Can I ask the court for custody of my child even though we were never married to each other?

Yes. There are various Illinois laws (“statutes”) that give courts authority to decide child custody. The two most popular ones are the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) and the Illinois Parentage Act. People can and often do ask for custody of their kids under the IMDMA even though they were never married to each other. 

If you were never married, there are different scenarios by which custody may already have been established unbenknownst to you (scary). Also, if you don’t live with your child, you may want to have parental rights established through the courts (such as visitation and so forth). Many people make the mistake of waiting until there is a problem with their ex-boyfriend or girlfriend before talking to a lawyer about how to best protect their interests and the interests of their kids. It is best to consult with an attorney sooner rather than later if you want to establish custody of your child or other rights as a parent.  Don’t wait until it is too late when your rights are being threatened. Contact O’Connor Cadiz law, in Schaumburg or Itasca, to schedule a confidential appointment about your rights as a parent.