According to YaleGlobal Online, by 2014, 40% of child births in the U.S. involved unmarried parents. In Wisconsin, the rights of unmarried parents differ greatly from those of married parents. When a married woman gives birth to a child, her spouse is presumed by law to be the father (or other mother) of the child. Both parents have legal custody and placement rights regarding that child. Conversely, when an unmarried woman gives birth to a child, the mother is the child’s only legal parent, and the father has no rights unless and until further legal action is taken. The parents can execute a Voluntary Paternity Acknowledgement, which establishes paternity (legal fatherhood) only, or begin a formal paternity action. In either case, a formal court process is required to grant the father custody or placement rights, or to establish a child support obligation. Whether you are mom or dad, we can help you decide what steps to take next.  Contact the Pruitt Law Offices S.C. at 262-633-8301, through our website at, or visit us at 731 Main Street in Racine. We are your partners for professional service.