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How to Establish Paternity in Kansas

When a child is born out of wedlock in the State of Kansas, there is no presumption of paternity and the law does not automatically confer any support obligations on any man not married to the mother unless paternity is established. There are several ways in which paternity can be recognized under state law.

A man not married to the child’s mother can voluntarily acknowledge paternity by filling out an acknowledgement from if any of the following circumstances are met:

  • The mother was/is married to someone else at the time of birth or within the preceding 300 days of the birth
  • The mother is separated but not legally divorced from another man
  • The man is not sure whether or not he is the child’s father

Another way to establish paternity is through voluntary genetic testing. The man looking to establish fatherhood may submit to testing by way of state Child Support Services. If the test confirms that the man is, in fact, the father, this can be legally recognized by petitioning the court for a declaration of paternity, at which point the father’s name can then be legally added to the child’s birth certificate.

Paternity can also be established by court order. This method is used when the man alleged to be the father will not acknowledge paternity, nor voluntarily submit to genetic testing. The mother can file a petition with the court asking that the alleged father be ordered to submit to testing. The petitioner mother must submit sufficient facts that justify or show probable cause that the man should be tested.

Obtaining an involuntary paternity test can be difficult. In some cases, the petitioner mother may not know the man’s legal name or place of residence. Also, there can be problems serving legal process on the individual if he lives in a different state or outside the country. The service of process requirements will vary depending upon the nature of the action and the man’s location. Even if the alleged father is legally served or given notice, there are ways that he can still attempt to stall or evade court ordered paternity testing. The petitioner might need the cooperation of government authorities from one or more jurisdictions to move forward.

Located in Wichita, Kansas, Peggs Wheeler, LC, is a highly respected family law firm serving the greater metropolitan area. If you have a paternity case, feel free to contact us online or call 316-512-7853 for an initial consultation.