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Family law: Why it’s necessary to establish paternity

| Sep 21, 2020 | Family Law |

There are several reasons it’s important to know the paternity of a child. In Wisconsin, family law rules govern such issues as child support and child custody. Knowing the paternity of a child helps to determine the factors that play into those issues. Legally establishing the father of a child is in the best interests of the child.

Paternity isn’t always cut and dried. There are occasions when it can be challenged and when test results may be erroneous. Some of the grounds for challenge include the possibility of tainted lab results, proof of sterility or infertility, the chance test results were tampered with or proof the mother was unfaithful to the named father of the child. Challenging paternity usually begins with filing a petition with a court.

Chances are, the court will order another DNA test for the suspected father and look at other things such as medical records. Blood tests could also be used to help determine if the man is, in fact, biologically related to the child, in addition to using DNA testing. Once the court receives all the information needed to establish paternity, a judge will name the father in a court order after which time custody and child support issues will be determined.

Wisconsin residents wishing to get help with establishing the paternity of a child, may do well to consult with a lawyer experienced in family law. Whether a client is the mother of the child or a man whose paternal status is in question, a lawyer may be able to help a father to get time with his child or a mother to receive financial support from the child’s father. An attorney can review the specifics of each individual case and may be able to help a client to find a solution appropriate to his or her personal circumstance.