Rights of Single Parents

Parenthood comes with significant responsibilities and individual rights, but single parents often face a unique set of barriers. Being a child’s biological father does not give you parental rights in Illinois. Fathers’ rights do not come automatically and must be granted by the court through a parentage case. This means that, until parentage is established, the father will have no enforceable right to parenting time and will also have no financial commitments to support the child.

Fathers seeking to forge a relationship with their children require an experienced family law attorney for legal guidance.

At Scott W. Sheen & Associates, our attorneys pay close attention to the details of our clients’ individual histories and their children’s needs. We recognize that all single parents, within reason, should have fundamental rights when it comes to maintaining a relationship with their children. We aim to give you the parental rights you deserve while considering the best interest of your children.

Man Holding Newborn Baby

Our family law attorneys help women establish their children’s legal parentage, and men obtain parental rights to their children.

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Many unwed fathers believe they have the same rights to their children as biological mothers. In reality, single fathers in Illinois do not have any rights regarding their children. Our goal is to help you gain and assert your parental rights. Single fathers must establish parentage to receive rights to parenting time.

If parents are not married at the time of a child’s birth, both parents can sign a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity (VAP) form at the time of delivery. This form can be completed at the hospital when the child is born or signed at a later date. The VAP must then be filed and accepted by the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services.

A common misconception is that executing a VAP when a child is born grants the father parental rights. In Illinois, a VAP does not provide allocation of parental responsibilities or parenting time rights to the father. It only serves as a basis for child support to be initiated. Allocations of parental responsibilities of the child is presumed to be with the mother, but the alleged biological father may petition the courts for equal allocation  and parenting time rights

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A family lawyer is invaluable in ensuring your right, and best interests are protected. Your family can depend on Scott W. Sheen & Associates for a strong and caring advocate. Our experienced attorneys will provide the legal guidance you need to resolve your family issue effectively.

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