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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

Once paternity has been established, you may be entitled to any powers and authorities granted to a parent, including the right to custody and to make decisions regarding your child's upbringing. 

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