Different Ways to Establish Paternity in Milwaukee


Paternity is the biological father of a child. A man is presumed to be the father if he married or lived with the mother of a childor if one parent agrees to acknowledge the father’s paternity. If a couple separates during pregnancy, paternity can be established by DNA testing with the mother’s consent or through a court order.

Establishing paternity in Milwaukee has always been complicated due to its large number of divorces, births out of wedlock, and children born as part of an incestuous relationship. Thus, Wisconsin has modified its laws to provide more clarity and predictability to the process for all parties involved. In addition, the Wisconsin legislature has recognized paternity change over time in situations when a child is adopted or placed for adoption. You can consult a family law attorney Milwaukee to know more about establishing paternity.

Here we are listing out different ways in which paternity can be established.

  • Voluntary acknowledgement of paternity

Wisconsin law presumes that an unmarried mother’s husband is the father of her child unless he identifies himself to be someone else. If he does not want to be named as a parent, he must sign an acknowledgement of paternity form with the child’s mother. A court can compel him to do so by issuing a citation or by initiating contempt proceedings.

Complications arise when the husband/father does not want to be named as a father but does not sign an acknowledgement of paternity form because he mistakenly believes that Wisconsin law requires it. In such cases, the mother must present proof that the man has been divorced from his spouse and that she is collecting child support from him.

  • Adjudication

Another way to establish paternity is through administrative or judicial action. A court can establish paternity by conducting a hearing and reviewing the results of DNA testing. Generally, a court order is the best way to establish paternity because the biological father’s name will be added to the birth certificate and he will be financially responsible for his child.

  • Legitimation

Parents can also agree to legitimize their child by signing a written agreement that acknowledges that the man is the father of the child and agrees to support him. This method is best for couples who do not believe that the father’s name should be on their child’s birth certificate.


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