Kansas Divorce Laws

Residency Requirements

Either spouse must have been a resident of Kansas for 60 days immediately before filing for divorce. The divorce may be filed for in a county where either spouse resides.

Legal Grounds for Divorce

  1. No Fault Divorce: Incompatibility.
    [Kansas Statutes Annotated; Chapter 60, Article 16, Subject 1601].
  2. General Divorce:
    1. Failure to perform a marital duty or obligation
    2. Incompatibility due to mental illness

Legal Separation

Either spouse must have been a resident of Kansas for 60 days immediately before filing for legal separation. The grounds for legal separation are:

  1. Incompatibility
  2. Failure to perform a marital duty or obligation
  3. Incompatibility due to mental illness

Simplified/Special Divorce Procedures

Only one spouse need testify as to the facts in the divorce. In addition, marital settlement agreements are specifically authorized. Also, child custody and child residency agreements are specifically authorized and are presumed to be in the best interests of the child.

Divorce Mediation or Counseling Requirements

On either spouse’s request, or on its own initiative, the court may require that the spouses seek marriage and/or family counseling if marriage counseling services are available in the judicial district where the divorce is sought. Unless in emergency situations, there is a mandatory 60-day delay from the time the petition is filed until a final Decree of Divorce may be granted.

Divorce Property Distribution
Kansas is an “equitable distribution” state. The court may divide all of the spouse’s property, including:

  1. Any gifts and inheritances
  2. Any property owned before the marriage
  3. Any property acquired in a spouse’s own right during the marriage
  4. Any property acquired by the spouse’s joint efforts

Property distribution may include actual division of the property, an award of all or part of the property to 1 spouse with a just and reasonable payment to the other, or a sale of the property and a division of the proceeds. The court considers the following factors:

  1. The value of each spouse’s property
  2. The length of the marriage
  3. The age of the spouses
  4. Whether the property award is instead of or in addition to maintenance
  5. How and by whom the property was acquired
  6. The present and future earning capacity of the spouses
  7. Family ties and obligations
  8. Any dissipation of assets by a spouse
  9. The tax consequences of property distribution
  10. Any other factor necessary to do equity and justice between the spouses

Alimony and Spousal Support

Either spouse may be awarded maintenance for a period of up to 121 months. After 121 months, the recipient may apply for an extension of 1 more 121-month period. The amount awarded is whatever is judged to be fair, just, and equitable. There are no specific statutory factors for consideration. Payments are to be made through the clerk of the court or through the court trustee.

Child Custody

If the parents have entered into a written agreement regarding child custody, the court will approve it if it is in the best interests of the child. Where there is no agreement, the court may award joint or sole custody based on the best interests of the child and upon the following factors:

  1. The length of time and circumstances under which the child may have been under the care of someone other than a parent
  2. Preference of the child
  3. The wishes of the parents
  4. The child’s adjustment to his or her home, school, and community
  5. The relationship of the child with parents, siblings, and other significant family members
  6. The willingness of each parent to respect and appreciate the bond between the child and the other parent and allow for a continuing relationship between the child and the other parent
  7. Any evidence of spousal abuse

There is to be no preference given based on the sex of the parent, regardless of the age of the child. Joint custody may be awarded if the court finds both parents suitable. The court may order that a joint custody plan be submitted to the court by the parents.

Child Support

Either or both parents may be ordered to pay child support, without regard to any marital misconduct, based on the following factors:

  1. The financial resources of the child
  2. The physical and emotional conditions and educational needs of the child
  3. The financial resources, needs, and obligations of both the noncustodial and the custodial parent

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