There are few times that are as joyous as adding a new baby to your family. The changing landscape of the American family means that it is more likely now than ever before that the baby may be born to parents who are not married. If you are married to the mother of your new baby, Wisconsin law states that you are presumed to be the father of the child and you do not have to take extra action to be established as the legal father of that child. Being the legal father means that you have the right to ask the court to establish visitation or custody and also that the mother of the child can ask the court to enter an order for child support. If you are not married to the mother of your child, you will need to take extra steps to establish paternity.
Helping You Understand the Need for Paternity Actions
First Look Family Law, SC has extensive experience in helping our clients decide if they need to file a paternity action. We know that your child is the most important person to you, and we have the tools to help you move toward your custody and visitation goals. We can provide you with information about the need for paternity actions. Attorney Karyn Youso will take the time to talk with you about the timing of your case, arm you with knowledge about the law in Wisconsin, and help you to make the best decisions for the next step for you and your children.
Paternity Law Basics
“Paternity” simply refers to the legal relationship between you and your child. As mentioned above, if you are married to the mother of the child, paternity is automatically established. Without the benefit of marriage, you will need to take additional steps to establish that legal relationship.
One way to establish paternity is for you and the mother to sign an Acknowledgement of Paternity. This document is usually signed soon after the child is born, and recognizes that both you and the mother agree that you are the child’s biological father. You do not have to have a genetic test before you sign this document. However, once you sign, you will gain legal rights but also become legally obligated in very specific ways to the child. It is also important to note that signing this document does not automatically grant you specific visitation rights. Before making this very important decision, talk to us at First Look Family Law, SC about your options and what this document will mean for you and your child.