Previous posts on this Springfield family law blog have discussed what paternity is and how it may be established. Paternity is the existence of a biological connection between a man and a child that demonstrates that the man is the child's father. When a man is married to a woman who gives birth or acknowledges that he is a father when a child is born he may also be legally recognized as the child's dad.
The birth of a child can be a wonderful time in the life of the new baby's parents. While most Illinois residents embrace the opportunity to raise children and grow their families, others may face serious and even traumatic legal issues if they are uncertain of their roles in the children's lives. Particularly, men who are not certain if they are the biological fathers of children born to their spouses and partners may question what role, if any, they should place in the lives of the children.
After a divorce it can be difficult for a family to find balance, especially when children were involved in the process of undoing a marital relationship. Many Illinois parents struggle to discover ways of ensuring that parent-child bonds remain strong. For one former celebrity couple, court intervention was necessary to ensure that the father's options for seeing and communicating with his kids were not infringed upon by their mother.
Under certain circumstances, a child is presumed to be the offspring of a woman and a particular man. For example, when the child is born to a married Illinois couple then it is presumed that the man and woman are the child's biological parents. However, as readers of this family legal blog know, not all children are born to couples who have chosen to establish their relationships through marriage.
A previous post on this blog discussed how men in Springfield, Illinois, can sign a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity as an easy way to become the legal father of a child.
This blog has discussed on previous occasion how DNA testing works when it comes to paternity and what a Springfield, Illinois, father might expect if he decides to go to court to establish paternity.
Due to a recent change in Illinois law, it is now more appropriate to talk about commonly known family law concepts such as "custody" and "parenting time" as an "allocation of parental responsibilities." Parental responsibilities include not only seeing one's child, but also how Illinois parents will make decisions on big issues like healthcare, religion and education.
It is hard to deny that, historically, if a Springfield, Illinois dad was not living in the same home as his children for any reason, he was unlikely to get primary custody of the children absent something extraordinary like a credible allegation of domestic violence, drug abuse or something of the like.