parent's net income depending on the number of children to be supported. A judge has to have a good reason and find it in the best interest of the child in order to deviate from the statutory guidelines. However, under Illinois law, the parent receiving support can also ask for additional assistance with costs related to child care, medical costs beyond those covered through health insurance, educational costs, and extracurricular activities. Support for these costs above the child support amount can be granted if the court finds such costs reasonable. Additionally, if the parent ordered to pay child support has access to employer-provided health insurance, he may be ordered by the court to provide insurance coverage for his child through the employer, and, if he fails to do so, may be ordered to reimburse the other parent for up to 50 percent of the health insurance costs incurred by that parent.

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