When a child is born to parents who are not married, the father is not automatically guaranteed any rights regarding the child. This is a surprise to a lot of DuPage County clients, but the fact is, the court needs to know the identity of the father before bestowing rights and obligations on that person regarding the child. The Law Office of Sherby Dianne Scurto, P.C. has extensive experience in paternity actions and other family law matters.
How do I establish father paternity rights?
Fathers need to establish paternity in order to have any legal say in a child’s life and a right to custody and visitation. Similarly, mothers must seek a legal determination of paternity if they want to seek and enforce child support.
There are a few ways to establish paternity in Illinois:
Being married to the mother of the child at the time of birth or shortly thereafter
Signing an acknowledgment of paternity form at or after the child’s birth
Filing a successful petition for paternity with the court and/or taking the required DNA tests
Sherby Dianne Scruto helps clients convince the court to officially acknowledge paternity and enforce parental rights in court.
Child Support Representation
Child support payments are largely determined based on Illinois guidelines. However, deviations may be allowed for a change in circumstance, such as when a parent is struggling to make ends meet or when there is a modification to parenting time.
As a DuPage County child support attorney, Sherby understands the guidelines, what variations are available and what to expect in terms of support amounts. From her Oakbrook Terrace family law office, she provides comprehensive representation to residents of Cook, DuPage, Lake and Will counties and throughout the Great Lakes area.
Commonly Asked Child Support Questions
Matters concerning support payments are often emotional and stressful. Sherby is here to help ease your mind and guide you through this complicated process. She can answer all of your questions concerning support matters, such as:
What is the proper monthly amount?
Is it possible to increase or deviate from the amount set by Illinois guidelines?
What can be done for parents who have not been receiving or paying child support?
Regardless of your questions and concerns, you can rely on Sherby to listen to you with compassion and understanding.
Child support questions are case specific. Please contact Sherby for a free consultation. Contact Us
What does child support cover?
Support payments are designed to provide for the day-to-day needs of children, such as food, clothing, shelter, medical expenses and daycare. It is a vital obligation of both parents, whether making payments or receiving payments, to ensure that their children are cared for regardless of the parental relationship.
As an Oakbrook Terrace child custody lawyer, Sherby provides dedicated assistance during the initial determination of support following a paternity action or a divorce, including military divorces. She also provides guidance concerning post-decree modifications and the termination of support obligations as circumstances change. Sherby can also handle the collection of arrearages, payment of birth expenses and can help obtain payments retroactive to the filing of the support petition.
Making Your Parental Relationship Official
As a DuPage County adoption lawyer, Sherby’s focus is on adult and stepparent adoptions. Her typical clients have been in parental relationships that have lasted for years, but were never legally recognized. From her Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois office, she helps her clients give parent/child relationships the official legal status they deserve.
When a custodial parent remarries after a divorce, the new spouse often takes on an important parenting role for the child. It is not uncommon for the child and stepparent to form a deep bond and a desire to have that relationship legally recognized through a stepparent adoption.
If the child is still a minor, normally the other birth parent needs to approve the adoption by agreeing to a termination of parental rights. The approval is not necessary for a minor child if the legal parent has been declared unfit. Sometimes the stepparent and child simply wait until the child is 18 years old to avoid the other birth parent’s potential objections.
There are other scenarios in which one adult has been like a parent to another person for years. When this happens, often the parties want the older party to legally adopt the younger person thus formalizing the relationship for elder care decisions or for purposes of inheritance.