${site.data.firmName}${SEMFirmNameAlt} Main Menu
Call Today: 855-805-0595

Wichita Divorce Blog

Is establishing paternity important for your child?

If you have had a child with someone who you do not anticipate maintaining a relationship with, you may wonder whether or not it is important that you have an official document that declares paternity. However, being proactive about determining in writing, who your child's biological parents are can actually prove to be quite beneficial to his or her future. If you are trying to determine whether or not paternity is important for your child in Kansas, you may be interested in the potential benefits of your decision. 

According to verywellfamily.com, in situations where your child's father is not interested in voluntarily declaring that he is your child's parent, you can receive assistance in tracking him down and requesting an official paternity test. If your child's father does voluntarily claim paternity, there are a couple of ways that he could do it including being present at your child's birth or completing a form after the child is born. However, this form must be filled out in its entirety before the child turns 18-years-old. 

Notoriety utilized by officials for child support enforcement

If asked to come up with an image of a deadbeat dad, most in Wichita may likely envision a man with no job, few prospects and little money. This likely comes from the assumption that those who can afford to make child support payments would, if (for nothing else) than to the avoid the potential legal trouble that can come from missing it. Yet the concept of the "deadbeat dad" may be more of a reflection of an attitude than it is one's financial situation. 

To understand this, one need only look at the "Deadbeats Most Wanted List," an online posting listing the divorced parents in Illinois that owe the most in child support arrears. This list came about as a result of new legislation passed by the state's governor in 2001. A review of the list shows several people one might think would be more than capable of making their payments. For example, currently occupying the top spot is a private-equity professional with a graduate degree from Harvard. He currenlty owes in excess of $5 million, having not made a payment since 2011. 

How can I afford a divorce?

46089472_S.jpgSometimes, couples put off divorce when they think they can't afford it. If the union is a contentious one, that may not always be the best course. Downloading divorce papers from an online site may not be a good choice either, however. Somewhere in the middle is an answer for couples who want a divorce but are worried about the cost.

Money is an issue in any divorce, but being hands-on and getting organized financially can help you save a great deal, according to U.S. News & World Report. Sometimes, however, it is easier to have attorneys track down legal documents, especially if you are unsure what you need.

How can you establish paternity?

30658660_S (1).jpgPopular media and other forums have seemingly made the process of establishing paternity a bad thing. This may be because such revelations are often given in the context of informing a reluctant individual that he is indeed the father of a child. Yet there may be just as many (if not more) advantages to you legally determining that a child is yours. Beyond the emotional bond that it establishes between you and your kid, confirming paternity may allow you visitation and custody rights, and makes it easier for you to secure benefits for and bequeath assets to your child. 

If this is your wish, then the question becomes how do you do it? Section 23-2208 of the Kansas Parentage Act sets forth the guidelines on how the state handles paternity matters. It recognizes a genetic test showing (with a greater than 97 percent probability) that a child is biologically linked to you as confirmation that you are his or her father. In all other cases, you are presumed to be the father if you meet the following criteria: 

  • You were married to the child's mother at the time of his or her birth or your marriage was terminated within 300 days of his or her birth
  • You attempted to marry the child's mother before he or she was born (or married her after he or she was born) yet said marriage is void or voidable
  • You recognize (either notoriously or in writing) that you are the child's father
  • You are required by court order to support the child (regardless of whether or not you were ever married to his or her mother

The problem with being a "Disneyland Dad"

25320706_S.jpgThe common school of thought is that the cards are stacked against men when it comes to being awarded custody of their children during divorce proceedings. While this has often proven to be true historically, recent data suggests that this trend may be reversing. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the percentage of fathers who had custody of their kids rose from 16 percent in 1994 to 19.6 percent in 2016. Yet even with this increase, it seems that mothers might still be favored in custody proceedings. This may cause some men to become bitter and push them towards becoming "Disneyland Dads." 

A Disneyland Dad (or "Uncle Dad," as such fathers are referred to by Solo Parent Magazine) are those non-custodial fathers who are all about their kids having fun. Their visitation time is often spent at amusement parks, movie theaters and restaurants, while actual time at home is occupied by the kids playing video games, watching whatever movies or TV shows they want, and staying up all night. Many non-custodial fathers act like this in order to perpetually be viewed as "the fun parent," leaving all the actual parenting to this kids' mothers. This may be an attempt to undermine the mothers' authority, or simply to keep the fathers from become further alienated from their kids than they already are. 

How dads can prepare for the custody battle

31273369_S.jpgIf you're a dad facing divorce in Wichita, you're most likely concerned about the impending custody battle. In this case, being prepared is of the utmost importance. You want to establish to the court that you're capable of providing care to your child, which requires taking the right steps. Fatherly.com offers the following guidance in this case, which will allow you to make the best impression during your custody hearing.

