Back to Top
Fathers' Rights The Legal Guidance You Need and the Personal Attention You Deserve

Fathers’ Rights Attorneys in Chicago

Protecting the Rights of Fathers

Studies show that children benefit from having a father figure in their lives. Historically, there has been a clear bias in divorce and family law cases wherein mothers are given preference over fathers for custody and parenting time. Nowadays, courts do not maintain any bias or preferential treatment when deciding family law cases – yet there are still fathers throughout the country who lack parental rights.

At the Law Offices of Jonathan Merel, P.C., we are dedicated to upholding our clients’ rights and helping them obtain rightful access to their children. Our fathers’ rights attorneys in Chicago recognize the struggle that many fathers face in court and are determined to fight for them.


Discuss your case with us today by calling (312) 487-2795 or contacting us online.


Fathers’ Rights Issues

Fathers have the same parental rights as mothers – but unfortunately, a father’s rights are often more likely to be infringed upon than a mother’s. If you are facing unfair treatment or believe your parental rights have been violated, consult with the Law Offices of Jonathan Merel, P.C.

We routinely handle cases involving:

  • Child custody: Despite statutes ending outdated gender biases in family court proceedings, many mothers still receive custody while fathers struggle to obtain legal and/or physical custody. At the Law Offices of Jonathan Merel, P.C., we fight to ensure that custody decisions are truly in the best interests of the child – which often means granting fathers custody rights.
  • Visitation: Even if a father does not receive custody of a child, he should still have the right to visitation (barring extreme circumstances). Many fathers face false allegations of abuse or neglect or are denied visitation rights when the mother of their children fails to uphold a parenting agreement. Our Chicago fathers’ rights attorneys can assist with any of these kinds of cases.
  • Child support: Our firm can assist you if you have been saddled with an unreasonable child support payment obligation. We can also step in if you are not receiving enough child support from the mother of your child.

Unmarried Fathers' Rights in Illinois

unmarried fathers rights

In Illinois, unmarried fathers have a harder time getting custody. As an unmarried father, your first step should be to ensure a finding of paternity is made to protect your fathers' rights to custody and visitation. Otherwise, the mother is likely to be given sole legal and residential custody.

Under the Illinois Parentage Act (750 ILCS 45/1 et. seq.), unmarried parents can establish paternity:

  • By Consent at Birth – Unmarried parents fill out forms in the hospital showing that they agree upon the father's paternity and consent to establish paternity at the time of the child's birth. If there is a presumed father other than seeking paternity, then that person must sign the forms as well to relinquish any paternity rights.
  • By Consent After Birth – Both parents fill out a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (VAP) form and file it with the Department of Healthcare and Family Services.
  • Through Child Support Services – The Illinois Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) Child Support Services enters an Administrative Paternity Order.
  • Via a Paternity Suit – The unmarried father or mother, or even the child, can file suit to establish the existence of a father-child relationship and of paternity via an Order of Paternity.

Pursuing Justice for Fathers throughout Chicagoland

You have the right to visit or parent your biological child. Every case is different, but our firm is committed to helping fathers establish and protect their rights. Do not hesitate to consult with our Chicago fathers’ rights attorneys.


Call (312) 487-2795 to set up your free 20-minute consultation.


Contact the Firm Today

for a Case Consultation 
  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.

Our Attorneys have a Long History

of Successfully Obtaining the Results Our Clients Expect
  • Always responsive, always available... this is the man you want in your corner

    “Always responsive, always available to you, patient, tough on the opposing team. Responsible, very involved - this is the man you want in your corner during this rough time. Thank you Jonathan.”

    - Previous Client
  • Jonathan is a great lawyer with great services and results

    “Jonathan is a great lawyer with great services and results!”

    - John
  • I cannot stress enough how happy I was with their performance and I highly recommend that anyone with a Family Law matter have the Law Offices of Jonathan Merel represent them.

    “The Law Offices of Jonathan Merel handled my divorce for me. I cannot stress enough how happy I was with their performance and I highly recommend that anyone with a Family Law matter have the Law ...”

    - Richard
  • Jonathan and his team are everything you want in a lawyer.

    “Dealing with family issues, particularly where children are involved, can be a very stressful and emotional time. Dealing with lawyers always scared me in the past as I did not have a good experience ...”

    - BCT
  • They were thorough, thoughtful, respectful and always acted with my interests at heart.

    “I wanted to feel as though I had someone in my corner and I got that with Jonathan and Simon. They were thorough, thoughtful, respectful and always acted with my interests at heart. Thoroughly recomme ...”

    - Former Client
/