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How can paternity be established?

If you need to have the paternity of your child determined in Wisconsin, there are a few options that you have. Paternity is important to know for legal reasons, such as establishing custody or setting up child support. In some cases, it is easy to determine who the father is and you may be able to easily establish paternity. However, other times, it may require court interference. 

Voluntary acknowledgment is the easiest way to establish paternity, according to the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families. If you are the mother and you marry the father after your child is born, your husband can sign a form called Acknowledgment of Marital Child. It will make him legally the father and ensure he is awarded all proper rights. Otherwise, if you are not married to the father, he can still sign a voluntary statement that he is the father, but he must be at least 18 years old. The form is called the Voluntary Paternity Acknowledgment. 

If a voluntary acknowledgment is not possible, then you may need to go to court to establish paternity. If you are the mother, you can name the father and compel him to show up in court. If you are the father and the mother is denying your paternity rights, then you need to get them established by going to court. Once in court, the judge may rule a DNA test be taken to determine paternity through scientific means. If you, as the mother, are taking the father to court and he does not show up, the court may rule he is the father without any testing required. This information is for education and is not legal advice. 

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Superior, WI 54880

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