June 2023 | 2023 Kan. App. LEXIS 26 (Kan. Ct. App. 2023)

In re Parentage of W.L. and G.L. (Kansas 2023)

A judgment entered by a court with proper jurisdiction is final and not subject to collateral attack. In this case, a stepparent filed to establish parentage of children several months after the district court adjudicated another person’s parentage. The stepparent claimed presumptions of parentage under K.S.A. 2021 Supp. 23-2208(a)(3)(A), (C), and (a)(4). The legal parents, mothers, filed a motion to dismiss, arguing the stepparent failed to state a proper claim for relief. The district court granted the motion to dismiss. The stepparent appealed.

The Court of the Appeals affirmed. It found the stepparent’s attempt to establish parentage was an improper collateral attack. Lack of jurisdiction is the only exception to the rule against collateral attacks and the district court clearly had jurisdiction when it determined parentage for the children. The rule against a collateral attack protected the finality of a properly entered judgment. The stepparent had other opportunities to make a parentage claim, which she didn’t do.

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