It is one thing to know that you are the father of a child. It is a different story when you are trying to convince the legal system that you are the father. Although marriage is not right for everyone—and in some situations, should be discouraged—however establishing paternity is significantly easier if the parents are married before the birth of the child. Establishing paternity is not impossible if the child was born out of wedlock, but the process can be much longer and more complicated.
Why Does Marriage Matter?
Does marriage matter? It depends on your circumstances and if you WANT to be married. There are significant benefits that may be available to some married couples, but for others—like those receiving set pensions—it may stop current benefits. Therefore, it is up to each couple to decide if marriage is the right option. It is more socially acceptable than ever before to have children outside of wedlock. Nearly 50% of children born today to women under the age of 30 are born to unmarried mothers. This percentage is regardless of financial or social status and incorporates children of celebrities and political figures as well as ordinary individuals. With regards to establishing paternity, if the mother and spouse are married at the time of conception, or are married on the date of birth, the spouse is presumed to be the other legal parent. If you are part of the unmarried population with a new child, you can establish parentage through provisions in the Illinois Parentage Act.