Overturning Paternity Judgments Based on Misrepresentation in Hoffman Estates
John is a 35-year-old Hoffman Estates, IL resident working as a paramedic. He has an 8-year-old daughter named Emma from a previous relationship. John is now involved in a complex paternity dispute in Cook County that involves determining custody and child support payments related to Emma.
John lives in a modest apartment with Emma. As a dedicated single father and paramedic, his life is incredibly busy. When not working long shifts, John devotes all his free time to taking care of Emma and supporting her education. He takes her to the library every weekend and helps her with homework. Seeing how smart and kind Emma has become brings John immense joy. However, the circumstances of her birth and parental rights have recently become contested. To help navigate this difficult legal matter, John has retained Attorney Ellen Rhodeman.
John previously dated Emma's mother Lily for three years. They were young when Lily became pregnant unexpectedly. While John wanted to support Lily and be involved in Emma's life, their relationship deteriorated. Lily eventually moved away and made visitation difficult for John over the years. Now Lily has filed for full custody and child support from John. She claims John is not actually Emma's biological father and therefore does not have parental rights.
These allegations have shocked and deeply hurt John. He has always considered Emma his daughter regardless of biology. The possibility of losing custody or access to her has caused enormous stress. Unsure of how to respond to Lily's legal actions, John contacted Sterling Lawyers. After an initial consultation, Attorney Ellen agreed to represent John in the Cook County family court system.
As an experienced family law attorney, Ellen understands the complex emotional and legal dynamics involved in paternity disputes. Upon reviewing John's case, she determined the best course of action was to arrange genetic testing to definitively establish paternity. Under Illinois law, a DNA test result of at least 99% probability is required for a man to be legally recognized as a child's father.
Once paternity is scientifically determined, Ellen can better advocate for John's custody rights. Her knowledge of local family court procedures will help navigate the bureaucratic requirements. Ellen will also negotiate child support arrangements based on John's income and ability to pay. Her goal is reaching an outcome that maintains John's relationship with Emma while meeting legal obligations.
In cases like these, having an attorney well-versed in family law is invaluable. The convoluted paperwork and court appearances can be extremely daunting for someone without legal experience. Emotions also run high when parenting rights are questioned. Ellen's counsel helps John make calm, rational decisions. Her reassuring guidance alleviates some of the immense anxiety he feels over possibly losing Emma.
Based on her skills, Attorney Ellen Rhodeman carefully explained the step-by-step process that occurs in Cook County family court for paternity disputes:
- File a paternity petition – The first step is to file an official petition with the court detailing the situation and requesting resolution. As the supposed biological father, John must be the one to initiate this action. Ellen assists in paperwork preparation.
- DNA testing – The court will order genetic testing to be done on John, Lily, and Emma. A 3rd party lab will collect samples and analyze DNA. The probability of paternity must be 99%+ for John to be legally recognized as the father.
- Results review – If John is confirmed as the biological father, the custody and child support case proceeds. Ellen will present arguments for John's parental rights. If John is excluded as the father, the petition is dismissed.
- Settlement or trial – Many paternity disputes reach an agreement between parties before trial. Ellen will negotiate with Lily's attorney to craft a parenting plan and child support order acceptable to both sides.. If they cannot compromise, a judge in Cook County Domestic Relations court will hear arguments and issue a binding ruling.
- Final judgment – The judge's decision establishes legal paternity and outlines custody, visitation, and child support terms the parents must follow. Ellen helps file all required documents to finalize the court order.
- Modification – If circumstances change in the future, Ellen can file motions to request adjustments to the paternity judgment as needed.
Without guidance from a knowledgeable attorney like Ellen, John would likely struggle through these intricate legal motions alone. The assistance she provides is invaluable.
Paternity cases involving custody and child support are extremely complex. Having an experienced family law attorney makes navigating the bureaucratic local court system much smoother. No matter the outcome, Attorney Ellen Rhodeman will advocate for John's relationship with his daughter Emma throughout the proceedings. Ellen understands the immense emotional toll paternity disputes take on families. Her compassionate counsel eases some of John's worries and provides hope during a traumatic time. For those in Cook County dealing with establishing parental rights, do not go it alone. Contact Sterling Lawyers today to schedule a consultation. Our attorneys are here to help secure the best possible outcome for your family's future.
The names and scenarios in this article have been altered to protect attorney-client privilege. This story illustrates the types of matters our attorneys handle, but we never discuss case outcomes or client sentiments to maintain confidentiality.