Kansas Divorce Laws

Kansas Divorce Requirements

Filing for divorce in most states is quite similar with only slight changes for Kansas. One of these differences defines where divorce is petitioned. The county of residency dictates which court will handle the case.

Divorces are federal cases so they are handled by the circuit courts of each county, thus why it is important to file with the appropriate court. In order to file within the state of Kansas, individuals must be residents for a minimum of sixty days.

In other states whichever individual files for divorce does not necessarily need to be a state resident but his or her spouse does need to be a resident. In Kansas, the divorce petitioner must be a Kansas resident, even if his or her spouse is not. Those serving in Kansas on military duty are considered residents after sixty days and may petition for divorce.

Residency requirements for divorce in Kansas

Any spouse applying for termination of marriage in Kansas must have been a resident for at least 60 days prior to applying for dissolution of marriage. In the case of being in the military, they must have resided for 60 days preceding filing they may file in any county adjacent to their post. Generally, the divorce may be filed in the county of the filing spouse.

Kansas Grounds for Divorce

When individuals file for divorce in Kansas they must state the reason for the divorce. This is called the grounds for filing. Not all reasons for divorce are accepted by the state of Kansas, and not all states have the same divorcing grounds. These grounds must be legal.

A couple may decide on the grounds for divorce before filing or the petitioner may file singly and be required to prove those grounds before the court.

To be eligible to petition for divorce in Kansas certain conditions must be met which are either no-fault-based grounds or fault-based grounds.

No-fault based grounds for divorce

No-fault claims state that a divorce shall be based on incompatibility. Under this decree, no sole individual will be seen as responsible for the disintegration of the marriage. The No-fault claim states that no one is at fault.

  • Incompatibility

Fault-based grounds for divorce

A divorce decree can also be brought under Fault claims. This decree cites one individual responsible for the marriage’s disintegration and names one individual at fault. Fault claims include incompatibility due to mental incapacity or mental illness by either one or both individuals and a failure to have all marital obligations and duties performed.

Incompatibility due to mental illness requires that the individual be confined in a mental institution for at least two years (un-continuous confinement is allowed) or the mental illness will need to be adjudicated through the court while the individual is under confinement in a mental institution.

  • Mental illness or mental capacity
  • A failure to perform a marital duty that is considered to be material

Note: If filing for divorce based on mental incapacity or mental illness, the following conditions have to be met:

  • Confinement in an institute or establishment for a period of no less than 2 years, confinement does not have to be continuous.
  • An adjunction of mental illness or incapacity by a court of competent jurisdiction Kansas Statutes – Chapter 60 – Article 16 – Subject: 1601

Property division factors

If the spouses cannot divide property themselves then the court will do it on their behalf based on equitable distribution. First, there will be an investigation to determine which property is considered marital. This property will then the marital property will be assigned a monetary value. Lastly, it will be distributed equitably among the spouses. The court may consider the following when dividing property:

  1. The age of the spouses
  2. The duration of the marriage
  3. Any property owned by the spouses which is not marital
  4. Any present earnings
  5. The future earning capacity of each spouse
  6. Family ties and obligations of each spouse
  7. Allowance of maintenance
  8. Any other factors that go towards an equitable distribution Kansas Statutes – Chapter 60 – Article 16 – Subject: 1610

Child custody issues

The court will consider the following if spouses are unable to reach an amicable decision regarding child custody issues:

  • The amount of time the child has been in the specific care of each of the spouses
  • The desire of the parents of the child for custody
  • The desire of the child as to who has custody
  • The interaction between child and siblings and any other person relevant
  • The adjustment of the child
  • The willingness of each spouse to encourage a relationship between the child and the other spouse
  • Any evidence of spousal abuse within the marriage Kansas Statutes – Chapter 60 – Article 16 – Subject: 1610

The court in Kansas will also bear in mind visitation for grandparents of the child, however, when it comes to visitation rights for grandparents the spouses may have some say in the matter.

Child support factors when divorcing in Kansas

Either or both of the parents may have to contribute towards the cost of child support. Child support will be decided based on the following:

  1. The financial resources of the child
  2. The emotional condition of the child
  3. The physical and educational needs of the child
  4. The financial needs of each of the spouses
  5. The needs and the obligations of both the spouses

There are specific Supreme Court child support guidelines contained within the Kansas Statutes Annotated Chapter 20, Subject 165. [Kansas Statutes Annotated; Chapter 20, Subject 165 and Chapter 60, Article 16, Subject 1610.

Generally, any child support will be paid through the court trustee or clerk of the court unless otherwise ordered by the court.

Spousal Support

In a divorce case, no spouse is obligated to provide spousal support unless obligated through a judge’s ruling. Spousal support can either be permanent or temporary. The individuals involved in the divorce may agree to award spousal support or the court may make such a decision without individual involvement.

A spousal support decree can later be altered or terminated under dictated circumstances. The motion can later be altered through the court at least one month after the decree was awarded. One hundred twenty-one months after a motion was awarded, the decree can no longer be altered. Nearly any portion of a spousal support decree may be maintained or modified at any time until the date of expiration has fully passed, according to Kansas Statute Chapter 60 Article 16 Subject 1610.

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