Paternity actions involve parents that are not married and need enforceable Court orders regarding child custody, residency, parenting time and child support. In Kansas, the Kansas Parentage Act governs paternity actions, and like an action for divorce, determines the best interests of a child based upon certain legal criteria, but also considering the unique aspects of the case.
To determine the paternity for a child the parties can agree who is child’s biological father, or the Court can order genetic testing to determine paternity if there is a dispute or question. However, testing is not something the Court automatically orders, and the facts of each case must be reviewed individually before that order is issued.
Once paternity is established the Court will issue orders regarding child custody, residency, parenting time and child support either based upon the agreement of the parents, or after a trial. In a contested proceeding to determine a child’s best interests, a case should be developed to demonstrate to the Court each’s parent’s abilities and parenting skills, together with their ability to co-parent and communicate.
Paternity cases can be difficult emotionally, and while some of the legal aspects of a divorce are not present, the deterioration of a relationship can be at issue. However, it is important for both parents to always make the child the priority. Lynn Ward and Tony Potter have handled many paternity actions and are well versed in addressing all aspects of a paternity case from beginning to end. Ward Potter can help navigate the difficulties and unique issues present in a paternity case and assist clients in achieving goals that are in their child’s best interests.