Fathers' Rights Lawyer Illinois
Ensuring the Rights of Fathers in Cook County
Our legal team at the Law Firm of Caryl Jacobs Gabe, Ltd. is well-aware of the challenges that many fathers face in the legal system. Even though family law courts are moving towards equality for both parents, many men still feel that their rights are not as protected as they should be. If you are wondering what your rights are as a father and how you can assert those rights effectively, you may benefit from obtaining well-informed legal advice and representation from a knowledgeable fathers' rights attorney, serving Cook County and all Chicago suburbs.
The following situations may require you to seek legal representation:
- To contest or question being named the father in an out-of-wedlock pregnancy
- To assert your child custody or visitation rights for a child born out of wedlock
- To reevaluate the appropriate amount of child support provided
- To receive child support from the child's other parent
- To establish fair custody and visitation rights in the event of a divorce
- To have equal standing as the parent of your child, regardless of a previous relationship
What Are My Rights as a Father in Illinois?
Gone are the days where a mother has the upper hand in a courtroom when making decisions for issues like child custody, visitation, and support. Fathers are seen as essential components to a child's healthy upbringing, and the courts are helping to bring this to light.
One of the most critical steps to fighting for your rights is to establish paternity. Without proof of paternity, a mother will be able to make all the important decisions such as where the child will go to school and receive healthcare. Once paternity has been established, the judge will decide what is in the best interests of the child when ruling on issues such as custody. Each parent will be evaluated for their mental health, history of violence, and the parent's desire to have custody.
Under Illinois law, there are four steps a father can follow in order to establish paternity:
- Marrying the mother of your child
- Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (VAP)
- Paternity suit brought to the attention of the court
- Paternity order issued by the Department of Healthcare and Family Services’ Child Support Services
Father's Visitation Rights in Illinois
As discussed, the rights of the father have greatly improved over the years, especially once paternity has been established. These rights are applicable to visitation as well, not just custody. When a father files for visitation, it is important that he proves one or more of the following to the judge:
- The relationship with the child is healthy and fully-intact.
- There is a strong desire to be part of the child's life. This can be shown by expressing interest in the child's schooling, healthcare, and extracurricular activities.
- He has the capacity, both physically and mentally, to put the child's best interests first.
- There is no history of child abuse or neglect.
- He is willing to work and compromise with both the court and the custodial parent
Assisting With Matters of Child Support, Custody, & More
Whether you are concerned about matters of child support, custody, or visitation, the Law Firm of Caryl Jacobs Gabe, Ltd. is fully prepared to aggressively protect your parental rights. Although the legal system may seem complex or hostile, you can rest assured that our top priority is to defend the best interests of you and your child. Our Cook County family law attorney respects your rights as a father. We will fight to maximize your chances of receiving fair and equal treatment under the law.
Hear From the People We've Helped
Contact or call us at (847) 278-2851 to schedule a free consultation and discuss your rights as a father.