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Colgan Law Firm LLC
Serving Wyandotte, Leavenworth, Johnson Counties in Kansas and Beyond

Paternity, fathers' rights and protecting your interests

Fathers play an extremely important role in the lives of their children. There is significant evidence that suggests that kids benefit when allowed to maintain strong bonds with both parents, even if it is after a divorce or in situations where the parents are not married. It is often particularly important for Kansas dads to learn how they can protect their rights as biological parents.

In cases where a child is born to parents who are not married, it is sometimes necessary to prove paternity. By doing this, you can secure custody or visitation rights. It is not always easy to navigate matters involving custody, parenting time and the legal process of proving you have a right to see your child. This is complicated and emotionally challenging, but understanding the legal concept of paternity and what you will have to do to prove it may be helpful to you. 

Clarifying the identity of the father 

When a child is born to married parents, there is a presumption that the man is the biological father unless otherwise noted. However, when the child is born to two unmarried parents, establishing paternity is important. This offers protection for both the parents and the children in case the parents break up, one moves out or there are visitation disputes in the future.

Establishing that you are the father may be as simple as completing some paperwork. When you complete these specific forms, it legally clarifies the identity of the child's father, which eliminates the need for further contention. It secures the visitation and custody rights of the dad as well as establishes financial support for the child. This step may be necessary after unmarried parents have a child, even if they have plans to raise the child together. 

What if it's not that easy?

Some cases can prove more complicated than just signing some forms. There are situations where come parents are contentious, and the mom may attempt to keep the dad from seeing his or her child. If this is happening to you, there are ways you can fight to secure access to your child. There are legal steps you can take to prove you are the father, including a blood test to establish paternity. You can then ask the court to intervene and establish a custody order or visitation plan.

Benefits for everyone

Legally establishing paternity has benefits for everyone. It is good for the mother because it means she knows the father has a legal obligation to pay child support. It is good for the child because it allows him or her time with the father. It is good for you as the dad because it clearly establishes your place and allows you to maintain your role as an involved and loving parent.

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