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What to Know About Paternity A...

What to Know About Paternity Actions

Family Law Lawyer

When the need for child support arises, it’s not uncommon for the issue of paternity to be a factor. A child support lawyer can attest to how the determination of the child’s father can cause friction and often leads to legal action of one kind or another. Whether it is the father who wants to have custody or visitation rights to his child, or the mother who seeks child support from the father, proof of paternity can be contentious. We encourage you to contact a law office and make an appointment with a child support lawyer who may be able to help you reach your goal.

Eligibility to File a Paternity Action

As mentioned above, there are various reasons for why a party may wish to file a paternity action. However, to preserve a sense of justice, the court will only accept a filing for legal action from those who have specific relationships to the child, including the child herself. Your child support lawyer can provide you with more information as it’s relevant to your circumstances, but those parties are:

  1. The state.
  2. The mother.
  3. The father.
  4. The child.

The State’s Interest in Paternity

A state or one of its agencies may desire to enforce child support terms ordered by the court. This is because they may decide to recoup the public assistance they paid to the mother in lieu of the mother receiving child support from the father. They may enlist the assistance of the District Attorney’s office to collect on that money. In fact, federal law permits designated persons or agencies to intercept the delinquent payer’s tax refund, garnish their wages, seize property, and take other actions. Talk to a child support lawyer who can provide you with more information.

The Mother’s Interest in Paternity

The most common reason for a mother’s interest in establishing paternity is to obligate the father to pay child support. A child support lawyer can file a petition with the court on your behalf to initiate a paternity action. The court documents we submit will include information that establishes why you believe a particular person is the father of your child. If the alleged father disputes your claim, he can be forced by the court to submit to DNA testing to verify paternity. He will also very likely be forced to pay for the DNA testing.

The Father’s Interest in Paternity

If a father wishes to gain visitation or custody rights to a child he claims is his but the mother refuses to acknowledge him as the father, he can file a paternity action with the court to determine if indeed he is the father. If he is successful, he may be able to petition the court for visitation or custody of the child.

The Child’s Interest in Paternity

If a child wishes to determine if a man is their father, they can initiate a paternity action with the court.

When You Need a Trusted Child Support Lawyer

If you would like to discover if a paternity action is warranted in your circumstances, contact us today to schedule a free consultation with a Bloomington, IL family lawyer who can provide you with more information.


Thank you to our friends and contributors at Pioletti & Pioletti for their insight into family law and child support.

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