September 2014 | 783 P.2d 331 (Kan. 1989)

In re Marriage of Ross (Kansas 1989)

The stated purpose of the Kansas Parentage Act is to ensure that the legal obligations, rights, privileges, duties, and obligations incident to the mother/child relationship and the father/child relationship are carried out. Public policy requires courts to act in the best interests of the child when determining the legal obligations to be imposed and the rights to be conferred in the mother/child relationship and the father/child relationship. In an action to determine paternity, K.S.A. 38-1125(b) indicates when a guardian ad litem shall be appointed to insure that the child’s interests are protected. The duties of the guardian ad litem are to make an independent investigation of the facts upon which the petition is based and to appear for and represent the best interests of the child. When a marital relationship has been terminated, children of the marriage need for the court to provide stability in their lives, to acknowledge that their perception of time is different from that of an adult, and to take into consideration their past relationship with their parents.

Prior to ordering a blood test to determine whether the presumed parent is the biological parent, the district court must consider the best interests of the child, including physical, mental, and emotional needs. The shifting of paternity from the presumed father to the biological father could easily be detrimental to the emotional and physical well-being of any child. The mere filing of a paternity action does not automatically imply that the action is in the child’s best interests. A court must reach this conclusion independently based on the facts in the record.

In re Marriage of Ross.pdf

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