Paternity
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Aiding Flossmoor Area Families With Complex, Sensitive Paternity Cases

Paternity is often an emotionally charged type of family law case. It is important to understand your rights and how a paternity determination may change your life.

The Law Office of Michelle Broughton-Fountain represents both fathers and mothers, which each have unique goals, in paternity matters. With more than 70 years of cumulative legal experience serving a diverse population of clients throughout the Chicago suburbs, our lawyers understand that paternity cases can be difficult as well as practical.

Because paternity matters are complex, it is critical to discuss your case with a qualified attorney. The Law Office of Michelle Broughton-Fountain can help you protect yourself and your child. Let us carry the burden of challenging paternity issues for you. Call 708-831-1629 or email our firm for a case review.

We can give you the supportive counsel you need today. We have full knowledge of the process that you will need to complete, and we can help you resolve complex family law issues.

Why Should Paternity Be Established?

If two parents are not married when their child is born, and the father does not sign the child’s birth certificate, the mother might be the only legal parent of the child. While this status might not impact daily life while the parents are together, it can become a problem if the parents separate. This can also be the case if parents were married but file for divorce and the father questions the paternity of the child.

Legally establishing that you are the father of your child can offer several important benefits, including:

  • It can be the first step toward seeking custody or visitation rights to protect the relationship you have with your child.
  • It can also allow your child to inherit from you if you do not specify their inheritance in a valid will.

For mothers, establishing paternity is often necessary when seeking court orders, mainly for child support, because of the following:

  • Once paternity has been established, a child support order can be created.
  • Holding the other parent accountable for child support payments might be critical to ensure that the child receives complete care.

Whether your concerns center around parental rights or child support, our experienced attorneys can guide you.

The Process For Determining Paternity

The technology used for establishing paternity is very sophisticated but asks very little of the subjects being tested. A simple swab from the interior of the child’s cheek as well as from the potential father’s cheek is used to collect cells and DNA. Through sequencing the DNA extracted from these samples, the DNA can be compared, and lineage can be determined.

DNA tests are not always necessary to establish paternity, but a test might be necessary in a disputed case.

Paternity Disputes

Relationships and family circumstances are complicated. Sometimes, the biological father is not clear, or the mother and the other party disagree about who the biological father is. Paternity has an impact on all involved, and the discussions over the topic can get heated and stressful.

In these cases, our compassionate lawyers know how to find solutions to these issues. Paternity cases may progress to court or be settled out of court. Often, DNA testing will be court-ordered, as it is the most conclusive way to determine who the biological father is.

Can Paternity Be Nullified Once Established?

Though it is uncommon, it is possible for paternity to be disestablished once it has been established. For example, a boyfriend who agrees to sign a paternity agreement or cares for his partner’s child could be responsible for child support or other parental obligations until he disestablishes paternity. This situation often does not involve a DNA test that initially established paternity, but rather an instance in which the father did not initially question the paternity and merely agreed to be listed as the father.