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Madison Paternity Attorneys

Green County paternity attorney

Lawyers in Dane County for Resolving Parentage Disputes

Parent-child relationships are important, and in many cases, there is no doubt about the identity of a child's mother and father. If parents are married, and a child was born after their marriage became legal and before a divorce or legal separation, the spouses will be presumed to be the child's legal parents. However, when a child's parents are unmarried, the father may not be considered a legal parent of the child until paternity is established.

Establishing paternity can sometimes be a complex legal process, but with the help of an experienced family law attorney in Madison, Wisconsin, parents can ensure that these issues will be addressed correctly. There are a number of benefits that will be provided to fathers, mothers, and children when paternity is established. At John T. Fields & Associates, LLC, we can assist with the process of establishing paternity, ensuring that legal relationships between parents and children will be recognized. Whether you are a father who wishes to protect your relationship with your child or a mother who is looking to make sure your child has a legal relationship with their father, we can advise you of your rights and options and guide you through your paternity case.

Methods of Establishing Paternity in Wisconsin

The fastest and easiest method of establishing paternity will involve an agreement between the child's parents that a man is the child's biological father. Parents can sign a form known as a Voluntary Paternity Acknowledgment (VPA) at any time after the birth of their child. Once this form is submitted, the man will be recognized as the child's legal father. However, if there is any doubt as to the identity of the child's father, a VPA should not be signed, and the identity of the child's biological father should be determined before paternity is established.

Parents may agree to undergo genetic testing to verify the identity of the child's father. If either parent contests paternity or does not agree to genetic testing, a petition to establish paternity may be filed in court, and a hearing will be held where a judge may make a decision. If there is not enough information to conclusively determine whether a man is the child's father, the judge may order a DNA test. If results of a genetic test show that there is a statistical probability of 99 percent or higher that the man is the child's biological father, the man will be named as the child's legal parent.

Benefits of Establishing Paternity

When paternity is established, it will give a father all of the rights and responsibilities that come with being a child's parent. However, a paternity order will not establish any child custody rights or require a father to pay child support. These issues will usually be handled in a separate family law proceeding. Depending on the circumstances of the case, the parents may share joint custody of the child, or one parent may be granted sole custody. Child support orders will also be put in place to ensure that both parents will contribute to the child's ongoing needs.

In addition to establishing parental rights and responsibilities, paternity can provide numerous benefits for the child. The child will be able to inherit assets from both parents after their death. They will also be able to receive insurance coverage through either parent, and they may be eligible for Social Security benefits, veteran's benefits, or pension benefits under their mother or father. They will have the right to access family medical history when necessary to ensure that they receive the proper medical treatment. Aside from all of these legal and financial benefits, paternity can give a child a better understanding of their roots and provide them with a sense of belonging.

Contact a Dane County Paternity Lawyer

At John T. Fields & Associates, LLC, we understand the importance of paternity for both parents and children. If you need assistance with paternity issues in Madison or other communities in Southern Wisconsin, our knowledgeable family law attorneys can help. We are experienced in all aspects of paternity cases, from genetic testing to filing petitions and representing clients in matters related to child custody after paternity is established. Contact us today at 608-729-3590 to get the legal help you need. Our team assists with family law cases in Iowa County, Dane County, Sauk County, Green County, Dodge County, Rock County, and Columbia County.

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