It is difficult and frustrating trying to acquire time with your child when you are an unwed father. If you believe you are the father of a child, you need to exercise your rights. A paternity case is used for unwed fathers to gain their legal right to time with their child. Men bringing paternity cases have a right to a DNA test to ensure that there is a genetic link between the father and child, as well as rights of custody, visitation and decisions on the child.

At Joel C. Zimmerman & Associates, Ltd., we work hard to educate our client fathers so that they know their legal rights and understand their legal privileges and responsibilities. With more than 25 years of experience, Joel Zimmerman works with clients in establishing paternity and reuniting children with their fathers.

Will the Law Presume That You Are the Father?

In general you will be assumed to be the father of a child if you meet one of the following presumptions:

  • You were married to the mother when the child was conceived.
  • Your name is on the birth certificate.
  • You signed a voluntary acknowledgement of paternity (also called a VAP).
  • You acknowledge paternity in court.

What Is a Putative Father?

Illinois, like many states, has a putative fathers' registry. This is a registry for men who believe they are the father of a child. In Illinois it is easy to be added to the putative fathers' registry.

If you are not married to the child's mother, you need to register within 30 days of your knowledge of the child's birth. If you do not adhere to the various time frames required, your rights may be considered waived or terminated.

I Signed a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity and the Child Is Not Mine

If you signed a VAP, you may not be eligible for a DNA test because you ultimately took on legal responsibility for the child by signing the form. In order to undo the VAP, you may have to bring a motion to vacate the VAP and there have to be allegations of fraud. Our lawyers can help you with this complex action.

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.