Kansas Divorce FAQ

Basic Divorce Questions

What if my spouse does not want the divorce?

It does not matter in Kansas. Only one party has to plead that the parties are incompatible in order for the court to grant the divorce on the ground of incompatibility.

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Can I get an annulment in Kansas?

Yes, Kansas will annul any marriage that is not valid.

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Does Kansas grant divorces based on marital fault?

Yes, although it is not common in Kansas to pursue a divorce on fault grounds.

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Children, Support, and Property

Can I get maintenance or will I have to provide maintenance to my spouse?

An award of maintenance is based on an economic imbalance between the spouses, so an award of spousal maintenance would depend on the unique factors of your individual case.

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What are the grounds for divorce in Kansas?

In Kansas, the grounds for divorce are incompatibility (no fault), failure to perform a marital duty, and incompatibility by reason of mental illness or mental incapacity of one or both spouses.

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What if my ex tries to move the kids out of Kansas?

It depends on the custody arrangement. Generally, the parent with residential custody is required to give written notice at least 30 days prior to changing the residence of the child or taking the child out of state for longer than 90 days. The failure to do so is an indirect civil contempt punishable as provided by law. Additionally, the court may award attorney fees and expenses incurred by reason of the failure to give notice.

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When can a judge order supervised visitation or no visitation?

If there is some reason to be concerned about the safety of the child, a court may require that visitation be supervised. Courts may deny visitation altogether if it finds that the exercise of parenting time would seriously endanger the child’s physical, mental, moral, or emotional health.

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What is a parenting plan, and do I need one?

A parenting plan is a document that sets forth, at a minimum, the legal custodial relationship of the child, a schedule for the child’s time with each parent, and a procedure for resolving disputes between the parents.

If either parent is in the military, the parenting plan will also set forth provisions for custody and parenting time upon military deployment, mobilization, temporary duty, or unaccompanied tour of such service member.

If the parents have entered into a parenting plan, the court will presume that the plan is in the best interests of the child. If you have a minor child, you need a parenting plan.

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Can a parent refuse to allow visitation if child support is not paid?

No. The parent who fails to pay child support is still entitled to visitation/parenting time, even if he/she has not paid child support. These two issues are legally distinct.

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If both parents share physical custody does anyone pay child support?

Maybe. The court may order child support and education expenses to be paid by either or both parents for any child under the age of 18, regardless of the type of custodial arrangement that is ordered. The Kansas Child Support Guidelines set forth the method for determining how much child support will be paid and by whom.

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What is joint custody? What is sole custody?

The term “joint custody” is vague and can mean either legal or physical custody.

Joint legal custody means that each parent has equal rights to make decisions in the best interest of the child. Sole legal custody means one parent has the primary power to make decisions affecting the health, education, and welfare of the child. Sole legal custody does not completely prevent the other parent from being involved in making decisions, but it does mean the sole custodian has the ultimate decision-making power.

Joint legal custody is the preferred arrangement in Kansas.

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Who will get custody of my child?

Courts in Kansas will determine custody according to what is in the child’s best interests. In making this determination, the court will look at a variety of factors. These include, among others, the desires of the parents; the child’s adjustment to the child’s home, school, and community; and the willingness of each parent to allow for a continuing relationship between the child and other parent.

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Divorce Procedure

How and where is a divorce complaint filed?

You file a Petition for Decree of Divorce with your jurisdiction’s district court.

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After I file for divorce, do I have to continue to live in Kansas?

No. Residency is established at the time of filing.

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Do the other issues – child support, child custody, alimony, and property – have to be decided before the divorce is final?

Not always. Some courts are willing to (and, in fact, some Kansas Courts automatically) bifurcate the issues, so that the divorce can be entered prior to resolving the other issues.

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When can I file for divorce in Kansas?

At any time, as long as at least one of the parties has resided in Kansas for at least 60 days prior to filing for divorce.

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Do I really need to hire an attorney?

Although you can represent yourself in a divorce case, it is advisable to hire an attorney to represent your interests in a divorce. It is very risky for most in the case of a contested divorce due to lack of knowledge on court procedure and evidence.

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