Kansas has recognized grandparent rights since 1971 when the first such statute was enacted. Over the years grandparents’ rights have been recognized in both divorce and paternity actions, where a child is born to parents who never married.
When the statute was revised a few years ago, grandparents’ rights became restricted to divorce cases only. That situation has now been addressed by the Kansas Court of Appeals in a court ruling which says that grandparents in a paternity case cannot be treated differently than grandparents in a divorce. Different treatment violates the Equal Protection Clause and is therefore unconstitutional, according to the Court of Appeals.
Unless the Kansas Supreme Court reverses the Court of Appeals, grandparents should be able once again to seek visitation rights in a paternity action.
Richard Ralls of Ralls Law Firm can assist you in determining whether you can enforce grandparent rights. Call us at 913 236 7260 or 816 421 4222. Licensed in Kansas and Missouri.