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Father’s Rights

These practice area statements are provided by the attorneys from Murphy & Dunn and represent their thoughts on practicing law over the past 36 years in family law. They are not legal advice. They are a general overview of the law, with specific statutes cited for your review, and opinions on how they generally apply in divorce cases in Illinois. Each and every case is different.

To learn more, and to see if the attorneys and staff at Murphy & Dunn, P.C. can help you, please visit our Contact page to schedule your free initial consultation.

In the past, fathers’ rights were secondary to the rights of mothers in child custody and visitation matters. Luckily times and attitudes have changed. Today, fathers often play an active role in the lives of their children. Many serve as primary caregivers. They insist on being treated equally when it comes to child custody and visitation.

The legislature, the courts and judges in Illinois have recognized the changing role of fathers. Officially, custody and visitation decisions are now gender neutral. The primary custodial parent is determined by what is in the best interest of the child, not by the gender of the parent.


Legal Help for Unwed and Divorced Dads

G. Edward Murphy and the teams of attorneys at Murphy & Dunn, P.C. stand up for the rights of fathers who want to participate fully and legally as parents. We help men who are divorcing negotiate or litigate fair child custody, visitation and child support arrangements. We fight for you. We also help unwed fathers establish paternity of their children. Once this step is taken, fathers have the right to child custody or visitation.

In addition, we represent both divorced and unwed fathers in post-judgment issues, including modification of child support, custody and visitation. We are often called upon to represent the interests of fathers when the mother wants to relocate from the area with the child. In addition to fighting these removal petitions, we fight for unmarried fathers to retain their parental rights if the mother has gotten married to another man who wants to adopt the children.

For further information, please fill out our Contact Us form, e-mail us at, or call us at 309.674.5551 to schedule your free initial office consultation at either of our two convenient office locations.