Milwaukee Family Law Attorneys Fight for Fathers Rights
Many unmarried fathers are at risk of losing some of their rights
Unmarried fathers may face challenges in establishing their right to see and spend time with their children. When parents are married at the time of their child’s birth, paternity is presumed. A father not married to the mother when the child is born, he will have to take steps to establish his legal rights. At Bandle & Zaeske, LLP, our Milwaukee family law attorneys are experienced in guiding fathers through the steps they need to take to establish paternity of their children.
How is paternity established?
If a father wants to prove that a child is biologically his, he has a few options.
First, if the child’s biological mother agrees that this individual is the father, the pair may sign an affidavit that states the child is biologically theirs. This affidavit may be signed at the hospital at the time of the child’s birth, at a Department of Children and Families office, or at a Child Support Enforcement Office.
However, if the mother will not sign an affidavit that declares paternity, the father may have to establish paternity through the court system. The parties agree to establish paternity which will result in an order establishing paternity and possibly child support.
In other cases, the court may decide to hold a hearing on paternity. The father may be ordered to undergo a DNA test to prove he is the father of the child. Once the test results are presented to the court, the court will declare paternity.
Why establish paternity?
Many fathers feel that they do not need to establish paternity because they have a good relationship with their children’s mother. However, relationships change, and, without legal rights established, a father risks being unable to see his children or having input on important decisions.
There are a number of reasons that fathers should establish paternity of their children.
- Placement concerns: Without a formal placement order, for which paternity must be established, the father may not be able to stop the mother from moving away with the children or from preventing him from spending time with the children.
- Child support: With established paternity, a father may seek child support if he is the custodian of the children. A father may also add his children to his health insurance plan and his life insurance with paternity legally established.
- Legal custody: When paternity is established, the parents may share joint legal custody of the children. The father will have the right to participate in decision-making on behalf of the children.
- Accessing the children’s records: With a formal paternity order, a father has the right to access specific information about his children—such as their medical histories and their school records.
These are just a few of the benefits that stem from legally establishing paternity.
Contact our skilled Milwaukee paternity lawyers today
If you need to establish your parental rights, contact Bandle & Zaeske. Our family law attorneys have assisted fathers for many years with establishing paternity of their children to ensure their legal rights are protected. Our attorneys serve clients in Washington, Ozaukee, and Waukesha Counties. To schedule a free consultation with our attorneys, call (414) 359-1424 or contact us online.