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767.85(1)(1)When required. At any time during the pendency of an action to establish the paternity of a child, if genetic tests show that the alleged father is not excluded and that the statistical probability of the alleged father's parentage is 99.0 percent or higher, on the motion of a party, the court shall make an appropriate temporary order for the payment of child support and may make a temporary order assigning responsibility for and directing the manner of payment of the child's health care expenses.
767.85(2) (2) Considerations. Before making any temporary order under sub. (1), the court shall consider those factors that the court is required to consider when granting a final judgment on the same subject matter. If the court makes a temporary child support order that deviates from the amount of support that would be required by using the percentage standard established by the department under s. 49.22 (9), the court shall comply with the requirements of s. 767.511 (1n).
767.85 History History: 1997 a. 191; 1999 a. 9; 2005 a. 443 ss. 209, 252; Stats. 2005 s. 767.85.
767.853 767.853 Paternity hearings and records; confidentiality. Any hearing, discovery proceeding or trial relating to paternity determination shall be closed to any person other than those necessary to the action or proceeding. Any record of pending proceedings shall be placed in a closed file, except that:
767.853(1) (1) Pending proceeding. Access to the record of any pending proceeding involving the paternity of the same child shall be allowed to all of the following:
767.853(1)(a) (a) The child's parents.
767.853(1)(b) (b) The parties to that proceeding and their attorneys or their authorized representatives.
767.853(1)(c) (c) If the child is the subject of a proceeding under ch. 48 or 938, all of the following:
767.853(1)(c)1. 1. The court assigned to exercise jurisdiction under chs. 48 and 938 in which the proceeding is pending.
767.853(1)(c)2. 2. The parties to the proceeding under ch. 48 or 938 and their attorneys.
767.853(1)(c)3. 3. The person under s. 48.09 or 938.09 who represents the interests of the public in the proceeding under ch. 48 or 938.
767.853(1)(c)4. 4. A guardian ad litem for the child and a guardian ad litem for the child's parent.
767.853(1)(c)5. 5. Any governmental or social agency involved in the proceeding under ch. 48 or 938.
767.853(2) (2) Information access to department and child support agencies. The clerk of circuit court shall provide access to the record of any pending paternity proceeding to the department or any county child support agency under s. 59.53 (5) for purposes related to administering the child and spousal support and establishment of paternity and medical support liability program under ss. 49.22 and 59.53 (5), regardless of whether the department or county child support agency is a party to the proceeding.
767.853(3) (3) Past proceedings. Subject to s. 767.13, a record of a past proceeding is open to public inspection if all of the following apply:
767.853(3)(a) (a) Paternity was established in the proceeding.
767.853(3)(b) (b) The record is filed after May 1, 2000.
767.853(3)(c) (c) The record relates to a post-adjudication issue.
767.853 History History: 1979 c. 352; 1983 a. 447; 1985 a. 29; 1995 a. 27 s. 9126 (19); 1995 a. 201, 275, 404; 1997 a. 80, 252; 1999 a. 9; 2005 a. 443 ss. 222, 253; Stats. 2005 s. 767.853; 2007 a. 81.
767.855 767.855 Dismissal if adjudication not in child's best interest. Except as provided in s. 767.863 (1m), at any time in an action to establish the paternity of a child, upon the motion of a party or guardian ad litem, the court or supplemental court commissioner under s. 757.675 (2) (g) may, if the court or supplemental court commissioner determines that a judicial determination of whether a male is the father of the child is not in the best interest of the child, dismiss the action with respect to the male, regardless of whether genetic tests have been performed or what the results of the tests, if performed, were. Notwithstanding ss. 767.813 (5g) (form) 4., 767.84 (1) and (2), 767.863 (2), 767.865 (2), and 767.88 (4), if genetic tests have not yet been performed with respect to the male, the court or supplemental court commissioner is not required to order those genetic tests.
