Kansas Divorce Laws and Resources

By WomansDivorce.com 

This Kansas divorce overview provides the information and resources you need for a divorce or separation. There are options to contact an attorney experienced in family law if you want someone to handle all the legal issues for you. If you plan on filing the divorce papers yourself, there are quality services that provide divorce forms and online divorce assistance.

You'll be able to educate yourself about what to expect and how to protect your rights by reading through the divorce law section. And if you have children together, the child support guidelines and schedule can help you closely estimate the support amount that is possible in your situation. 

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Kansas Divorce Law

Residency requirements to be met before filing for divorce: Either the spouse filing for divorce (petitioner) or the spouse whom divorce papers are filed on (respondent) must reside in the state for 60 day before filing for divorce. Military personnel who have been stationed within the state for more than 60 days may file for a divorce in any county adjoining to their post. (Kansas Statute 23-2703)

Required waiting period: A divorce won't be heard until 60 days after a divorce is filed except if the judge enters an order for the declaration of an emergency. (KS Statute 23-2708) 

Grounds for separation and divorce: A separation or divorce may be granted on any of these grounds:

  1. incompatibility;
  2. failing to fulfill a material responsibility or obligation of the marriage; or
  3. proven mental disability or illness of either or both parties. (KS Statute 23-2701)

Grounds for annulment: A spouse may get an annulment in Kansas if the marriage is declared void for any reason or the marriage was entered into fraudulently. The court may also grant an annulment if the marriage was entered into by mistake or lack of knowledge of fact or any other causes the court deems justifiable. (KS Statute 23-2702)

Legal separation in Kansas: Either spouse can file for a legal separation which will outline the division of their assets and debts and any provisions they want included in a parenting plan for their minor children. At a later date, if the court finds the separation agreement is valid, equitable, and fair, the agreement can be included into a decree of divorce. (Kansas Statute 23-2712)

Classes / mediation: The court may require the parents to participate in educational parenting classes which address how children are affected by divorce. Mediation may also be required (unless it is determined to be unsuitable in the given case) in situations where parents are unable to resolve issues relating to a parenting plan. (KS Statutes 23-3214)

Assets and debts: In divorce cases where the parties cannot reach a mutual agreement in how to divide their assets, the court will divide their property, including any retirement and pension assets (whether owned prior to the marriage, acquired solely after the marriage, or acquired jointly after the marriage). In making the determination for equitable division of the property, the court considers the following factors:

  • each spouses age;
  • how long the spouses were married;
  • their current and prospective earning capacities;
  • the property owned by each spouse;
  • how and when the property or asset was acquired;
  • any ties and agreements with family;
  • whether or not alimony is awarded;
  • whether a spouse has dissipated assets;
  • the future tax consequences of the proposed property division; and
  • any other circumstances the court deems essential to achieve an equitable division. (Kansas Statute 23-2802)

Alimony / spousal support and maintenance: The court may award support to either party if it is deemed fair and equitable given the situation. Support may be paid as a single payment for the total amount of maintenance or through periodic payments, but will not last longer 121 months. The supported spouse may file motions at a later time for reestablishment of support prior to the expiration of subsequent periods of time for alimony payments to be made, but no single period of reinstatement may exceed 121 months. Alimony is determined based on a percentage of income or other basis the court deems fit. Maintenance payments are to be made through the central unit for collection and disbursement of support payments unless the parties reach a written agreement for payment to be paid directly to the supported spouse. (Kansas Statute 23-2901 to 23-2905)

Name change / restoration of former name: (KS Statute 23-2716) Either spouse can request that a maiden or previous name be restored when the divorce is granted or any time after the granting of a divorce.

Child custody: In Kansas parents seeking divorce must submit a thorough parenting plan that covers all of their children’s needs. In the circumstance that you are not able to come to an agreement with your spouse on some of or all of your parenting plan provisions, or if the Court feels the plan is not sufficient, they will make changes or draft an entirely new one.

The court will consider all relevant issues to reach this decision, such as:

  • whether (and why) the child has been cared for by someone other than a parent;
  • the wishes of both the parents and the child regarding custody;
  • the child's adjustment to their home, school, and community;
  • the child's relationship and interaction with the parents, brothers and sisters, and anyone else who may considerably affect the child's best interests;
  • each parent's willingness to support the other parent's continuing relationship with the child;
  • evidence of abuse against a spouse or conviction of child abuse;
  • if either parent is a registered offender of Kansas or any other state, as defined by K.S.A 22-4902 (awarding custody to such a parent is presumed not to be in the best interest of the child);
  • if either parent is living with someone convicted of child abuse (awarding custody to such a parent is presumed not to be in the child's best interest).

The court doesn't favor either parent when determining custody, and does not make the presumption that it's in the best interest of an infant or young child to award residency or custody to the child's mother. (Based on Kansas Statute 23-3203)

The Court will decide on one of a possible three scenarios – residency, divided residency, or non-parental residency.

  • Residency is when the child or children involved stay together. They may spend most of the time with one parent, or split time in some predetermined ratio between both parents.
  • Divided residency is rare, but sometimes parents with multiple children will end up having one child stay with the mother while another stays with the father.
  • Lastly, non-parental residency is when a child or children are deemed by the Court to be better with another relative like an aunt or uncle.

While custody and visitation rulings in Kansas are based directly on what the Court deems best for the children involved, you can submit a custody and visitation schedule template for the family court to work with.

Change in child's residence: A custodial parent is require to provide written notice to the other parent no less than 30 days prior to changing the child's residence or taking the child out of state for more than 90 days. Notification is not required if the other parent has been found guilty of any crime defined in articles 34, 35 or 36 of the Kansas Statutes chapter 21 in which the child is the victim of such a crime. (KS Statutes 23-3222) 

Child support: Child support and educational expenses are payable for any child under the age of 18. Support may be extended by written agreement by the parents until the age of 19 if the child is still in high school. The amount of child support will be based on the needs and resources of both the parents and the child. The court uses the Kansas child support guidelines to establish the support obligation, taking into consideration such factors as divided residency situations, combined income beyond the Child Support Schedule, whether the family has more than 6 minor children, parenting time adjustments, and any other child support owed by the non-custodial parent. (KS Statutes 23-3001 through 23-3006)

Parenting Education Classes

Individuals with minor children at home may be required to undergo a parenting class to educate them on the impact of family dissolution on their children. To locate programs and services in your area, you need to contact your local court system for the times and dates.

If you are in Douglas County, the court circuit court has information online about their Parent Orientation Programs or call (785) 832-5256.

Wichita Parent Education Classes - call 316-660-5727

Online Divorce Service

If you and your spouse can agree on everything, doing your own paperwork is an option to consider. Not only does it save on legal costs, it is often less time-consuming than having a lawyer handle everything. The simplest way to get all you paperwork done correctly is by using a reputable online divorce service, such as the 3-step Divorce system. If this sounds like what you need, you can start preparing your uncontested Kansas divorce papers today.

Domestic Violence Program

KSCDV.org - State Domestic Abuse Site