Paternity Lawyer Chicago
What is paternity?
In Illinois, paternity is referred to as “parentage.” It more broadly refers to situations when a child is born to parents who are not married. It can also refer to the actual parentage of the child, i.e. who the child’s natural father is.
Why would someone need a Chicago paternity attorney to help with a parentage matter?
Paternity/parentage matters deal with various issues including establishing that an individual is the legal father of a child as well as allocating parental responsibilities of the child’s education, health/medical, extracurricular activities, and religion, establishing a parenting time schedule, and establishing child support and division of the child’s expenses such as health insurance premiums, unreimbursed medical expenses, school expenses, and extracurricular activities. The court may also order parties in a parentage matter to obtain life insurance for the benefit of the child in order to secure a child support obligation. This can be critical in a situation where a parent passes away, leaving the other parent with the sole obligation of supporting the child.
At Katz & Stefani, our paternity attorneys represent parents to ensure they understand their rights and what issues they need to address and formalize in a written agreement. For example, they might not know that they can receive additional contributions to the child’s expenses such as childcare over and above child support, which can be crucial for a parent who is paying for childcare. In addition, there may be certain retroactive opportunities to reclaim expenses, so it may be advisable to file a petition with the court sooner rather than later. In addition, it is important to have a Chicago paternity attorney prepare any formal agreements that are going to be entered by the Court. Agreements that are entered by the court are binding and there may be various limitations on modifying the agreements in the future. Therefore, it is important to obtain legal advice prior to reaching and signing agreements.
Parties can also seek the assistance of a mediator in resolving their parentage disputes. We still advise those interested in pursuing mediation to secure an attorney to represent their interests during each part of the mediation process. Mediators cannot give legal advice so it is helpful for a party to have his or her own attorney present to provide legal advice, explain the issues, and help navigate the party through the proceedings.
What experience does your Chicago paternity law firm have handling paternity suits?
Our firm handles a large number of paternity/parentage matters. Unmarried parents have to deal with similar issues as parents who are divorcing including those outlined above so the same issues are often at play. We have considerable experience in all child related issues such as allocation of parental responsibilities (formerly known as custody), parenting time allocation, child support, financial contributions, college education contributions, interstate and international custody disputes, and domestic violence.
How does your firm stand apart from other firms in helping clients with paternity suits?
Our firm stands apart from other firms with paternity/parentage cases through experience and strategy. We provide our clients with a high level of attention and communication combined with top-notch experience and skill. We keep our clients fully up to date as to the status of their cases, and we continue to push cases through to completion. We are successful in negotiating favorable agreements or obtaining favorable court orders on our clients’ behalves. We also maintain a high level of professionalism and have significant experience with working with the Judges and other Chicago paternity attorneys to ensure no details are left to chance. We also understand that the process can be very challenging and overwhelming for our clients, and we have empathy for what they are going through. At Katz & Stefani, our attorneys make the process as easy and stress-free as possible for all of our clients while working to achieve the best possible outcome.
At Katz & Stefani, LLC, our family law attorney in Chicago, IL focuses on the following practice areas:
- Child Custody
- Child Support
- Cohabitation Agreements
- Collaborative Divorce
- Grandparents Rights
- Jewish Divorce
- Prenuptial Agreement
- Spousal Support
Can you give an example how you’ve helped one of your clients with a Paternity issue?
Our Chicago paternity lawyers helped a father secure his rights shortly after his child’s birth by obtaining joint decision making responsibilities, an approximately equal parenting time schedule, and in achieving a favorable division of the child’s expenses. Obtaining close to an equal parenting time schedule can be challenging with a young infant; however, in this case, our firm was able to successfully negotiate an agreement by coming up with a creative parenting time schedule that addressed both parties concerns and took into consideration the parties’ unique work schedules and obligations.
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