In the best of circumstances, both parents will agree on the question of who the father of the child happens to be. In fact, this is what happens in the vast majority of childbirths: The question of paternity doesn't create any issues at all.
When the parents agree about paternity, it's called "voluntarily assumed paternity." Even in circumstances when the question of paternity is a point of disagreement, the truth may come out when the parties realize that DNA evidence will provide a definitive answer.
Here are some situations when paternity is voluntarily assumed:
- When a married couple gives birth to a child, the courts will assume that the two spouses are the parents of the baby.
- Paternity is also assumed voluntarily if the parents of the child marry and later choose to sign a legitimation form.
- Parents who never marry can also sign a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity form.
- If the father chooses to marry the mother of the child when the baby is conceived or born, this could also be a way of establishing voluntary assumption of paternity.
- A child is also voluntarily assumed if the father takes the child into his home and claims that the child is his.
- A court may also establish voluntarily assumed paternity when the father has a close relationship with the child as his or her parent.
It's important for anyone trying to establish paternity to remember that DNA and blood test evidence are not the sole factors that determine paternity in the eyes of the law. In fact, in some instances, establishing that someone is the biological father will not always sway the court to award that individual paternity rights.
Therefore, if you are seeking paternity status regarding your child, or if you are trying to legally establish who the father of your child is to receive child support payments, it's important to consider all of the factors that apply to your situation. Ultimately, a better understanding of Illinois child custody law will help you navigate your paternity case toward a favorable resolution.