767.855 History History: 1997 a. 191; 2001 a. 61; 2005 a. 443 s. 202; Stats. 2005 s. 767.855; 2019 a. 95.
767.855 Annotation Parental status that rises to the level of a constitutionally protected liberty interest does not rest solely on biological factors, but rather, is dependent upon an actual relationship with the child where the parent assumes responsibility for the child's emotional and financial needs. Stuart S. v. Heidi R., 2015 WI App 19, 360 Wis. 2d 388, 860 N.W.2d 538, 14-1487.
767.86 767.86 Time of first appearance. The first appearance under s. 767.863 may not be held until 30 days after service or receipt of the summons and petition unless the parties agree to an earlier date.
767.86 History History: 1987 a. 27; 1991 a. 313; 2005 a. 443 s. 193.
767.86 Note NOTE: 2005 Wis. Act 443 contains explanatory notes.
767.863 767.863 First appearance.
767.863(1)(1)Notice to parties. If the respondent is present at a hearing prior to the determination of paternity, the court shall, at least one time at one such hearing, inform the parties of the items in s. 767.813 (5g).
767.863(1m) (1m) Paternity allegation by male other than husband; when determination not in best interest of child. In an action to establish the paternity of a child who was born to a woman while she was married, if a male other than the woman's husband alleges that he, not the husband, is the child's father, a party may allege that a judicial determination that a male other than the husband is the father is not in the best interest of the child. If the court or a supplemental court commissioner under s. 757.675 (2) (g) determines that a judicial determination of whether a male other than the husband is the father is not in the best interest of the child, no genetic tests may be ordered and the action shall be dismissed.
767.863(2) (2) Order for tests. If at the first appearance it appears from a sufficient petition or affidavit of the child's mother or an alleged father or from sworn testimony of the child's mother or an alleged father that there is probable cause to believe that any of the males named has had sexual intercourse with the mother during a possible time of the child's conception, the court may, or upon the request of any party shall, order any of the named persons to submit to genetic tests. The tests shall be conducted in accordance with s. 767.84. The court is not required to order a person who has undergone a genetic test under s. 49.225 to submit to another genetic test under this subsection unless a party requests additional tests under s. 767.84 (2).
767.863(3) (3) Orders if statement on file. At the first appearance, if a statement acknowledging paternity under s. 69.15 (3) (b) 1. or 3. that was signed and filed before April 1, 1998, is on file, the court may enter an order for child support, legal custody or physical placement and, if the respondent who filed the statement does not dispute his paternity, may enter a judgment of paternity.
767.863 History History: 1979 c. 352; 1983 a. 447 s. 34; Stats. 1983 s. 767.457; 1987 a. 27 ss. 2136t, 2137d, 2137e; Stats. 1987 s. 767.458; 1987 a. 403, 413; 1993 a. 16, 481; 1995 a. 100; 1997 a. 191; 2001 a. 61; 2005 a. 443 ss. 195 to 198, 254; Stats. 2005 s. 767.863.
767.863 Note NOTE: 2005 Wis. Act 443 contains explanatory notes.
767.863 Annotation Before dismissing a petition without considering the merits, sub. (1m) requires the trial court to conduct a hearing to determine the child's best interests. Paternity of T.R.B., 154 Wis. 2d 637, 454 N.W.2d 561 (Ct. App. 1990).
767.863 Annotation Sub. (1m) is constitutional. The court has an obligation to refuse to allow blood tests if the tests may result in a determination that the person alleging his paternity is the natural father and that determination would not be in the best interest of the children. Paternity of C.A.S., 161 Wis. 2d 1015, 468 N.W.2d 719 (1991).
767.863 Annotation The plain language of sub. (1m) does not limit the court's authority to dismiss paternity actions to cases in which no genetic tests have been performed. The circuit court in this case correctly disregarded the genetic testing upon which a nonspouse who asserted paternity relied because the testing was not completed pursuant to court order. The court properly ruled that a judicial determination that the nonspouse was the child's father would not be in the child's best interest. Stuart S. v. Heidi R., 2015 WI App 19, 360 Wis. 2d 388, 860 N.W.2d 538, 14-1487.
