Paternity Law: Establishing Paternity For Visitation Rights

mens divorce lawyerQuestion:

I really need some advice on paternity law. I recently found out I am the father of a child with an ex-girlfriend.

We have not gone through the courts or anything to set up child custody agreements because we were both cooperating with parenting time.

However, she has now begun denying me visitation more frequently. What can I do to establish my rights as the child’s father and ensure my parenting time is enforced?


I am only licensed to practice law in Illinois so I cannot offer legal advice on divorce on the laws in other states. However, I can give you a general answer that may be helpful to you.

In Illinois, when the parents of a child have never married, the father has no legal rights to visitation until a court order is entered. An informal agreement between you and the child’s mother is not sufficient.

Therefore, in order to establish and enforce your right to visitation, you need to obtain a court order.

In order to do so, you will need to petition the court for visitation. The court makes a determination regarding visitation according to what is in the “best interest of the child.”

If you and the child’s mother are able to agree on a visitation schedule, you can have an order entered without the necessity of a hearing on the issue.

If the child’s mother will not agree, you may need to have a hearing on the issue so that the Judge can make a determination regarding visitation.

It is essential that you have a court order entered establishing your rights to visitation with your child. Without a court order, you will have no legal right to visitation, and no recourse if the child’s mother denies you visitation with the child.

You should contact a qualified domestic relations law firm, such as Cordell & Cordell, as soon as possible to assist you in obtaining a court order establishing your right to visitation with your child. I also suggest you seek advice in our divorce forum from fellow divorced dads.

To schedule an appointment with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including Erin Brockhoff, an Associate Attorney in the Belleville, Illinois office, please contact Cordell & Cordell.

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