Kansas Divorce Laws and Resources
U.S. Divorce Laws are enacted by each state using their respective legislative process. Once legislation is enacted into law, the divorce courts in Kansas have the authority to manage the divorce proceedings, including, spousal and child support payments, custodial rights of parents and the division of community property.
Since state laws are repealed and amended frequently, it is always advisable to consult with an experienced divorce lawyer before making any important decisions about your marriage. You can also visit the GotTrouble Divorce Resource for a more in-depth understanding of related divorce and family law topics.
As of 2016, all states allow for “no fault” divorce. Yet many courts still factor in the respective parties past behavior when determining the division of community property, debts, custody, support and related issues.
SAME-SEX DIVORCE – UPDATE:
On June 26, 2015, the US Supreme Court ruled that gay marriage is a right protected by the US Constitution in all 50 states. It follows, therefore, that the rights and obligations between same-sex divorcing parties are subject to the same dissolution laws of that state. Reference: US Supreme Court Opinion: Obergefell v. Hodges. (For more information visit ProCon.org).
RESIDENCY REQUIREMENTS AND WHERE TO FILE:
To file for a divorce, either spouse must be a resident of the state for a least 60 days before filing. The divorce petition should be filed with the district court in the county where either spouse resides.
LEGAL GROUNDS FOR DIVORCE:
A divorce or separation may be based on the following grounds:
- A failure to perform a material marital duty or obligation; or
- Established mental illness or mental incapacity of one or both spouses.
A legal separation may be granted on the same grounds as a divorce, and may contain provisions detailing how matters will be handled during the separation, including provisions relating to a parenting plan. Any provisions relating to the legal custody, residency, visitation parenting time, support or education of the minor children shall be subject to the control of the court. A separation agreement may be incorporated into a divorce decree if the court finds it to be valid, just, and equitable. [Based on Kansas Statutes 60-16-1601]
MEDIATION OR COUNSELING REQUIREMENTS:
Parents may be required to attend parent education classes, and if they are unable to come to an agreement concerning parental responsibilities, the court may require mediation, unless mediation would be inappropriate in the particular case. [Based on KS Statutes 60-16-1626]
MARRITAL PROPERTY DISTRIBUTION:
Kansas is an equitable distribution state, meaning that the property will be distributed in an equitable fashion if the parties can’t reach an agreement. The court shall consider the following factors when dividing marital property:
- The age of the parties;
- The duration of the marriage;
- The property owned by each party;
- Each spouse’s present and future earning capacities;
- How the property was acquired;
- 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.
Spousal maintenance may be awarded to either spouse in an amount the court finds to be fair, just and equitable under all of the circumstances. Maintenance may be awarded as a lump sum, in periodic payments, on a percentage of earnings, and the court may not award maintenance for a period of time in excess of 121 months. If the original decree contains provisions empowering the court to hear subsequent motions, and such motions are filed before the termination of 121 months, then the court may extend maintenance for a period of no more than 121 months.
SPOUSE’S LEGAL NAME:
The court shall order the restoration of that spouse’s maiden or former name upon the request of that spouse.
KANSAS CHILD CUSTODY LAWS – BEST INTERESTS OF THE CHILD
Either parent may be awarded custody. If custody is disputed, it shall than be decided by the court based on the best interests of the child, taking the following factors into consideration:
- The desires of the parents in relation to custody;
- The desires of the child concerning custody;
- The interaction and interrelationship of the child with parents;
- The child’s adjustment to the child’s home, school and community;
- The willingness and ability of each parent to respect and encourage the bond between child and other parent;
- Evidence of spousal or child abuse either by the parent or someone with whom the parent resides;
- Whether a parent or someone with whom a parent resides is subject to Offender Registration.
Regardless of the custody arrangements ordered by the court, the court may order the child support and education expenses to be paid by either or both parents. In determining the amount of child support, the court shall use the Kansas child support guidelines. Child support terminates at age 18 unless, the parents reach a written agreement to extend support, the child turns 18 before completing from high school.
CHILD SUPPORT IN THE STATE OF KANSAS – THE FEDERAL OPTION
Learn about the Federal Office of Child Support and Enforcement:
FIND LOCAL FEDERAL ENFORCEMENT AGENCY NEAR YOU