Parentage & Paternity

These cases arise when two unmarried parties have a child. A court in a parentage case will first establish a child’s legal parents and then proceed to a traditional divorce, resolving issues of  parenting time, child support, and decision making. 

In cases where the two parties don’t have a history of co-parenting, a parenting plan can be created.

In a parentage case involving children, their safety and stability are critical. In order to ensure children are taken care of, Illinois uses an income share model to calculate child support.

Essentially both parents’ income is combined, and then each individual’s contribution is marked as a percentage of that shared total.

If Parent One makes $50,000 and Parent Two makes $20,000, their shared total is $70,000 with Parent One accounting for 71% of the income. Once the total cost per child is determined, Parent One is responsible for 71% of that cost per month, with Parent Two responsible for the rest.

There are several considerations that guide child support judgments such as, health insurance costs, and how many overnights a child spends with a parent. A judge can also alter the amounts laid out by the state if they deem it to be in the best interest of the child.

There is no hard and fast rule determining which parent receives primary parenting allocation and decision-making authority in a parentage case.

The court will take a holistic view and decide what is best for the child based on a number of factors, including past parenting performance, the ability of two parties to make joint decisions, and the overall well being of the child.

It’s important to ensure decisions like education, healthcare, organized sports and activities, and religious commitments are handled with the child’s interests in the foreground. 

Our attorneys will work with you to navigate the complexities of child custody and explain your options, rights, and possible solutions. 

Our first approach is always to try and resolve custody matters outside of litigation, as the litigation process can be lengthy, costly, and can have a traumatic effect on a child.  However, should litigation become necessary, Beermann’s attorneys have extensive courtroom experience in custody cases and will passionately represent your interests.

Parenting time is when a parent is present with their child, and this can include regular visits, vacation and holidays. If parents cannot negotiate a parenting plan on their own, the court will make a determination based on what it believes to be the best interests of the child. The general goal of the court is to ensure the child will spend as much time as possible with both parents, and that the parenting plan is consistent and reliable. 

Sometimes a representative, or GAL, can be appointed to help guide parents to an agreement or make a recommendation to the court. 

Beermann’s attorneys have experience as both advocates for parents, as well as GALs and have extensive knowledge of the intricacies of these cases. We can guide clients through the process and craft a strategy that ensures the best outcome for their child and their relationship with them. If litigation becomes necessary, our experience with what the court uses to make a determination helps us vigorously and effectively defend your interests in the courtroom.

Relocation disputes arise when one parent seeks to move away and wants to bring the child with them. 

These cases are among the most difficult issues in family law, as they are both contentious and situationally unique. There is no unified precedent in relocation matters, and they are decided on a case-by-case basis. 

If parents cannot come to an agreement, it’s important to understand litigation will result in the court siding with one parent or the other. This means there will not be a negotiation or a meet-in-the-middle outcome. In relocation cases, litigation should be a last resort, as a judge does not have intimate knowledge of the needs of your family.

The court will make a decision based on the best interests of the child and will reach that decision by weighing a number of complex factors. 

At Beermann, we have decades of experience in relocation cases and take a thoughtful, strategic approach to advocating for our clients in one of family law’s most intricate areas, both in and out of the courtroom.