767.863 Annotation Parental status that rises to the level of a constitutionally protected liberty interest does not rest solely on biological factors, but rather, is dependent upon an actual relationship with the child where the parent assumes responsibility for the child's emotional and financial needs. Stuart S. v. Heidi R., 2015 WI App 19, 360 Wis. 2d 388, 860 N.W.2d 538, 14-1487.
767.863 Annotation Circuit courts have discretion to dismiss actions without prejudice under this section. Section 767.88 expressly contemplates that circuit courts possess discretion to dismiss a paternity action with or without prejudice prior to a trial on the merits. Consequently, s. 767.88 strongly suggests the legislature intended that courts have such discretion when dismissing actions under this section when the ultimate issue of paternity is similarly not reached. Douglas L. v. Arika B., 2015 WI App 80, 365 Wis. 2d 257, 872 N.W.2d 357, 14-2656.
767.863 Annotation In re Paternity of C.A.S. and C.D.S.: The New Status of Putative Fathers' Rights in Wisconsin. 1992 WLR 1669.
767.865 767.865 Deceased respondent.
767.865(1)(1)Who may appear.
767.865(1)(a)(a) The personal representative or, if there is no personal representative, a guardian ad litem appointed in accordance with par. (b) may appear for a deceased respondent whenever an appearance by the respondent is required. The summons and petition shall be served on the deceased respondent's personal representative or guardian ad litem, as the case may be, under s. 767.813 (4).
767.865(1)(b) (b) If the court determines that it is appropriate, the court may appoint a guardian ad litem for the deceased respondent for purposes of par. (a). Section 767.407 (3) and (5) applies to the guardian ad litem. The guardian ad litem shall represent the interests of the deceased respondent. The guardian ad litem shall be compensated at a rate that the court determines is reasonable. The court shall order the compensation to be paid from the deceased respondent's estate. If the moneys in the estate are not sufficient to pay all or part of the compensation, the court may direct that the county of venue pay the compensation. If the court orders a county to pay the compensation of the guardian ad litem, the amount ordered may not exceed the compensation paid to private attorneys under s. 977.08 (4m) (b).
767.865(2) (2) Genetic tests. If genetic material is available, without undue hardship, from a deceased respondent or a relative of the deceased respondent in an action for paternity, genetic tests shall be administered in accordance with s. 767.84. There is a rebuttable presumption that exhumation of the deceased respondent's body to obtain the genetic material for testing is an undue hardship under this subsection.
767.865 History History: 1993 a. 481; 2005 a. 443 ss. 199, 200, 255 to 257; Stats. 2005 s. 767.865; 2013 a. 170.
767.865 Note NOTE: 2005 Wis. Act 443 contains explanatory notes.
767.87 767.87 Testimony and evidence relating to paternity.
767.87(1)(1)Generally. Evidence relating to paternity, whether given at the trial or the pretrial hearing, may include, but is not limited to:
767.87(1)(a) (a) Evidence of sexual intercourse between the mother and alleged father at any possible time of conception or evidence of a relationship between the mother and alleged father at any time.
767.87(1)(b) (b) An expert's opinion concerning the statistical probability of the alleged father's paternity based upon the duration of the mother's pregnancy.
767.87(1)(c) (c) Genetic test results under s. 49.225, 767.84, or 885.23.
767.87(1)(cm) (cm) Genetic test results under s. 48.299 (6) (e) or 938.299 (6) (e).
767.87(1)(d) (d) The statistical probability of the alleged father's paternity based upon the genetic tests.
767.87(1)(e) (e) Medical, scientific or genetic evidence relating to the alleged father's paternity of the child based on tests performed by experts.
767.87(1)(f) (f) All other evidence relevant to the issue of paternity of the child, except as provided in subs. (2), (2m) and (3).
