If you are married, the law presumes that any child born to your wife also belongs to you. If you are not married at the time of birth, you do not have any rights to your child: 1)until you are listed on his or her birth certificate; 2) until you sign a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity; or 3) until a judge legally says you are the father (through a paternity hearing). If you think you are the father of a child and you are looking to assert your rights, you need a lawyer. Our firm can help.
Our law firm, Joel C. Zimmerman & Associates, Ltd., in Tinley Park and Chicago, Illinois, has been assisting fathers in obtaining the rights to their children for more than 25 years. Joel C. Zimmerman is an experienced Tinley Park attorney with substantial experience in fathers' rights who is willing to provide fathers with individualized services that help them understand their best legal course of action.
Fathers, You Have Rights and Responsibilities
Fathers have the right to pursue custody or have visitation time with their children; however, if you are an unmarried father, you might have to go through some extra steps to get access to your child.
In pursuing those rights, it is important to know you may have the following available to you:
- You have a right to an attorney.
- You have the right to a hearing on paternity and custody.
- You have the right to a DNA test.
- If the DNA test is positive, you have the right to sign a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity (VAP).
- If VAP was previously signed and the DNA test is negative, you may also have options regarding paternity.
- You have the same rights with regard to child custody as the mother.
- You have the same rights of custody and visitation.
- You may have an obligation to help pay the following:
- Child support.
- Educational expenses, beginning with day care expenses.
- Health insurance.
- Uncovered medical, dental and optometric expenses.
What Obligations Do I Have as a Father Under the Law?
If you are the father of a child, you have a number of obligations and privileges under Illinois law. A paternity action addresses a number of different fathers' rights. First and foremost, it determines whether a man is the father of a child. Second, it addresses custody, visitation and support of that child. In your paternity action, we will consider all of these issues and have them addressed to the court so that you can finally pursue your custody and visitation rights with your child.
About Joel C. Zimmerman
Founded in 1987, Joel C. Zimmerman & Associates, L.T.D., is located in Tinley Park and Chicago, IL. Our practice provides quality legal services at affordable rates for clients in family law, real estate contract and real estate litigation, as well as personal injury matters. Joel C. Zimmerman, graduated college in 1979 from Indiana University and law school in 1982 from Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago-Kent College of Law. Learn More
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If you are looking for an experienced attorney to help handle your case and most importantly fight for your rights, then call us today.