Paternity actions take place in the Juvenile Court system in Lake County. A Petition to Establish Paternity is filed to legally establish the biological father of a child that is not born to married parents. This proceeding is typically filed by the mother or the father seeking to establish child support, custody, parenting time and/or a name change. Among the reasons why a paternity action is filed is to establish child support, custody, parenting time or a name change. There are other issues unique to paternity matters such as the effect of DNA testing and paternity affidavits signed at the time of a child’s birth.

In January, 2009, Lake County adopted new Local Rules of Family Law, which have, at their core, the objective of a cooperative approach to the resolution of family law matters. The adoption of the cooperative model is a change in philosophy from the traditional adversarial process in family law matters. The new Rules have the goal of protecting the best interests of children by serving the healthy and child-sensitive functioning of families, and this includes paternity matters.

To accomplish this cooperative approach, the attorneys in our office, and other attorneys in Lake County have executed a Family Law Attorney Pledge. We have pledged to: (1) make every reasonable effort to avoid court filings and hearings; (2) educate our clients on the dangers of parental conflict; (3) work to develop a culture of cooperation in resolving all child-based issues; (4) consistently practice cooperation, courtesy and respect with all persons involved in cases; (5) make reasonable effort to timely provide discoverable information; (6) tailor our pleadings, communications and advocacy to civilly address issues instead of igniting litigation; and (7) work cooperatively with colleagues, pro se litigants and the courts to assure the safety of all family members.

We can assist you in addressing all aspects of a paternity matter; advocating for you and your child’s best interest whether it be in Court or outside of the Courtroom.