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Question Details:

I was never married to the father of my child. He has never been a resident of Wisconsin. I visited him in another state where I became pregnant with my daughter. He and I never had a “real” relationship. A few months ago, after I gave birth, he came to visit me and our daughter. He did not stay for too long. I need support from him for our daughter, whether or not he wants to be a part of her life. Our lives. Is one visit enough to claim personal jurisdiction in a paternity suit?

Family Law Attorney Response:

I take it the alleged father is not willing to admit he is the father? In any event, there are several avenues you may take in which to pursue support from the father. However, to address your primary question, it may be difficult for the court to claim personal jurisdiction over the alleged father here in Wisconsin. In order for the court to claim personal jurisdiction over the alleged father, he would have had to constitute sufficient minimal contact. His single visit may or may not satisfy this requirement. This was demonstrated in the case of State ex rel. N.R.Z. v. G.L.C. 152 Wis. 2d 97, 447 N.W.2d 533 (1989). The circuit court denied the alleged father’s motion to dismiss. The court of appeals certified the appeal to the supreme court. The supreme court found that Wisconsin did not have personal jurisdiction over the alleged father, and reversed the circuit court’s decision. My advice to you is to contact a family law attorney in order to discuss the specifics of your case in greater detail.


Dan Exner, J.D.

Family Law Attorney

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