Question Details:

My father, mother, and step-father entered into a settlement agreement when I was a baby. The agreement stipulated that my father would not be named as my father, but he would pay for my mother’s hospital bills related to my birth, my medical bills, and a one-lump payment for support. I am 18 now, and I feel that I have the right to take him back to court for back support. What he paid did not cover the last 18 years. Can I do that?

Family Law Attorney Response:

First off, I’d like to say that ultimately, it is the court’s decision as to how they view the details of your case and the stipulation. As for your question, yes, you can do that. As I’ve explained, it depends on the court’s findings as to the wording of the stipulation that would factor into their decision. This was demonstrated in the case of P.J.W. v. D.A.H. (In re Paternity of P.J.W.) 150 Wis. 2d 123, 441 N.W.2d 289 (Ct. App. 1989). In this case, a similar case was brought before the court. The request included a determination that the alleged father was the individual’s father, along with a back-support order. The court denied the individual’s request on both counts. Upon appeal, however, the paternity establishment was reversed, but the support request was denied. My advice is to seek the counsel of an experienced family law attorney before moving forward with your case.

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Dan Exner, J.D.

Family Law Attorney

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