Your Rights As A Father

The Law Offices of Susan Parnell Wilson in Belleville represents mothers and fathers as they seek to sort through parental rights and paternity issues.

If you are married to the mother of your child, you are generally presumed to be the birth father unless tests prove otherwise. If you and the mother are unmarried, however, you should consider, carefully, the role you wish to play in the child's life. If you do not take the proper steps in the correct timeline, the road to establishing that you are the father will be much harder later.

  • Name yourself as the father on the child's birth certificate.
  • Sign a voluntary acknowledgement of paternity (VAP) at the time of birth.
  • Legally seek parenting responsibility allocation or parenting time rights early in the life of the child. These were formerly known as custody and visitation rights.
  • Request to be added to the Illinois Putative Father Registry.

These steps will help you establish paternity now and avoid many pitfalls that arise if too much time passes before attempting to do so. If you are seeking paternity now, however, and were not aware of these steps in the past, we can help you establish that you are the father. You are entitled to a DNA test in most situations. Once paternity is established, you may seek to be granted all parental rights afforded under the law.

Your Rights As A Mother

If you are seeking to establish the paternity of your child's father, we can help with the process, as well as seeking the child support needed. If the father is the one seeking to establish paternity and gain parental rights, we are prepared to represent your interests as the custodial parent in parenting responsibility allocation and parenting time disputes. If you wish to pursue minimal or no parenting time, the Law Offices of Susan Parnell Wilson can review the issue with you and help defend your interests and your reasons for seeking this result, if it is warranted.

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The rights of a parent may be terminated if the custodial parent proves extreme abuse or neglect of the child by the other parent. Other factors include abandonment, mental illness, drug or alcohol dependence issues or a general failure to support the children.

If you are facing challenging parental rights concerns or parenting time denial, Law Offices of Susan Parnell Wilson can help. For a consultation with skilled lawyers, please contact us today at 888-449-9575.