Be Proactive

Establishing paternity in Kansas

30543596_S (1).jpgQuite a bit of misinformation exists about establishing paternity in Wichita. Many seem to believe that it can only be done through genetic testing, through which results are shockingly revealed by someone exclaiming "You are the father!" In reality, paternity is a concept that is more presumed than it is proven. Many clients have come to us here at the Stange Law Firm questioning the exact processes for establishing paternity is Kansas (both in cases wanting to disprove they fathered a child and those where they wanted to verify a child was indeed their own). If you share the same question, then you may be surprised to learn that there are actually several methods the state uses. 

One does indeed involve genetic testing were it must be shown with a 97 percent degree of certainty that you are the child's father. Paternity is presumed in all other cases. These (as outlined in Section 23-2208 of the Kansas Family Law Code) are as follows: 

  • The child is born while you are married to his or her married or within 300 days of your divorce
  • You attempted to marry the child's mother prior yet the marriage was declared void or voidable within 300 days of the child's birth
  • You married the child's mother after his or her birth and acknowledged paternity in writing, consented to be listed as the father on his or her birth certificate, or were deemed legally responsible to support the child through a court order
  • You either notoriously or in writing recognizing paternity of the child

Dealing with your ex-wife's relocation

45758308_S.jpgNot having your kids around you all the time is often one of the most difficult byproducts of a divorce to deal with. Dealing with it can become even more difficult if your ex-wife suddenly comes to you and says that she intends to move away from Wichita. Several divorced fathers have come to us here at the Stange Law Firm in a similar situation wondering if there is anything they can do to stop such a relocation. While you may not be able to block your ex-wife from moving, you will be happy to know that there is legal recourse available to you. 

Section 23-3222 of the Kansas Family Law Code deals specifically with parental relocation. It states that if your ex-wife does indeed intend to move, she must inform you of that intention at least 30 days prior to that happening. If she does not, she is viewed as being in contempt of you custody order and could be held responsible for any legal fees that you are required to pay in order to secure the safe return of your children. 

Determining imputed income

48379762_S.jpgIt is assumed that most parents in Wichita have no problem supporting their kids. Yet like many of those that we here at Stange Law Firm have worked with in the past, you might find yourself dealing with an ex-spouse or former partner that cannot (or does not want to) do it. He or she might get the idea that as long as he or she is not drawing in income, the courts cannot impose a child support obligation on him or her. He or she will likely be unpleasantly surprised to find out that is not the case. 

Child support is indeed determined by evaluating the gross monthly income both you and your kids' other parent brings in. In cases where his or her income is limited, the court will investigate why. This is where the idea of "imputed income" comes in. The term "imputed income" is typically used to classify non-monetary benefits. For example, according to the Kansas Judicial Branch, if your former spouse or partner receives reimbursement from an employer that help to reduce his or her living expenses, the value of those benefits are taken into consideration when determining his or her imputed income. 

Top reasons spouses get divorced

4409755_S.jpgKansas attorneys, like those throughout the U.S., may tell you that January is the time of year when divorce filings peak. Some can pinpoint it to the day--Jan. 8--as the one that sees the most divorce inquiries from spouses, according to Harper's Bazaar, because it is the first business Monday following the Christmas and New Year holiday season. All that togetherness tends to make underlying issues rise to the top. The biggest reason? Money pressures.

A study of more than 2,000 people found more than a 37 percent of the respondents named financial worries as the most challenging aspect of their marriage, and 21 percent of them blamed their spouse for causing money problems. About 16 percent of survey respondents admitted to arguing about money in the week before filing, which is understandable when you consider that Christmas brings with it a lot of pressure, financial and otherwise.

  • Additional reasons cited by those in the survey include:
  • Lack of intimacy and not spending enough time together
  • Domestic responsibilities and disagreements over raising children
  • Stress from work and having different interests
  • Lack of trust because of past infidelity
2015 Top 100 Lawyers - ASLA Lead Counsel Rated Rated By Super Lawyers American Legal Institute | America's Top Attorneys 2016 Nation's Premier Top Ten Ranking 2016 | NAFLA 10 Best 2014-2017 | 4 Years Client Satisfaction | American Institute of Family Law Attorneys ™ Avvo Rating 10.0 Superb The National Trial Lawyers National Association of Distinguished Counsel | Nation's Top One Percent National Academy of Jurisprudence Rue Rating | Best Attorneys Of America | Lifetime Charter Member The National Advocates Top 100 Lawyers | America's Premier Attorneys Law Firm 500 | 2016 Honoree America's Top 100 Attorneys American Jurist Institute Top 10 Attorneys American Jurist Institute Top 10 Attorneys 2017
Stange Law Firm, PC

Stange Law Firm, PC
2024 N Woodlawn Street
Suite 407
Wichita, Kansas 67208

Toll Free: 855-805-0595
Fax: 314-963-9191
Law Office Map