In re the Parentage of J.W.

Illinois Supreme Court
Civil Court
Case Number: 
2013 IL 114817
Decision Date: 
Thursday, May 23, 2013
4th Dist.
Vermilion Co.
Circuit court affirmed; appellate court reversed.
Biological father of 11-year-old girl, conceived in one-time sexual encounter but whose parentage had been presumed to be of mother's first husband, legally established his parentage. In proceeding to determine visitation privileges under Section 14(a)(1) of Parentage Act, initial burden is on the noncustodial parent to show visitation is in the best interests of the child, using best-interest standard of Section 602 of Marriage Act. Court's ruling that any presumption that it was in child's best interests to promote parent-child relationship was rebutted by evidence, considering child's actions and behavior and concern of expert and GAL for increased risk of harm to child at this stage in her concrete cognitive development if visitation with biological father were awarded. (KILBRIDE, FREEMAN, THOMAS, GARMAN, KARMEIER, and BURKE, concurring.)