In Kansas, almost 40% of all children are born to unmarried parents. In 1980, out-of-wedlock births were only 12% of all births. When a child is born to married parents, they are legally presumed to be the mother and father. When the father and mother are not married, paternity must be legally established.
There are two methods used to establish paternity.
Voluntary Declaration of Paternity: When the child is born, both parents sign a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity (VAP form), allowing the father’s name to be included on the birth certificate. This gives both parents the legal, financial and custodial rights of married parents. If the father does not sign the VAP form but decides at a later time to have his name added to the birth certificate and assume paternal rights and obligations, he and the mother can sign the Paternity Consent Form for Birth Registration.
Filing a Paternity Action in Court: The mother, father or a government official (if the mother is getting benefits) can file the paternity action. The court will require DNA tests if testing is requested by any of the parties to the suit. Proving paternity gives the unwed father rights to visitation and custody and allows the mother the right to child support. Unwed fathers will need DNA testing done as the first step in pursuing legal remedies to gain legal or physical custody of their child. If a man does not believe that he is the child’s father, DNA testing will need to be done as part of a legal action.
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They believe in fully explaining all options to their clients, keeping them fully engaged in planning their case strategies. In every case, they are passionate about using all of their skills and experience to achieve the best outcome possible for their clients. Anyone needing the service of a well-qualified paternity attorney in Kansas City should call this well-regarded firm for a free initial consultation.
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