Father's Rights in Kansas: Everything you need to know

Father’s Rights in Kansas: Everything you need to know

The days when a mother stayed at home and always got custody of the children are left in the past. Now when it comes to caring for children fathers have the same rights as mothers do. In today`s world, both parents work to bring home the bacon and quite often it is a father, not a mother who stays at home with kids.

It is a remarkable change in the family dynamics and the society in the whole. There are even established rules concerning the father`s rights. Let’s consider Paternity in Kansas in greater detail.

Father`s Rights in Kansas

People who have children understand the strong and unbreakable bond parents share with their kids. This bond is so significant that there are state laws to protect the rights of both parents and children. The State of Kansas is not an exception.
For Kansas kids court cases, it has not been uncommon for mothers to see their rights honored more than fathers` ones. Besides, more and more emphasis is placed on the role that fathers play in kid`s life. Consequently, when it comes to children, more importance has been placed on upholding father`s rights.

The Role of Father in a Kid`s Life

Traditionally, mothers have most been regarded as the primary kids` caregivers, acting as their nurturers, supporters, and protectors. While mothers are very successful in this role, it has also been admitted that fathers play a significant role in kid`s lives as well. Fathers are similarly capable to care, nurture and support their children, acting as effective disciplinarians at the same time. Besides, the study has shown that kids with doting and supportive fathers start to develop their language much earlier, enhance their social skills and do better academically.

Paternity in Kansas: What it is?

Change is all around us. Moral values and social norms change too. The Kansas State is not the exception. In Kansas between 1950 and 1980, the percentage of kids born out of wedlock jumped up from 4,5 % to 18,4 %. By 1994 that number had a remarkable leap again, to 32 %.

You may be surprised, why does this matter? The Kansas State law makes it essential. Married couples are established as the parents of every baby they have by default. But as for unmarried couples, they have to go the extra mile to ensure they and their kids are safe and protected. For couples who are not married, the legal procedure, first of all, starts with the “Establishing paternity” as the baby’s father isn’t automatically considered as a birth father.

“Establishing paternity” means that the baby`s biological father becomes a father within the law.

Establishing Paternity in Kansas

The most important thing a father can do in protecting Kansas paternity rights is to establish himself as a kid’s legal and biological father. When a kid is born to married parents, it is automatically assumed that mother`s husband is also a legal and biological father. In this case, parents don’t need to prove paternity, and the father`s name is put on the baby’s birth certificate automatically. But if the couple is not married, the paternity establishment can become more difficult as parents need to go the extra mile to prove that alleged father is baby`s legal and biological father.

How it is Possible to Establish Paternity?

There are two possible ways for unmarried couples to establish paternity:

  1. To sign a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity (VAP);
  2. The question of paternity can be decided in the court.
    1. VAP – The first and the most straightforward way for parents is to sign the form of voluntary acknowledgment of paternity (VAP). The form is usually completed by signature in a hospital or medical facility after the baby birth. Also, the form can be signed outside the hospital, for instance in physician`s offices where newborns are treated. After the VAP signature, the father`s name will be written on the birth certificate. If a father doesn`t come up with a VAP form when a baby is born, his name will not be written on the birth certificate. In case he decides to establish his paternity later, then he and a mother need to fill in the Paternity Consent Form for the Birth Registration later. This form can be signed at any time until the kid is 18, but it requires the signature of a judge or a hearing officer too. This form is available through the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, Office of Vital Statistics. If you have questions, you can contact them at 785-296-1434.Both parents have a right to demand genetic testing to find out if father and a kid are DNA-linked. But signing the VAP, parents already accept the genetic linkage between a father and a kid. Also, they agree to provide their kids with their care, financial and medical support. Besides, both parents realize that they have custody and visitation rights which may be changed only by a court.
    2. Asking a judge to decide – The second more difficult way is to establish the paternity through the judicial process and ask the court to decide who the kid`s legal and biological father is. The parties involved in the paternity establishment can settle the case at any time, or they can take the case to trial.The action to establish paternity can be brought to court by a mother, local prosecutor (if a mother receives financial benefits on behalf of the child, government official or presumed father. The case is heard in a district court in the country where any of the parties live. In court, the judge will decide whether the presumed father is a baby`s legal and biological father. During the case, if one of the party requests a genetic or DNA testing, the court should order it to be completed, and everyone including mother, father, and a kid must participate.

