There’s that word “putative:” Some men might want more information

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Child Custody on Thursday, April 24, 2014.

This is a question narrowly posed for Illinois males capable of being biological dads: Are you familiar with the Illinois Putative Father Registry?

For starters, it’s likely a fair assumption that many men have never even heard the term “putative,” given that it is certainly not a contender for most-often-used word.

A heads-up on putative might be gleaned from words like supposed, presumed or alleged. In the context of family law, where putative commands significant importance, the term implies that a man could be a biological father of a child.

Being clear on that is potentially of greatest importance, since formally registering as a putative father is a threshold requirement in states across the country, including Illinois, that an unmarried man must satisfy to pursue any legal claim regarding a child.

Putative father registries reportedly exist in 33 states. As noted by one family law commentator, they are “designed as a way to link unmarried men to the mother of their child.”

That is critically important to a man who has impregnated a woman and subsequently lost contact with her. State officials across the county are adamant that some relational proof be on the books in the event that an unmarried man seeks involvement in the life of a child he claims to have fathered.

Putative rights emerge most strongly in adoption cases, where, absent registration, a man’s desires regarding adoption, child custody or other matters become largely irrelevant owing to lack of contact or communication.

Many men in Illinois might reasonably have questions or concerns regarding the Putative Father Registry or fathers’ rights in general.

A proven family law attorney who frequently works with male clients and helps promote their interests in important matters relating to paternity, custody, support and other matters can provide prompt and accurate answers.

Source: The Atlantic, “Sex and the single man: What if your partner has a kid?” Kevin Noble Maillard, April 21, 2014

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