In Illinois divorce cases, establishing paternity can be one of the most important steps for determining certain important issues. Paternity refers to the biological relationship between a father and a child. Under the law, the biological father of a child is also the legal father of the child, regardless of the marital status of the father. This means that fathers' rights and obligations, such as visitation and child support payments, are a part of paternity.
Under Illinois law, a stepparent, grandparent or another person unrelated to the child can petition the court for custody of a child under certain conditions. The law requires that all conditions be met in order for a person who is not a biological parent to petition for custody. In all matters of child custody, the court examines what is in the best interests of the child.