Reeder & Brown, P.C.


Does a Non-Biological Father Need to Pay Child Support?

 Posted on December 19,2023 in Paternity

Will County family lawyerWhether or not a father is legally obligated to pay child support for his non-biological child will depend on a few factors:

  • He signed a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity (VAP)
  • The father legally adopted the child as his own
  • He was the presumed father at the time of conception or birth

These factors do not determine who will pay child support but that the father can now be legally obligated to do so if the court deems it necessary following a divorce or legal separation. The laws of paternity and child support can get complex, and it is often best to seek the help of an experienced attorney when you need your questions answered.

Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity (VAP)

Primarily used to determine paternity in unwed couples, a VAP is a legal document filed with the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) to be able to add the father’s name to the birth certificate. A VAP requires both parents to sign and date the form and have it witnessed by an individual who is 18 years of age or older and is not listed on the form. The signing of a VAP can take place at any time, and parents can obtain one at:

  • A Hospital
  • HFS website
  • County Clerk’s office
  • Department of Human Services
  • Local Child Support Office
  • A state or local registrar’s office

Once signed, a VAP is considered valid. However, should a father wish to change their mind after signing, he will be required to complete a Rescission of Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity. The rescinded VAP must be filed within 60 days of signing the original VAP, or it cannot be filed. If you are unsure whether or not a child is biologically yours, you must refrain from signing a VAP and instead opt for genetic testing to establish paternity.

Genetic (Paternity) Testing

When uncertainty and doubt begin to creep into a man’s mind on whether or not the child bears the same DNA as him, the only course of action is to undergo genetic testing. The genetic test will compare the DNA of the child, the mother, and the alleged father to determine whether or not the man is the child’s biological father. It is primarily performed with a mouth and cheek swap and is considered 99 percent accurate in its determination.

Genetic testing can help presumed fathers (those who were married to the mother at the time the child was born) to establish paternity if they have doubts as to whether or not a child in question is their biological child.

Contact a Will County, IL Family Law Attorney

When a man has any doubts at all about his progeny, it is important to establish paternity through a DNA test. A Plainfield, IL, paternity lawyer can help set you on the path to discovery. The office of Reeder & Brown, P.C. will help you navigate the legalities of establishing paternity and support you in trial if necessary. Contact our office at 815-885-5980 for a free consultation today.

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