– from Phyllis N. in Menomonee Falls, WI

Question Details:

My son's father and I were acquaintances for a time years ago. Before I moved to another city, we had relations and I became pregnant. I never told the father that I was pregnant, nor did I know how to get ahold of him. I recently found him on a social media site, told him about the situation, and that we needed help. He said that he did not believe that he was the father, and that I would have to take him to court. He said that he was not responsible for any part of my son's well being. Is he responsible for past and future support?

Family Law Attorney Response:

The question that should actually be addressed here, is how do you establish paternity. This is the first thing that must be addressed before you take any child support action. Without adhering to proper procedures in order to remain compliant with Wisconsin law, you run the risk of having the case dismissed by the father before your case is ever heard.

In the case of J.M.S. v. Benson, 98 Wis. 2d 406, 297 N.W.2d 18 (1980), a mother and son's motion for a hearing was originally accepted. However, after an appeal affirmed, it was overturned by the supreme court and the fathers motion to dismiss was upheld.

My advice would be to speak with a family law attorney in order to sort out the details, and get a clear picture of what steps you need to take in order to make a motion that adheres to Wisconsin law. In this situation, you don't want to leave anything to chance.

Dan Exner, J.D.

Family Law Attorney

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