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How Do You Determine Paternity in Illinois?

 Posted on August 18, 2023 in Family Law

Joliet, IL paternity lawyerDetermining paternity is an important legal step, as it establishes the rights and responsibilities of a child’s biological father. In Illinois, two primary methods exist to establish parentage: a form referred to as the voluntary acknowledgment of paternity document (VAP) and DNA testing. Today, we will provide an overview of these options, enabling you to make an informed decision regarding how to best establish parentage in your situation. Contact a family law attorney for legal representation in your paternity matter to obtain the legal guidance you need.

What to Know About the Paternity Form

The VAP  form is a legal document that allows both parents to acknowledge the biological father of a child without the need for a DNA paternity test. It is typically completed at the time of the child’s birth or soon after. This form is a legally binding document that establishes paternity and once signed, it carries significant weight in court. 

Advantages of the VAP Form of Determining Parentage

  • Efficiency – Signing the VAP form can be a straightforward and speedy process. It avoids the delays often associated with DNA testing. 

  • Simplicity – The form is a simple and convenient way to assert your parental rights. It can be completed easily without the need for complex procedures. 

  • Cost-effective – Opting for this form may be less expensive than DNA testing, as it eliminates the need for laboratory fees and court appearances.

What to Know About DNA Testing

This is the scientific method used to establish biological parentage with high accuracy. It involves comparing the DNA samples of the child, the alleged father, and sometimes the mother to determine paternity. In Illinois, genetic testing is typically done through a court-approved facility or laboratory. 

Advantages of DNA Testing

  • Accurate results – DNA tests have a high degree of reliability and can provide a conclusive answer regarding paternity.

  • Legal validity – DNA test results carry substantial weight in court. They can help resolve disputes, establish child support obligations, and determine parental rights.

  • Comprehensive evidence – DNA testing can be particularly helpful if there is any doubt about the biological father’s identity. It can provide concrete evidence and eliminate uncertainty. 

Contact a Joliet, IL Paternity Attorney

The decision between pursuing a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity form or DNA testing depends on your specific circumstances and goals. If both parties involved have no doubt about paternity and are willing to cooperate, the voluntary acknowledgment form can be a quick and convenient solution. However, if there is any uncertainty or disputes regarding paternity, DNA testing is recommended for reliable and legally recognizable evidence. Contact the Will County paternity lawyers with Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C. for legal assistance in this important matter. Call 815-666-1285 for a free consultation. 

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