Kansas Divorce

Amy Pennza
divorce decree

Navigating a Kansas divorce is a lot less overwhelming when you familiarize yourself with the law. Knowing the rules and regulations beforehand can give you peace of mind when it comes to attending hearings and interpreting court rulings. Keep in mind that in order to file for divorce in Kansas, you must have lived in the state for 60 days prior to filing.

Grounds

The state of Kansas recognizes three possible grounds for divorce:

  1. Incompatibility
  2. Failure to perform an important marital duty
  3. Incompatibility due to mental illness or mental incapacity

In the case of mental illness/incapacity, a neutral third party acts on the ill spouse's behalf.

How to File

To start divorce proceedings, the petitioner can use Kansas state court's interactive forms.These forms can be filled out online, and you can save your answers (although to do this, you will have to create an account.) Because the forms are interactive, you will be guided through filling them out.

Once the petitioner has filed the forms, he must serve them on the opposing party. The opposing party then has the opportunity to file a response.

Division of Property

Kansas is an equitable distribution state. When it comes to dividing assets, the judge considers the following criteria:

  • Age of the parties involved
  • Future earning capacities
  • Duration of marriage
  • Manner and acquisition of property
  • Tax consequences
  • Family ties and obligations
  • Allowance for spousal support

Child Custody and Support

If you have minor children, you must address both custody and child support during the divorce process.

Child Custody

Couples who have children usually find it much easier to agree on a parenting plan before going to the court. The parenting plan should include things like how the parents plan to divide parenting responsibilities, where the children should live and how children will spend holidays, as well as how major decisions for the child(ren) will be made. The court also has authority to override the parents' plan it if it feels the child's interests are not being served.

Courts look to a large number of items when considering custody and residence. They include, but are not limited to:

  • Desires of parents
  • Desires of child
  • How long a child has lived with a person other than a parent
  • The child's relationships with people who affect their best interest
  • Adjustments to the child's school, home, community
  • Willingness and ability of each parent to respect and appreciate the bond between the child and other parent, allowing a continued relationship
  • Any evidence of domestic violence
  • Any child abuse convictions
  • Whether either parent resides with someone who has been convicted of child abuse
  • Whether a parent or someone living with a parent is a registered sex offender

Child Support

In Kansas, both parents have an obligation to support their children financially. Kansas uses its own state guidelines to calculate support.

Child support orders are not set in stone. Either parent can request a modification at any time. Under Kansas law, a parent can request a support review every three years without stating a specific reason. If a parent wishes the court to review the support obligation before the three-year time limit has expired, he or she must show the court that there has been a "material change in circumstances", such as the loss of employment or a serious illness.

Your Kansas Divorce

Before you file for divorce, consider speaking with a family law attorney about your case. Although some people manage to get through a divorce without an attorney, you might need an expert's help. Divorce usually involves complicated financial and emotional issues. As an objective observer, your lawyer can also help you separate your emotion from money matters.

Kansas Divorce