How Parent and Child Relationships are Established

Society is constantly changing, and family structures are changing as well. Hence, our law has had to adapt over time to establish exactly what the parent-child relationship is under the law, and how paternity can be determined.

The paternity process can be a complex one, but there are some basic presumptions that are in play in any paternity case. If you are involved in a paternity dispute, it is important to understand these presumptions.

What is the Parent and Child Relationship under Illinois Law?

The parent-child relationship is actually defined by an Illinois statute. Under this law, the relationship is the legal relationship that exists between a child and his or her “natural” or adoptive parents. This relationship gives the parents and the child certain rights, privileges, duties, and obligations that would not otherwise exist.

What are the Presumptions of Paternity in Illinois?

Illinois, like other states, has presumptions of paternity which are the default positions when it comes to paternity, or what the law will assume about paternity-absent evidence to the contrary.

The natural mother of a child is automatically considered a parent, since she has given birth to the child. However, these presumptions are necessary in order to make determinations as to who will be considered a child’s natural father. There are four ways in which a man can be presumed to be the natural father of a child:

  1. The man and the child’s natural mother are or have been married to each other and the child is born or conceived during the marriage;
  2. After the child is born, the man and the child’s natural mother are married and the man is named, with his written consent, as the child’s father on the birth certificate;
  3. The man and the natural mother have signed an acknowledgment of paternity that complies with various Illinois regulations; or
  4. The man and the child’s natural mother have signed an acknowledgment of parentage or, if the natural father is someone other than the presumed father, an acknowledgment of parentage and denial of paternity.

Paternity Presumptions are Rebuttable

These presumptions are just that—presumptions. They can be rebutted by clear and convincing evidence to the contrary. However, the presumptions brought on by signing an acknowledgment of paternity or acknowledgment of parentage are conclusive unless they are rescinded under a very specific and time-sensitive process.

Call Sullivan Taylor, Gumina & Palmer, P.C.

When you are involved in a paternity dispute, you need an experienced Illinois family law attorney who has the knowledge and passion to fight for your rights. Call Sullivan Taylor, Gumina & Palmer, P.C. today for an appointment at 630-665-7676.