– from Nicholas V. in West Bend, WI

Question Details:

I dated a girl for a while, but we broke up because I thought she may have been cheating. Come to find out, she had a baby. She took me to court alleging that I was the baby's father. I immediately found out that she was planning to leave state and get married. We then agreed to a stipulation to have the paternity action dismissed. I found out that the marriage never happened. Now she wants to reopen the case. Can she do that?

Family Law Attorney Response:

There are many factors involved in a child support case like this, Most importantly, the wording of the stipulation. Without knowing the precise wording, all I can really do is look toward a similar case to show one possible way your case could play out.

In the case of State v. A.G.R. (In re Paternity of M.T.H.) 140 Wis. 2d 843, 412 N.W.2d 164 (Ct. App. 1987), a stipulation was signed in a paternity suit due to the mother leaving state to be married and the child adopted. Neither the marriage or adoption ever took place, so the mother attempted to reopen the suit. The circuit court granted the motion to reopen the case and the court of appeals affirmed.

My advice is to contact an attorney right away before proceeding on the matter.

Dan Exner, J.D.

Family Law Attorney

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