In the case of positive answer, the court issues a final paternity judgment which signifies that the paternity is formally established. After that, a father`s name will be added to the baby’s birth certificate. Also, the court will enter an order concerning the financial obligations (education, medical treatment) and make a decision about the custody, visitation, and residency. Sometimes parents have already a parenting plan, so the court can use it if it is in the kid`s best interests.

Why Should Either Parent Establish Paternity?

There is a significant number of positive moments in establishing paternity, which directly benefits the father and a kid. By establishing the paternity, kid`s legal and biological father gets a right to seek child custody and visitation in a court of law.

Beyond that, a father obtains the right to have a voice in important decision- making concerning the kid including the medical treatment, education, extracurricular activities, religious upbringing, etc. Most significantly is that it provides an opportunity for a father and kid to build a strong connection and establish a relationship of trust.

The benefits of the paternity establishment are the following:

  • If father and mother live under the same roof, child financial support is not likely to be an issue. But if they don`t, mother and father can help each other financially and share expenses (kid`s health insurance, medical expenses, educational costs, etc.);
  • Both parents have specific custody and visitation rights;
  • Parents can work together to decide what is better for their kid;
  • Both parents have a voice when it comes to their kid`s medical treatment;
  • Both parents can claim the child as a dependent on their taxes;
  • Spending time with their kids, both parents establish a strong connection with them and give a feeling of belonging, security, and support, all of which are essential for kid`s well-being.

Children also get a wide range of benefits when paternity is established:

  • A kid has a birth certificate that includes both mother and father`s name;
  • A kid gets the ability to access the medical records from both sides of the family;
  • Legal father can provide a kid with such benefits: Social Security, Medical Insurance and the other state, federal and inheritance benefits.
  • A kid can spend time with both parents and get their support and advice;

Fathers’ Rights to Child Custody in Kansas

Kansas fathers who need legal information to child custody should become acquainted with their rights under the Kansas State law. The father`s rights to child custody may be dependent on whether he is married to a kid`s mother or not. Unmarried fathers should establish their paternity rights under the Kansas State law. Once the paternity is established, a father can request the custody arrangements and negotiate a parenting plan with a kid`s mother.

A Parenting Plan intends to determine where a kid lives, when a kid spends the time with each parent, including weekends, school vacations and holidays. A Parental Plan also covers religious and educational principles under which both mother and father will bring their kid up. If mother and father can’t reach the consensus on a parenting plan, the Kansas court may require negotiations with the help of a mediator.
Father’s Rights to Child Custody and Visitation in Kansas

Father’s Rights to Child Custody and Visitation in Kansas

Should a couple with kids decide to break up, either by divorce or otherwise, they need to determine child custody issues with the help of the court system. When such cases are brought to Kansas State Court, and it comes to making the important child custody and support decisions, the judge is guided by the child’s best interests.

What are Child’s best interests?

  • Kid`s safety;
  • Kid`s current living arrangements;
  • Wishes of both parents;
  • Kid`s adjustment to home, school, and community;
  • Any record of domestic abuse, alcohol or drug use, mental illness, etc.;
  • Each parent`s readiness to support and approve the kid`s communication with the other parent.
  • Kid`s wishes (considered in separate cases);

Therefore, judges need to make the custody orders in a manner that complies with the kid`s demands and interests the best, regardless of the mother and father`s desires.

The Kansas State awards both legal and physical custody. The first one provides both parents with a right to be involved in decision making concerning the kid`s upbringing and well-being. The second one provides both parents with a right to decide how kid`s time will be divided between two parents and their households.

