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Question Details:

My father and mother agreed to a settlement of a one-lump support payment in a paternity suit. I am now 16, and represented by a guardian ad litem. I feel the agreement is not in my best interest. My father is now deceased, and I want to request a modification of support according to the state standard of 17% of gross income from the time of my birth, until I am 18. I’m not sure what else I am entitled to, if anything. Can I have a past stipulation vacated or modified?

Family Law Attorney Response:

You can. In fact, you may be entitled to property or pension benefits. The decision to vacate or modify a pre-existing stipulation will ultimately depend on many factors. However, you do have a right to bring this case before the courts. There are many ways this could play out. In the case of Gerhardt v. Estate of Moore 150 Wis. 2d 563, 441 N.W.2d 734 (1989), as an example, saw a similar case unfold. The child’s case was initially dismissed by the circuit court. Upon review by the supreme court, the decision was reversed, granting the child the child support requested and full ownership of the father’s pension benefits. My advice is to contact a family law attorney before moving forward with a court action.

Dan Exner, J.D.

Family Law Attorney

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