If you have had a child out of wedlock, you are not alone. In 2013, about 42% of children in the United States were born to unwed parents. In Kansas, the number was a bit lower than the national average at 36.2%. It is important to know how having children outside of marriage affects parents’ legal rights. While the term “paternity case” may make you think it is only for cases where there is a question about who the father is, that is not the case.

For example, people often believe there is no need to formally establish paternity if the father signs the birth certificate. But it doesn’t matter if the father signed the birth certificate! If anyone wants a court to make orders regarding paternity, the court will first have to formally establish paternity. That is, a paternity case is necessary to do any of the following:

1. Mother wants the court to order child support;
2. The state is seeking current or past due child support; or
3. Father wants to establish parenting time (visitation) and custody.

A paternity case in Kansas can be filed by either parent or by the State of Kansas (Department of Children and Families). If you have questions about whether you should file a paternity action in Kansas, call our family law attorneys at Joseph Hollander & Craft today (Wichita: 316-262-9393 / Topeka: 785-234-3272 / Lawrence: 785-856-0143).

  • John M Woods

    In 1998 I got common law married to a 15 year old girl. I give her a wedding ring and we announced ourselves as husband and wife to the public and lived together. However the Pawnee County, KS sheriff placed my wife into juvenile custody then treatened and coerced her to make false statements that we were not married or she would go to prison on an unrelated charge of possession of marijuna and our unborn child would be placed up for adoption and we would never see him again in our life. So in order for Debra to save herself and our son Aaron she made a false statement that we were not married and they held her in custody until I acepted a plea bargain of 31 months probation by Douglas McNett the assistant prosecutor and Michael Holland my attorney p f Russell, KS. At sentencing the judge Meeks did not honor the plea agreement and senteced me to prison for Indencent Liberties with a child with a five year registration period. Now my registration period has risen to 15 or 25 years. My question is, has the Kansas Supreme Court ruled on the ex parta facto in John Doe vs State of Kansas, where they have enhanced my penalty after sentencing. When their desion is handed down will you email in your newsletter. Thank you for your time and consideration to this matter.