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Statistics show that nearly 4 out of 10 children in the United States are born to unmarried parents today. When parents of children born outside of marriage split up, they find themselves facing the same issues related to parental responsibilities, allocation of parenting time, child support, and other child-related issues that divorcing parents must confront. In many cases, they face bigger challenges, because the father's rights and obligations have not been legally defined yet.

When parents are married at the time a child is born, the law presumes the existence of a “parent-child relationship,” meaning that the husband is legally presumed to be the father of the child. Thus, he automatically has all of the legal rights and legal responsibilities of a parent. In contrast, an unmarried father of a child has no legal rights and no legal responsibilities until paternity has been established. Simply put, he is legally a stranger to the child and has no rights to be involved in making decisions or spending time with his child until a court grants him those rights.

Historically, parentage cases typically arose when a father sought an allocation of parental responsibilities or parenting time with his children, or when mother sought child support from the father of her children. However, many cases today involve a total reversal of that stereotype. Whether you are seeking to establish the existence of a father-child relationship, an allocation of parental responsibilities, an allocation of parenting time, or child support, the experienced family law attorneys at Kollias & Giese, P.C. can guide you efficiently through the legal process. Call us today for a free initial consultation. Knowing that the facts of every case are different, we would welcome the opportunity to meet and discuss the best way to address your particular situation.

For example, in some cases, legal paternity has already been determined by consent of the parties without the need to file in parentage court, whether they know it or not. When a child is born in a hospital, parents often sign numerous papers, some of which, including a voluntary acknowledgement of paternity, may legally establish paternity. In other cases, where there is no signed voluntary acknowledgment of paternity form, a parent will need a judge to decide the issue of paternity and adjudicate the man the child’s father. In cases where both parties agree, they can acknowledge paternity in court. In cases where they disagree, DNA testing may be required.

The family law attorneys at Kollias & Giese have extensive experience in parentage / paternity cases, both at the trial court level and in the Illinois Appellate Court. For example, in 2009, Daniel J. Kollias won a case on appeal where his client discovered he was not the biological father of his children 9 years after the divorce was finalized. If you are facing a legal dispute related to paternity in the Chicago area, please contact Kollias & Giese, P.C. Recognizing that paternity battles can be both emotionally and financially draining, we will advocate aggressively for your rights, keeping in mind that at the end of the day, it is your children's best interests that you have in mind.

For a free 30-minute initial consultation, please call (630) 407-1200, or complete the online intake form.

Client Reviews
"Dan's expert handling of my divorce case was beyond my expectations. He takes control, documents your facts and summarizes options for you throughout the process. You will always get a timely response by email or phone. He will not forget the facts in your case or be uprepared for milestones along the way. He will advise on important matters but act per your direction. Finally, he will maintain a positive and professional communication with all parties involved." Jacquelyn
"Lisa has been my lawyer for the past 4 years for various court precedings and has been awesome. She always knew what was going on with my case and always took the time to ask what I wanted the end result to be. She’s tough and not scared to speak her mind in a courtroom in order to fight for her client. Lisa also always worked with me financially in order to work around what I could afford. I would 10/10 recommend her to anyone and would hire her again if needed." Cali
"Ms. Defino did an absolutely amazing job working with me on my case. She was very, very prepared, was excellent in responding to calls, emails and messages, understood the law and worked with with partners of her firm if there were areas that we needed advice and other opinions on. Jessica was a very comfortable to work with, super personal and got all of my needs and wants out of my divorce case. I would highly recommend working with Ms. Defino." Matt
"I was represented better than I could have ever imagined. My needs were put first and was treated as a friend rather than a number. My opinions were valued and my doubts were always reassured. My nerves were calmed and the process was always explained. Jane Nagle fought hard for me. she went above and beyond and did everything she could to ensure a great outcome. I couldn't have asked for a better attorney and her firm. Thank you from the bottom of my heart." Marcia