Kansas Divorce Laws
The state of Kansas has unique divorce laws for people who wish to terminate their marriage.
We are providing this online divorce information to you as an easy divorce reference guide to help you while you are doing your own divorce. This information (and much more) is available inside your personal 3StepDivorce account area in order to help you understand how Kansas addresses the most important issues in the divorce process and certain elements throughout your divorce forms.
The following overview of Kansas divorce laws will help you understand the filing procedure and other primary issues concerning your divorce. Please keep in mind that our Kansas online divorce service and support staff will make the process easy for you from start to finish. We take the difficulty out of doing your own divorce.
Residency Requirements: In order to file for a divorce in Kansas, you or your spouse must meet the strict residency requirements. These requirements permit the court to have jurisdiction of your case, resulting in allowing you to use their judicial system. These requirements are only a concern for spouses who have recently relocated or plan to relocate in the near future. They are as follows:
The petitioner or respondent in an action for divorce must have been an actual resident of the state for 60 days immediately preceding the filing of the petition.
Military residence. Any person who has been a resident of or stationed at a United States post or military reservation within the state for 60 days immediately preceding the filing of the petition may file an action for divorce in any county adjacent to the post or reservation.
The divorce is typically filed with in county in which the filing spouse lives. (Kansas Statutes - Chapter 60 - Article 16 - Subject: 607 and 1603)
No-Fault Grounds: Most uncontested divorce cases are filed according to a "no-fault" ground. We are using the term "no-fault" in a generic fashion by labeling all grounds that do not actually declare a "fault" as "no-fault". In the state of Kansas the "no-fault" grounds are as follows:
(1) Incompatibility. (Kansas Statutes - Chapter 60 - Article 16 - Subject: 1601)
Filing Party Name: The Petitioner. This is the spouse who is recognized as the initiator of the divorce and is the one who actually files the Petition for Divorce with the county court.
Non-Filing Party Name: The Respondent. This spouse plays a lesser role in an uncontested divorce versus a contested divorce. He or she will be required to sign and/or respond in a timely fashion to the documents filed by his or her spouse.
Family Law or Domestic Relations Court: In the District Court in and for the County of __________, Kansas. All divorce cases in the state of Kansas are facilitated through this court for that particular county.
Clerk's Name: All correspondence with a Kansas clerk of the court should formally address him or her as follows: District Clerk's Office.
Property and Debt Division: Kansas is considered an "equitable distribution" state. If you and your spouse are unable to come to an agreement on how the marital property will be divided, the court shall use a three step process. First, it will determine what property is marital. Second, it will put a value on the marital property. Third, it will divide the marital property in an equitable fashion, which is not necessarily equal, but rather what is considered to be fair.
In making the division of property the court shall consider the age of the parties; the duration of the marriage; the property owned by the parties; their present and future earning capacities; the time, source and manner of acquisition of property; family ties and obligations; the allowance of maintenance or lack thereof; dissipation of assets; the tax consequences of the property division upon the respective economic circumstances of the parties; and such other factors as the court considers necessary to make a just and reasonable division of property. (Kansas Statutes - Chapter 60 - Article 16 - Subject: 1610)
Changing Name: Upon the request of a spouse, the court shall order the restoration of that spouse's maiden or former name. (Kansas Statutes - Chapter 60 - Article 16 - Subject: 1610)
Spousal Support, Maintenance, or Alimony: Determining the amount of spousal support, if any, is not as objective as determining child support. Spousal support, whether permanent or temporary, is typically decided on a case-by-case basis, because it is very likely that unique circumstances and factors regarding the marriage and the property award will play a significant role in allowing the court to arrive at the appropriate amount.
The decree may award to either party an allowance for future support denominated as maintenance, in an amount the court finds to be fair, just and equitable under all of the circumstances.
The decree may make the future payments modifiable or terminable under circumstances prescribed in the decree. The court may make a modification of maintenance retroactive to a date at least one month after the date that the motion to modify was filed with the court. In any event, the court may not award maintenance for a period of time in excess of 121 months. If the original court decree reserves the power of the court to hear subsequent motions for reinstatement of maintenance and such a motion is filed prior to the expiration of the stated period of time for maintenance payments, the court shall have jurisdiction to hear a motion by the recipient of the maintenance to reinstate the maintenance payments. (Kansas Statutes - Chapter 60 - Article 16 - Subject: 1610)
Custody and Visitation: Shared or joint child custody has become more and more popular with the Kansas courts. If you and your spouse request to have joint or shared "legal" custody, it will almost always be granted. As for joint or shared "physical" custody, the court will examine this a bit more closely to determine if it is a realistic choice that would result in an arrangement that is best for the children.
The court shall determine custody or residency of a child in accordance with the best interests of the child.
If the parties have entered into a parenting plan, it shall be presumed that the agreement is in the best interests of the child. This presumption may be overcome and the court may make a different order if the court makes specific findings of fact stating why the agreed parenting plan is not in the best interests of the child.
In determining the issue of child custody, residency and parenting time, the court shall consider all relevant factors, including but not limited to: (i) the length of time that the child has been under the actual care and control of any person other than a parent and the circumstances relating thereto; (ii) the desires of the child's parents as to custody or residency; (iii) the desires of the child as to the child's custody or residency; (iv) the interaction and interrelationship of the child with parents, siblings and any other person who may significantly affect the child's best interests; (v) the child's adjustment to the child's home, school and community; (vi) the willingness and ability of each parent to respect and appreciate the bond between the child and the other parent and to allow for a continuing relationship between the child and the other parent; and (vii) evidence of spousal abuse.
Neither parent shall be considered to have a vested interest in the custody or residency of any child as against the other parent, regardless of the age of the child, and there shall be no presumption that it is in the best interests of any infant or young child to give custody or residency to the mother. (Kansas Statutes - Chapter 60 - Article 16 - Subject: 1610)
Determining Child Support: The basis for determining a monthly support amount is best achieved by referring to the Kansas child support worksheet. The worksheet utilizes the child support guidelines that are defined by state law. The court will use this same worksheet as a building block for determining the support obligation, that is if you and your spouse are unable to come to an agreement on this issue.
The court shall make provisions for the support and education of the minor children. The court may modify or change any prior order, within three years of the date of the original order or a modification order, when a material change in circumstances is shown, irrespective of the present domicile of the child or the parents.
Regardless of the type of custodial arrangement ordered by the court, the court may order the child support and education expenses to be paid by either or both parents for any child less than 18 years of age, at which age the support shall terminate unless: (A) The parent or parents agree, by written agreement approved by the court, to pay support beyond the time the child reaches 18 years of age; (B) the child reaches 18 years of age before completing the child's high school education in which case the support shall not terminate automatically, unless otherwise ordered by the court, until June 30 of the school year during which the child became 18 years of age if the child is still attending high school; or (C) the child is still a bona fide high school student after June 30 of the school year during which the child became 18 years of age, in which case the court, on motion, may order support to continue through the school year during which the child becomes 19 years of age so long as the child is a bona fide high school student and the parents jointly participated or knowingly acquiesced in the decision which delayed the child's completion of high school.
In determining the amount to be paid for child support, the court shall consider all relevant factors, without regard to marital misconduct, including the financial resources and needs of both parents, the financial resources and needs of the child and the physical and emotional condition of the child. (Kansas Statutes - Chapter 60 - Article 16 - Subject: 1610)
Copyright Notice: These Kansas divorce laws above are copyrighted by Divorce Source, Inc. This abbreviated and revised version of the state laws has been compiled from applicable state laws and unauthorized reproduction in any fashion is prohibited. Violation of this copyright notice may result in immediate legal action.
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