An Overview of the Kansas Divorce Process
June 2, 2020
In 2018, there were 2.3 divorces per thousand residents of Kansas. Going through a divorce can be overwhelming and can have ramifications on many aspects of your life, including your family, children, finances, and friends. Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation out there, that when followed, can lead to costly mistakes. Therefore, if you live in Kansas, and you are considering divorce or have just been served with papers, it is crucial that you consult with an experienced Kansas divorce attorney for proper guidance.
With more than 28 years of experience, I have dedicated my legal career to handling divorce, paternity, child custody, and adoption matters. As an experienced family law attorney, I know that divorce is very difficult and each person's situation is unique. I will provide you with detailed guidance and give you the support you need to get through this difficult time in your life.
Rundberg Law, LLC proudly serves clients in Johnson County, Kansas and the surrounding counties.
Filing for Divorce in Kansas
To file for divorce in Kansas, you or your spouse must be a resident of the state for at least sixty (60) days. The legal process starts by filing a Petition for Divorce and other supporting documents in the District Court.
Contested vs. Uncontested
Depending on your specific situation, you have two types of divorce options - contested and uncontested divorce.
Uncontested Divorce: In an uncontested divorce, you and your estranged spouse mutually agree on the specific terms of the divorce, including property distribution, child custody, child support, and maintenance/alimony, prior to filing for divorce. A settlement agreement will be prepared and signed that reflects your settlement terms. The settlement agreement you have reached with your spouse will then be submitted to the judge for approval. Typically, any agreement you reach with your spouse will be approved by the judge. If both parties are represented by attorneys, a hearing may not be required to finalize the divorce. If a hearing is required, it will only be a brief hearing for the judge to confirm that both parties understand and agree to the terms of their settlement agreement.
Contested Divorce: Conversely, a contested divorce is one in which the parties are unable to agree on one or more issues prior to filing for divorce. After the divorce is filed, the contested issues will have to be resolved by negotiation, mediation, or trial.
Grounds for Divorce in Kansas
Kansas is a no-fault state. In essence, you don't have to prove that your spouse committed any wrongdoing to get a divorce. I can help you decide the best course of action and how best to navigate the terms of an agreement for an uncontested divorce or represent you in court in the case of a contested divorce.
Dividing Assets and Debts
Under Kansas law, all property is marital and subject to equitable division. Unless agreed upon by both parties (in the case of uncontested divorce), the court will determine how assets and debts should be divided, in accordance with the phrase "equitable division." However, it is important to note that "equitable" does not always mean “equal.” Relevant factors that will be considered include:
The age of each spouse
The length of the union
The current and potential earning capacity of each spouse
The separate property or properties owned by each spouse
How and when the properties were acquired
Family responsibilities of each spouse
Whether either of the spouses pays or receives maintenance or child support
The tax consequences of the property division
If you and your spouse are unable to agree on child custody, you will first be ordered to participate in mediation in attempt to work out an acceptable parenting plan. If an agreement cannot be reached, you will be forced to have the judge decide what is best for your child or children. The child’s or children's best interests will be considered when determining child custody. The following factors will be considered:
The child's wishes or preferences as to custody and residence
The relationship between the child and each parent
Each parent's ability to provide for the child's needs, including food, medical care, education, and shelter
The impact of custody on the child's current stability with regards to home, school, and the community
The mental and physical health of each spouse
The perceived parenting skills of each parent
A history of misconduct such as child abuse, domestic violence, substance abuse, or neglect from any of the parents.
The testimony provided by each party or witness
The type of legal custody and other factors considered by the court will determine who pays child support and what parenting time each parent will have with the child or children.
How Legal Counsel Can Help
The divorce process can be complicated and emotionally exhausting. Negotiating a settlement with your estranged spouse may make the process even more difficult. The guidance of an experienced Kansas divorce attorney will help you get through it.
As your legal counsel, I will work with all parties involved to settle matters such as asset division, child custody, parenting time, child support, and maintenance/alimony. I will work on your behalf to get a fair result for you so that you have what you need to start the new phase of your life. Most importantly, I can provide you with the comprehensive legal guidance and advocacy you need during this difficult period of your life.
Experienced Divorce Attorney in Overland Park, Kansas
If you are considering filing for divorce or have just been served with divorce papers, call Rundberg Law, LLC, today to schedule a free consultation. I will help you understand the Kansas divorce process and provide detailed legal guidance of your available options. Based in Overland Park, I am proud to serve clients in Johnson County, Kansas and the surrounding counties.