The judges in the Kansas State prefer to award joint legal custody both to kid`s mother and father unless the best interests of the kid`s standard dictate a better option.

Alongside this, the Kansas State Law does not dictate that a kid automatically stays with a mother. Again, to determine physical custody, the best interests of child standard are considered.

The Right of Unmarried Father to Request Custody

Giving birth to a kid, a mother automatically establishes her parental rights, while a father who is not married to kid`s mother must get legal recognition of his paternity. Unmarried parents can sign a Declaration of Consent to an Acknowledgement of Paternity to voluntarily identify the child’s father with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

Also, if parents do not sign a Declaration of Consent to an Acknowledgement of Paternity, a father can file a paternity suit with Kansas State Court requesting a court judgment to recognize him as a kid`s father. Once the legal recognition of the parent-child relationship is received, a father has a right to request custody and visitation.

Married Father’s Right to Request Custody

When a married woman gives birth to a child, Kansas law generally supposes that her husband is a kid`s biological father. Also, in accordance with the Kansas State law, if a woman gives birth to a child within 300 days of the couple’s divorce, her ex-husband is considered as the kid`s biological father. Under the Kansas Law, a man who alleged to be a father has parental rights and can initiate court proceedings to request child custody. Besides, a father has right to make decisions regarding child custody as part of their divorce cases.

Types of Child Custody

As it was already mentioned, when it comes to choosing the appropriate type of child custody, the Kansas court considers the child’s best interests.

The Kansas court acknowledges several types of child custody arrangements, but it prefers to grant joint custody. It means that both parents can render parenting decisions even if a kid primarily lives with one parent and has scheduled visits with the other.

If for any reason one parent can`t implement the custody rights, the court can provide sole custody to one parent, allowing that parent to make all parenting decisions. A kid will live with a parent who has sole custody, while the other parent may have scheduled visitations. In rare cases, the Kansas Court award split custody, when one or more of the children stay with the father, and that of one or more of the other children stay with the mother.

Parenting Plan Requirements

When a father and mother want to share children custody after the breakup or divorce, the Kansas Judicial Branch requires creating a parental plan to share their rights. The parenting plan may address such topics:

  • Physical custody, which determines how kid’s time will be divided between two parents and their households. It covers transfers, departure, and restrictions. Well-drafted plans also contemplate holidays and school vacations);
  • Legal custody, which includes the decision-making authority and rights to information;
  • Financial obligations that cover basic needs, health insurance, education payment, medical treatment, etc.
  • Communication between parents;
  • And others.

Father’s Right to Child Support

Father’s Right to Child Support

If under the best interests of the children standard a father is granted physical custody, for mother it is not common to be ordered to pay child support.

Child support is a money payment to a kid`s primary custodian to help with such kid`s expenses as shelter, food, clothing, education, etc.

Father who has been granted physical custody have just as much of a right as a mother do. Also, parents have the same rights to get help for child support enforcement from the Kansas Support Services office (CSS).

How Father’s Rights Lawyers Can Help

In accordance with the Kansas State law, both mother and father have the same rights to make decisions concerning their kids` well-being and upbringing and spend time with them. While it is indeed the case, quite often fathers not understand the rights, they have resulting in unfavorable court decision when it comes to child custody or child support. For this reason, it is important to consult a lawyer who specializes in father’s rights for the Kansas State. A layer can help to explain the father’s rights and ensure these rights are upheld during the case.

How technologies may help?

When a child lives with a parent who has full custody, for the second one it is may be difficult to keep track of kid`s life and be sure a kid is not involved in such dangers as cyberbullying, sexing, interaction with online predators. For this reason, the Kansas State parental controls like mSpy come may come in handy.

Monitoring kid`s smartphone activities, including the GPS location, call logs, texts, instant messenger and browsing history, the other parent may get useful insights into their kid`s life, interests, preferences, and hobbies, preventing online dangers and unwanted exposure.

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