Residency Requirements and Grounds for Divorce
Either you or your spouse must be a Kansas resident for 60 days before filing for divorce. You can meet this requirement if you're in the military and stationed in Kansas for the required time.
There are three grounds upon which to obtain a divorce in Kansas:
- Failure to perform a material marital duty or obligation
- Incompatibility due to mental illness or mental incapacity of one or both spouses
A divorce case begins when one spouse files the papers for dissolution of marriage in a county where either of the spouses resides. Unless the court issues an order declaring the existence of an emergency, no decree of divorce may issue until 60 days from the filing date.
Dividing the Property
In Kansas, the court makes an equitable division, or fair division, of a couple's marital property, which includes assets and debts acquired before and during marriage. An equitable division isn't always an equal division. Factors in property division include:
- The age of the spouses
- Marriage length
- Property owned by the spouses
- The spouses' present and future earning capacities
- Details on property acquisition
- Family ties and obligations
- Spousal support awards
- How assets were spent
- Tax consequences
- Any other factors relevant to making a fair division
Be prepared with information on your property, including when you purchased it, an estimate of value, and details such as account numbers, serial numbers and so forth. You'll be ready to meet with a Kansas divorce lawyer and it can save you a lot of time and money.
A court can order alimony to either party in Kansas. Temporary alimony may be ordered while a divorce action is pending. Alimony may be periodic or a lump sum. The award may be in any amount that the court finds fair and equitable. The court may not award alimony for a period of time in excess of 121 months.
In determining the amount and duration of an alimony award, the court considers many factors including:
- Spouses' ages
- Assets of each spouse
- Potential earnings of each spouse
- Cause of separation
- Marriage length
- Prior standard of living
- Each spouse's needs
Child Custody and Visitation
In Kansas, the court will determine child custody based on the best interests of the child. If the parents entered into a parenting plan, it is presumed that the agreement is in the best interests of the child. Joint or sole custody are options, but the court must state the reasons for awarding sole custody. Visitation rights or "parenting time" are typically awarded to the noncustodial parent.
In determining the issue of child custody and parenting time, the court considers all relevant parenting factors, including:
- Whether the child has been in the care of someone besides a parent, and the relevant details
- Parents' preferences
- Child's preferences
- The interaction and interrelationship of the child with parents, siblings and any other person who may significantly affect the child's best interests
- The child's adjustment to the child's home, school and community
- 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
- Evidence of spousal abuse
In Kansas, the court will order either or both parents to pay a reasonable amount need to support their child. The Kansas child support guidelines amount is presumed correct. A deviation from the guidelines requires a finding by the court that the amount of child support established by the guidelines is unjust or inappropriate. The noncustodial parent may expect to pay child support until the child is 18 years old or a high school graduate.
Questions for Your Attorney