Paternity actions are court cases that are used to establish certain rights for and to a child when the parents were not married to each other at the time of the birth and have not since married. Just some of those rights include:
- Establishing and collecting child support through the child support system
- Establishing Legal Custody and Physical Placement rights for the father
- Health Insurance for the child through the father,
- Inheritance and Social Security benefits of the father's in the event of his death.
The Family Court Self-Help Center does not provide procedural assistance to individuals needing to start Paternity actions, however, parties have the following two other options:
- Contact the Waukesha County Child Support Division to find out more information about how to have an attorney from Corporation Counsel assist in the process (an application must be completed and a minimal fee may be required depending on the case). If you are receiving certain types of Public Assistance, the Child Support Division may start this process without either party requesting it.
- Contact a Private Attorney to assist in the process. See the Legal Assistance page of this site for more information.
If you have a court case number and Paternity has already been established (you have a Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, and Judgment of Paternity signed by the court) your case is considered Post-Judgment. This means any enforcement (Contempt) actions or modifications you would like to pursue in family court are made the same way as post-judgment divorces and legal separations.
Please also see the Family Court Links page of this site for further information.