How Can I Establish Paternity in Kansas?
Statistics from the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB) indicate that about 30% of possible fathers who had reasons to take a paternity test are not the child's biological father. Establishing parentage in Kansas is an important step to creating a legal relationship between the father and the child, gaining custody rights as the father, or obtaining child support from the alleged father.
If you are trying to establish paternity in Kansas, you need to speak with a knowledgeable Kansas family law attorney for detailed guidance. Attorney Mark Jeffers has the experience and resources to guide and assist clients in fathers’ rights and paternity-related matters. He is available to discuss your unique circumstances and enlighten you about your possible legal options to establish parentage.
Jeffers Law Office is proud to serve clients in Overland Park, Leawood, Olathe, Shawnee, Lenexa, and Prairie Village, Kansas, as well as throughout Johnson County. Call today for a free initial telephone consultation.
Why Paternity Is Important
In Kansas, a baby's father isn't automatically considered the legal father until paternity is established. Establishing paternity can be described as the legal process used to determine who a child's biological father is and establish the obligations, rights, and responsibilities of the father to the child. Establishing paternity is important for the following reasons.
To the child:
- To establish a relationship with both parents
- To receive financial help, shelter, and support from the father
- To gain access to medical insurance and other benefits
- To be eligible to receive Social Security and veterans' benefits, if available
- To learn about the history of his or her family
- To have access to personal information, including health risks and medical history
- To be eligible to inherit the father's estate
- To be able to sue for harm or death to the father
To the mother:
- To share custody with the father
- To establish a child support arrangement with the father
- To share parental rights and responsibilities with the father
- To share the costs of raising or upbringing their child
- To allow for parenting time
To the father:
- To show how much they love and care for their child
- To participate in their child's life
- To gain legal rights to their child
- To be recognized as the child's legal father
- To establish a cordial relationship with the child
- To be entitled to seek custody or parenting time
- To be allowed to include the child on his medical and dental insurance coverage
However, the father will only have legal rights to the child after establishing parentage. A skilled attorney can review your unique situation and enlighten you about the process of establishing paternity in Kansas.
Establishing Paternity in Kansas
There are two ways to establish paternity in Kansas.
Establishing paternity voluntarily requires the parents to sign a voluntary acknowledgement of paternity (VAP) form. You can obtain the form from the medical facility or hospital where you delivered your baby. However, the father's name won't be included in the child's birth certificate until he signs the VAP form. Once signed and submitted, the father will have the benefit of parenting and upbringing the child.
Decided by a Judge
Paternity may also be established through the judicial process. Any of the following people may bring a paternity action:
- The child
- The mother
- A government official or local prosecutor
- The presumed or alleged father
The matter will be heard in the district court in the county where the father, mother, or child lives. If the alleged father denies that the child belongs to him, genetic or DNA testing may be ordered by the court. An expert will swab the inside of the cheeks of the mother, child, and father and send their DNA to a lab for analysis. The judge will issue a final paternity judgment depending on the outcome of the genetic testing.
Work With a Knowledgeable Paternity Attorney
Resolving paternity disputes in Kansas requires proper guidance and experienced representation. If you're the child's mother who wants to determine the biological father and obtain support, or if you believe you're a child's biological father and want to establish custody rights, it is important that you consult with a knowledgeable family law attorney to protect your paternity rights and help navigate key decisions.
Attorney Mark Jeffers is committed to offering experienced legal services and helping clients navigate the complexities of parentage. As your legal counsel, he can help:
- Fight compassionately to protect your child's future and the best interests of you and your family.
- Evaluate your unique situation and enlighten you about your possible options.
- Guide you through the decision-making process of establishing paternity.
- Help negotiate a fair custody agreement and parenting plan.
- Help file a paternity action with the Kansas court, if required.
Contact Jeffers Law Office today to schedule a free initial telephone consultation with a knowledgeable family law attorney. Attorney Mark Jeffers can offer you the experienced legal counsel and genuine support you need to establish parentage and navigate key decisions. The firm proudly serves clients in Overland Park, Leawood, Olathe, Shawnee, Lenexa, and Prairie Village, as well as throughout Johnson County.