Paternity means legal fatherhood. It is another way of saying the child’s father is the legal parent. The process of making a man the legal father is called “Paternity Establishment”. Establishing paternity allows the father to have his name on his child’s birth certificate.
Benefits of Establishing Paternity
¨ Strengthens the social and psychological bonds between a father and his child.
¨ The baby’s birth certificate will show the names of both parents.
¨ The baby will be entitled to financial support from both parents until he or she becomes an adult.
¨ The baby’s doctors will be able to learn both parents’ family medical histories.
¨ Access to medical insurance benefits and other legal entitlements such as Social Security benefits, disability benefits, inheritance and pension, tribal enrollment rights and veteran’s benefits.
¨ Providing the child with a sense of identity and family heritage.
How is Paternity established?
If you are not married to the father of your child, the Agency can help you legally determine the identity of the child’s father.
1. Application for services submitted by a party.
2. Automatic referral - person is receiving public assistance benefits such as TANF, MA, or the child is placed in foster or kinship care.
-When the couple is married, the husbands name is automatically put on the birth certificate. This is called Marital Presumption.
-When the mother is unmarried, paternity can be established through one of the following ways:
3. Voluntary Acknowledgment (VPA).
4. Adjudication through the Red Cliff Tribal Court.
¨ -Both procedures may include genetic testing.
¨ -Child support orders may be addressed in the paternity establishment process and are included in those orders.
Establishment of Child Support Obligations
When establishing support obligations, many factors are considered including:
- Income from both parents.
- Regular parent time or legally ordered placement of the child(ren).
- Child care expenses
- Prior support obligations paid by the Non-Custodial parent
- Health and medical insurance costs.
- In-kind contributions from the Non-Custodial parent and their family, when applicable.
- Any special needs of the child or the Non-Custodial parent.
- And other factors provided for the Red Cliff Cod of Law Chapter 51.
The Percentage of Income Standard requires the Non-Custodial parent to pay:
- 17% of their gross income for one child
- 25% for two children
- 29% for three children
- 31% for four children
- 34% for five or more children
Collection and Disbursement of Child Support Orders
RCCSSA utilizes the WI Kids Information Data System (KIDS) system to manage collections and disbursement of all child support orders.
All families paying and receiving child support services get "financial management" services, which include:
Entering the information about the court case and support orders into the Wisconsin child support computer system;
- Working with employers to withhold income for support payments;
- Processing payments;
- Collecting, recording and sending payments;
- Collecting, recording and sending fees;
- Providing monthly account statements;
- Providing payment coupons;
- Providing different ways to pay for customers;
- Providing a direct-deposit and debit card option for parents receiving child support;
- Providing payment information by phone and online; and
- Correcting errors on account balances.
Child support agencies monitor cases to ensure court orders are being followed. Federal guidelines require all child support agencies to take action in cases when a payer is more than one month behind in making payments. A child support agency may take increasing enforcement action, usually starting with letters to the paying parent in an attempt to collect past-due support before any other enforcement actions begin.
Other enforcement tools include:
- Income Withholding Orders are the number one source of enforcement.
- Per capita intercept
- State and Federal tax intercept
- Meet with Agency staff to assess barriers & referral to other agencies
- Possible performance based negotiation of child support arrears/arrears
- Job Search
- Lien Docket
- Credit Bureau Reporting
- Passport Denial
- License Suspension (Driver's, recreational, professional, hunting/fishing)
- Account Seizure
- Vehicle Seizure and sale
- Judicial Enforcement (Contempt)
A modification is a legal change of the child support order. Usually this happens because changes in circumstances require an adjustment. The adjustment may increase or decrease the child support amount. It may also order one of the parents to carry health insurance for the child.
- Reviews are conducted every two years.
- Either party may request a review if there is a substantial change in circumstances
- Agency will seek modification if the obligation would increase/decrease more than 15% and $50.00 per month
Location of Parents
When one of the parents whereabouts is unknown, the other parent can request the agency to locate the absent parent through various resources that the agency has available to them.
Physical location of RCCSSA:
37270 Community Road • Red Cliff
RCCSSA mailing address:
Red Cliff Child Support Services Agency
88455 Pike Road, Bayfield, WI 54814
Website by Bizy Does It
© 2022 Red Cliff Child Support Services Agency