767.87(1m) (1m) Birth record required. If the child was born in this state, the petitioner shall present a certified copy of the child's birth record or a printed copy of the record from the birth database of the state registrar to the court, so that the court is aware of whether a name has been inserted on the birth record as the father of the child, at the earliest possible of the following:
767.87(1m)(a) (a) The initial appearance.
767.87(1m)(b) (b) The pretrial hearing.
767.87(1m)(c) (c) The trial.
767.87(1m)(d) (d) Prior to the entry of the judgment under s. 767.89.
767.87(2) (2) Admissibility of sexual relations by mother. Testimony relating to sexual relations or possible sexual relations of the mother any time other than the possible time of conception of the child is inadmissible in evidence, unless offered by the mother.
767.87(2m) (2m) Admissibility of certain medical and genetic information. Medical and genetic information filed with the department or the court under s. 48.425 (1) (am) or (2) is not admissible to prove the paternity of the child.
767.87(3) (3) Evidence of identified male not under jurisdiction. Except as provided in s. 767.84 (4), in an action against an alleged father, evidence offered by him with respect to an identified male who is not subject to the jurisdiction of the court concerning that male's sexual intercourse with the mother at or about the presumptive time of conception of the child is admissible in evidence only after the alleged father has undergone genetic tests and made the results available to the court.
767.87(4) (4) Immunity.
767.87(4)(a)(a) No person may be prosecuted or subjected to any penalty or forfeiture for or on account of any testimony or evidence given relating to the paternity of the child in any paternity proceeding, except for perjury committed in giving the testimony.
767.87(4)(b) (b) The immunity provided under par. (a) is subject to the restrictions under s. 972.085.
767.87(5) (5) Refusal to testify or produce evidence. Except as provided in sub. (6), upon refusal of any witness, including a party, to testify under oath or produce evidence, the court may order the witness to testify under oath and produce evidence concerning all relevant facts. The refusal of a witness, including a witness who has immunity under sub. (4), to obey an order to testify or produce evidence is a contempt of the court.
767.87(6) (6) When mother not compelled to testify.
767.87(6)(a) (a) Whenever the state brings the action to determine paternity pursuant to an assignment under s. 48.57 (3m) (b) 2. or (3n) (b) 2., 48.645 (3), 49.19 (4) (h) 1., or 49.45 (19), or receipt of benefits under s. 49.148, 49.155, 49.157, or 49.159, the natural mother of the child may not be compelled to testify about the paternity of the child if it has been determined that the mother has good cause for refusing to cooperate in establishing paternity as provided in 42 USC 602 (a) (26) (B) and the federal regulations promulgated pursuant to this statute, as of July 1, 1981, and pursuant to any rules promulgated by the department which define good cause in accordance with the federal regulations, as authorized by 42 USC 602 (a) (26) (B) in effect on July 1, 1981.
767.87(6)(b) (b) Nothing in par. (a) prevents the state from bringing an action to determine paternity pursuant to an assignment under s. 48.57 (3m) (b) 2. or (3n) (b) 2., 49.19 (4) (h) 1. or 49.45 (19), or receipt of benefits under s. 49.148, 49.155, 49.157 or 49.159, where evidence other than the testimony of the mother may establish the paternity of the child.
767.87(7) (7) Certain testimony of physician not privileged. Testimony of a physician concerning the medical circumstances of the pregnancy and the condition and characteristics of the child upon birth is not privileged.
767.87(8) (8) Burden of proof. The party bringing an action for the purpose of determining paternity or for the purpose of declaring the nonexistence of paternity presumed under s. 891.405, 891.407, or 891.41 (1) shall have the burden of proving the issues involved by clear and satisfactory preponderance of the evidence.
767.87(9) (9) Artificial insemination; natural father. Where a child is conceived by artificial insemination, the husband of the mother of the child at the time of the conception of the child is the natural father of the child, as provided in s. 891.40.
