Father holding tired daughterThis is the next post on the rights of unmarried fathers in Peoria, Illinois. My last article discussed steps fathers must take in a child custody case. It is important to understand that paternity must be established before one can receive visitation or have input in regards to decision making. If you are being denied contact with your child then it is important to establish paternity as quickly as possible. In this article I will discuss the process for establishing an initial paternity and child custody order. Contact my office today to speak with an attorney.

The process of establishing paternity and child custody begins by filing a Petition with the Court. The mother will file a response and a Court hearing will be held shortly thereafter. The Judge will order immediate DNA testing if the parents do not agree on paternity. It does not take long for the DNA results to come back and, once they are available, a subsequent hearing will be held. If the results are negative (meaning that the male is not the father) then the case is essentially over. If the results are positive then the Court will put a temporary order in place regarding child custody, visitation, support, and other considerations. It is important to understand that this initial order is only a temporary arrangement which is in place so the parents have a sense of structure until the permanent solution is determined. That permanent solution will come through either a settlement or through a trial.

When determining the temporary arrangement to be put in place the Court will solely be concerned with the best interests of the child or children. When determining what is in the child’s best interests the Court will consider factors such as the nature of the relationship between the child and each parent, the source of any conflict between the parents, the extent to which one parent is willing to foster a relationship between their counterpart and the child, whether there is a history of domestic violence between the parents, as well as other factors. Once paternity is established the Court will listen to oral arguments from each of the lawyers and make a relatively quick decision as to how the temporary order will work. Again, this temporary solution will be in place until the time of trial. It is important that you have counsel who will properly present the facts to the Judge and who will make the best possible argument on your behalf.

I am a father’s’ rights attorney assisting Peoria, Illinois fathers in divorce and child custody cases. I am a former prosecutor and believe that everyone is entitled to the strongest level of representation. I understand that nothing is more important than one’s children and I will give your case the attention it deserves. Contact my office today to schedule an initial consultation. I also service the cities of Bloomington, Eureka, Galesburg, Morton, Normal, Pekin, Springfield, and Washington. I serve the counties of Fulton, Knox, LaSalle, Marshall, Mason, McLean, Putnam, Rock Island, Schuyler, Stark, Tazewell, and Woodford.