Wisconsin Paternity Laws
The Paternity Process
This section covers what it looks like to go through a contested paternity case. If the paternity is uncontested, meaning both parties agree on who the father is, then there is no need for a paternity case.
For more information on this process and the subsequent process of child custody determinations, visit our page outlining what it looks like to work with us from start to finish.
When you file your case, be sure to use the correct paperwork. If you want help with the paperwork, your attorney can take care of it.
After filing, the court schedules a hearing that both parties must attend. At the hearing, the court explains the potential father’s rights and responsibilities. If he wants genetic testing to prove whether he is the father, he can ask for it at this hearing.
What is commonly known as a paternity test, the court needs a conclusive paternity determination based on genetic test results to prove someone is the father of a child. An at home test is not enough, so the court will order the test to be done in a medical setting they approved.
If the person tested really was the father, then a child custody case comes next. In the child custody process, parties will make a plan on how to move forward with child custody, child placement, and child support.
How Custody Works
The Wisconsin child custody laws outline how the court determines child custody. Custody is the parents’ ability to make major decisions in the child’s life. The court assumes that both parents will share custody unless one parent is unfit to take care of a child.
Placement refers to who the child spends each day with. There are many different placement schedules and the best one for your family will depend on each party’s needs and schedules.
Figuring out all the logistics surrounding a child is never easy. We strive to prepare you as best as possible, and having an attorney at your side will only make the process easier. Ultimately, any decisions are made based on what is in the child’s best interest.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can paternity of a child be established?Paternity can be established with the voluntary acknowledgement of paternity at the time of the child’s birth. If this is not done, you can establish paternity through a court action.
How much does a paternity test cost in Wisconsin?
Usually, a paternity test is under $50 for each party, but it varies depending on the county as each county uses different providers. In the case, the paternity test is paid for by the county. But if the court knows that either party has enough money to pay for the paternity tests at the end of the case, that party will reimburse the county.