767.87(10) (10) Record of mother's testimony admissible. A record of the testimony of the child's mother relating to the child's paternity, made as provided under s. 48.299 (8) or 938.299 (8), is admissible in evidence on the issue of paternity.
767.87(11) (11) Related costs admissible. Bills for services or articles related to the pregnancy, childbirth or genetic testing may be admitted into evidence and are prima facie evidence of the costs incurred for such services or articles.
767.87 Annotation It is not necessary for an alleged father to produce evidence of who the real father is in order to sustain a verdict of non-paternity. State v. Michael J.W., 210 Wis. 2d 132, 565 N.W.2d 179 (Ct. App. 1997), 95-2917.
767.88 767.88 Pretrial paternity proceedings.
767.88(1)(1)Procedure; evidence. A pretrial hearing shall be held before the court or a supplemental court commissioner under s. 757.675 (2) (g). A record or minutes of the proceeding shall be kept. At the pretrial hearing the parties may present and cross-examine witnesses, request genetic tests, and present other evidence relevant to the determination of paternity.
767.88(2) (2) Court evaluation and recommendation. On the basis of the information produced at the pretrial hearing, the court shall evaluate the probability of determining the existence or nonexistence of paternity in a trial and shall so advise the parties. On the basis of the evaluation, the court may make an appropriate recommendation for settlement to the parties. This recommendation may include any of the following:
767.88(2)(a) (a) That the action be dismissed with or without prejudice.
767.88(2)(b) (b) That the alleged father voluntarily acknowledge paternity of the child.
767.88(2)(c) (c) If the alleged father voluntarily acknowledges paternity of the child, that he agree to the duty of support, the legal custody of the child, periods of physical placement of the child and other matters as determined to be in the best interests of the child by the court.
767.88(3) (3) Acceptance of recommendation; judgment. If the parties accept a recommendation made in accordance with this section, judgment shall be entered accordingly.
767.88(4) (4) Recommendation refused and no tests taken. If a party or the guardian ad litem refuses to accept a recommendation made under this section and genetic tests have not yet been taken, the court shall require the appropriate parties to submit to genetic tests. After the genetic tests have been taken the court shall make an appropriate final recommendation.
767.88(5) (5) Final recommendation not accepted; trial. If the guardian ad litem or any party refuses to accept any final recommendation, the action shall be set for trial.
767.88(6) (6) Termination of informal hearing. The informal hearing may be terminated and the action set for trial if the court finds it unlikely that all parties would accept a recommendation in this section.
767.88 History History: 1979 c. 352; 1983 a. 447; 1987 a. 27; Sup. Ct. Order, 141 Wis. 2d xxxix (1987); 1987 a. 355; 1993 a. 481; 1995 a. 100; 2001 a. 61; 2005 a. 443 ss. 201, 259; Stats. 2005 s. 767.88.
767.88 Note Judicial Council Note, 1988: This section mandates pretrial hearings in paternity proceedings. Under sub. (6), the informal hearing may be terminated and set for trial if the judge or family court commissioner finds it unlikely that all parties would accept a recommendation under this section and similarly, under sub. (5), if the guardian ad litem or any party refuses to accept the final recommendation. This amends sub. (1), to emphasize that this is an informal hearing before a judge, not a court in session, or before a court commissioner and that, while the hearing may be on the record, minutes alone are sufficient. [Re Order effective Jan. 1, 1988]
767.88 Annotation The trial court may order a putative father to take a blood test only after determining at a pretrial hearing that paternity probably can be established at trial and that the establishment of paternity is in the best interests of the child. State ex rel. Scott v. Slocum, 109 Wis. 2d 397, 326 N.W.2d 118 (Ct. App. 1982).
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2019-20 Wisconsin Statutes updated through 2021 Wis. Act 79 and through all Supreme Court and Controlled Substances Board Orders filed before and in effect on September 17, 2021. Published and certified under s. 35.18. Changes effective after September 17, 2021, are designated by NOTES. (Published 9-17-21)