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Establishing Paternity in Wisconsin: Your Rights and the Process

August 16, 2023 Divorce

Establishing Paternity in Wisconsin

Are you facing allegations of being a father to a child? Whether you’re disputing or agreeing with the claim, understanding your rights is crucial. If you’re a mother aiming to establish paternity or a father contesting parentage, this guide will navigate you through the paternity process. In Milwaukee, having the right information and legal support from a qualified Milwaukee divorce lawyer is essential.

Understanding Paternity in Wisconsin

Paternity in Wisconsin holds significant legal implications. When a man acknowledges or legally establishes paternity, he assumes both rights and responsibilities for the child. These rights include visitation and decision-making, while obligations encompass child support and medical care costs.

  • Acknowledged Father: An acknowledged father agrees to being the child’s biological parent. This often occurs when a man is married to the child’s mother or voluntarily signs an acknowledgment during birth.
  • Alleged Father: An alleged father is accused of being the child’s parent but has not accepted responsibility until proven through genetic tests.
  • Presumptive Father: Legally presumed to be the father, usually due to marital status, but this can be disproven through genetic testing.

How to Establish Paternity in Wisconsin

Establishing paternity in Wisconsin is a crucial step for fathers and mothers alike. Whether you’re a father facing allegations or a mother seeking to establish your child’s paternity, understanding the process is essential. Wisconsin offers three methods for establishing paternity:

  • Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity: Unmarried parents can sign this form without court intervention, acknowledging the father’s status.
  • Adjudication: If contested, a judge decides the legal fatherhood based on evidence and the child’s best interests.
  • Legitimation: When unmarried parents marry after birth, they can establish paternity through an Acknowledgement of Marital Child form.

Importance of Paternity Testing in Wisconsin

Paternity testing involves analyzing DNA from the mother, alleged father, and child. Genetic tests provide a legal basis for paternity claims or denials. Whether you’re a father seeking to establish paternity or a mother aiming to secure your child’s rights, the significance of paternity testing cannot be overstated.

Consulting a knowledgeable Milwaukee divorce lawyer can guide you through the legal aspects of paternity testing, ensuring that your rights are protected and upheld.

Deadline for Establishing Paternity

While paternity can be established anytime, court actions must commence before the child turns 19. Minors can be compelled to participate, ensuring the legal process remains viable.

For parents who are uncertain about the paternity process or its implications, consulting an experienced Milwaukee divorce attorney is advisable. Our legal professional can provide guidance on initiating paternity actions within the appropriate timeframe.

Paternity Testing Process

The process involves lab-based DNA testing, with costs varying based on factors like location and court rules. Courts may order payment, and agencies might offer reduced costs. Private tests might require court validation.

Refusing Court-Ordered Paternity Test

Court-ordered tests are mandatory. Refusal can lead to fines or imprisonment. Alleged fathers can request genetic testing, with refusal leading to similar consequences.

Navigating a Wisconsin Paternity Case

After birth, paternity actions can be initiated by parents, child support agencies, or other parties. Courts handle cases where there are disputes or uncertainty. The alleged father’s response dictates the legal course, including possible genetic testing.

Contesting Paternity in Wisconsin

Alleged fathers can contest paternity and undergo genetic testing to prove non-paternity. Rarely, even when proven non-biological, legal fatherhood might be established for the child’s welfare.

Establishing paternity in Wisconsin is a crucial process, involving rights, responsibilities, and legal procedures. Navigating this process smoothly requires professional assistance. If you’re seeking guidance or representation in Milwaukee, consult an experienced Milwaukee divorce lawyer to ensure your rights are protected throughout the paternity establishment journey.

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