Milwaukee and Waukesha Paternity Lawyers
Paternity refers to a legal action to establish that a man is the father of a child. A paternity action may be brought in order to impose a child support obligation, establish a right to inheritance, secure consent for the child's adoption, or gain or prohibit custody or placement rights.
Establishing paternity is financially important and establishes parental rights as well as contributing to a child's sense of identity. Our Milwaukee Wisconsin Paternity attorneys have access to the resources to help establish paternity or to set the record straight when paternity has been incorrectly asserted.
In a situation in which a acknowledgement of paternity has been signed, paternity is established immediately. (A Blue form is presented at the hospital.) There is still a need, however, to set up child support and other financial factors as well as custody and placement rights.
Child Custody: Custody grants the rights and responsibilities to one or both parents to make major decisions concerning the child as determined by the court or the agreement of both parties. Some of these major decisions are consent to marry before eighteen, consent to enter military service before eighteen, consent to obtain a driver's license, authorization for non-emergency health care, choice of school and religion. The determination of whether custody should be sole or joint is based on the best interest of the child with a presumption that joint custody is usually best for the child.
Child Placement: Physical placement means where the child is physically placed. (Usually where the child's head hits the pillow at night.) If the parties do not agree on the physical placement schedule, there is a procedure through the courts to help the parties reach an agreement. If the parties cannot reach an agreement, the court makes a decision. In making the decision, the court considers all facts relevant to the best interest of the child. Some of the factors the court considers are:
- The wishes of the child's parents
- The wishes of the child, which may be communicated by the child or through the child's guardian ad litem or other professional
- The interaction and interrelationship of the child with his or her parents, siblings, and any other person who may significantly affect the child's best interest
- The amount and quality of time that each parent has spent with the child in the past, any necessary changes to the parents' custodial roles and any reasonable life-style changes that a parent proposes to make to be able to spend time with the child in the future
- The child's adjustment to the home, school, religion and community
- The age of the child and the child's developmental and educational needs at different ages
- The mental and physical health of the parties, the minor children and other persons living in the proposed custodial household
- The need for regularly occurring and meaningful periods pf physical placement to provide predictability and stability for the child;
The availability of public or private child care services;
The cooperation and communication between the parties and whether either party unreasonably refuses to cooperate or communicate with the other party;
Whether each party can support the other party's relationship with the child, including encouraging and facilitating frequent and continuing contact with the child, or whether one party is likely to unreasonably interfere with the child's continuing relationship with the other party.
Child Support: Child support is based on the amount of time that the child spends with each of their parents and the incomes of the parties. We will work with you to ensure that the proper amounts are being paid taking into consideration not only the child support formulas but also health insurance and dependency exemptions.
Contact our Milwaukee Wisconsin Paternity lawyers today to discuss how we can help you with your paterntiy matter.