In Kansas, even though a mother and father may readily admit the identity of the father, if the child was born out of wedlock there may be no legal determination of paternity. This can affect several issues including child support and parenting time. Without a legal determination of paternity, no parent (including the mother) has a legal order of custody or parenting time. See K.S.A. 23-2305.
In Kansas, a father is the presumed father of a child according to K.S.A. 23-2208.
under the following circumstances:
(1) The man and the child’s mother are, or have been, married to each other and the child is born during the marriage or within 300 days after the marriage is terminated by death or by the filing of a journal entry of a decree of annulment or divorce.
(2) Before the child’s birth, the man and the child’s mother have attempted to marry each other by a marriage solemnized in apparent compliance with law, although the attempted marriage is void or voidable and:
(A) If the attempted marriage is voidable, the child is born during the attempted marriage or within 300 days after its termination by death or by the filing of a journal entry of a decree of annulment or divorce; or
(B) if the attempted marriage is void, the child is born within 300 days after the termination of cohabitation.
(3) After the child’s birth, the man and the child’s mother have married, or attempted to marry, each other by a marriage solemnized in apparent compliance with law, although the attempted marriage is void or voidable and:
(A) The man has acknowledged paternity of the child in writing;
(B) with the man’s consent, the man is named as the child’s father on the child’s birth certificate; or
(C) the man is obligated to support the child under a written voluntary promise or by a court order.
(4) The man notoriously or in writing recognizes paternity of the child, including but not limited to a voluntary acknowledgment made in accordance with K.S.A. 2014 Supp. 23-2223 or K.S.A. 65-2409a, and amendments thereto.
(5) Genetic test results indicate a probability of 97% or greater that the man is the father of the child.
(6) The man has a duty to support the child under an order of support regardless of whether the man has ever been married to the child’s mother.
In today’s Court, it is relatively easy to determine parentage if genetic material can be collected from the child and alleged father. However, it may not be that easy to convince a Court to order a paternity test. Before issuing an order for testing, a Court needs to first determine whether it is in the best interest of the child to get a test from the alleged father. Sometimes, it will not be. There is no constitutional right for a father to establish his paternity of a child. If it is against the child’s interest to do so, a Court will deny a father’s request for genetic testing.
If a Petition is filed asking the Court to determine paternity of a minor child, the alleged father can either affirm or contest the contents of the petition. If paternity is contested, either parent may request a DNA test.
A paternity action can have financial consequences for an alleged father. Often included in the petition will be a prayer for relief in the form of a current child support order and a judgment for back child support and medical expenses. It is not uncommon for these judgments to be quite high, so it is important that you act quickly when a paternity case is filed to protect your rights.
Once paternity is established the Court may issue orders or custody as discussed in the child custody section of this website. Child support will be established according to the Kansas Child support guidelines.
You can read the parentage act that has been codified by chapter 23 of the K.S.A below. I have also included a link to helpful information regarding birth certificates from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.