Paternity is the legal process by which the biological father of a child is legally established and found to be father by the courts. Generally, paternity actions relate to children born out of wedlock.  Children born to married women are considered to marital children and the husband is presumed to be the father as paternity is immediately established.  However, in certain circumstances, the paternity of a marital child may also be challenged.

If a child is born out of wedlock, there are several ways in which the paternity of a child can be established, including:

  • If the parties marry after the child’s birth;
  • If, at the time of birth or shortly thereafter, the father and mother both sign a statement called a “Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity” and file it with the state registrar (certain restrictions apply to parents who are minors or in the event one or both parties rescind the Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity in a timely manner pursuant to statute);
  • If some person authorized under statute files a motion to establish paternity and either a male stipulates to being the father or the court, after hearing evidence, makes a determination as to who is the father.  A motion to establish paternity can be filed by the child, the child’s natural mother, a male presumed to be the child’s father, a male alleging himself to be the father, the personal representative of any of the preceding individuals if that person has died, the legal or physical custodian of the child, the state of Wisconsin under certain circumstances, a guardian ad litem appointed by the court under certain circumstances, and a few others under specified circumstances

Once paternity has been established, the court will enter a judgment of paternity, and will make orders concerning legal custody, physical placement and/or visitation, health care for the child and child support.

If you are considering whether to bring a paternity action or if you are involved in a paternity suit, it is only to your advantage to have an experienced, knowledgeable and skilled attorney working for you and your interests. Attorney Bryan S. Seidl’s years of experience in family law and paternity matters make him the wise choice to advise and represent you regarding your rights and to negotiate a fair settlement of your obligations. Mr. Seidl will make certain that you are timely and fully informed with regard to the process and procedures, your rights and your options. Mr. Seidl takes pride in effectively communicating with his clients so that they know and understand the legal processes, their options and the law.  Contact Seidl Law Offices, LLC, now at (715) 365-9008 for a free consultation.