Despite recent changes to divorce and parenting laws in Illinois, fathers still sometimes struggle to receive their fair shake in a courtroom. Stigmas regarding gender roles, issues in establishing paternity, and other, various factors are often to blame. However, there are a few ways that you can protect your legal rights as a father and improve your chances of receiving fair and equal treatment.
Father’s Rights in Divorce
Earlier this year, major changes were made to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act. Overall, these alterations have made the allocation of parental rights (formerly known as custody) and parenting time (formerly known as visitation) agreements more equitable for fathers. However, there are still a number of challenges that dads still face. To ensure your rights are protected, it is critical that you seek assistance from a skilled and experienced Illinois divorce attorney.
By law, you have just as much right to your child as the mother. Skilled in handling father’s rights issues in Illinois, our attorneys can attempt to negotiate a parenting agreement that reflects that equality. Depending on the circumstances, and the age of your child, this may even mean that you and the mother evenly split time with your child. However, the overall best interest of the child should take precedence. If an agreement cannot be made, we can aggressively represent your rights in a courtroom.
Father’s Rights for Unmarried Fathers
If you and the mother of your child were never married, it is critical that you take immediate steps to protect your rights as a father. Unless a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity was signed at the hospital at the time of the child’s birth, paternity will need to be established. First, you must immediately register as a putative father with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. This will protect your child from being placed for adoption, should the mother wish to relinquish her rights or end up losing her rights to the department for child endangerment or neglect. Furthermore, you will need to seek assistance from a skilled attorney when you are ready to move forward with the legal establishment of parenting time.
Helping Fathers Receive Fair Treatment
Regardless of whether you are going through a divorce or were never married to the mother of your child, your rights deserve to be advocated for and protected. The DuPage County family law attorneys of Mulyk Laho Law, LLC can provide you skilled representation to help you assert your rights as a parent. Dedicated and experienced, we offer free initial consultations to help you determine the next steps in your child custody case. Call us at 630-852-1100 to schedule yours today.