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What Are the Grounds for Divorce in Kansas and Missouri?

Nov. 24, 2020

In Kansas, the divorce rate according to the latest statistics (2018) is 2.3 divorces per one thousand inhabitants, down from 5 divorces per thousand in 1990. In Missouri, there were 3 divorces per one thousand inhabitants, down from 5.1 divorces per thousand in 1990.

No matter how you analyze the statistics, divorce can be an emotionally shattering experience. Without assistance from an experienced family law attorney, things can spiral out of control and result in an outcome that is not equitable for you.

If you’re currently experiencing or contemplating a divorce in Kansas or Missouri, contact Rundberg Law, LLC. Ron Rundberg has served many divorcing spouses and knows that no two divorces are ever the same.

Your friends and family who have experienced divorce may advise you in various ways, but their situation is very different from yours. Contact me so that we can discuss your particular circumstance and how we can work together toward the best possible solution for you. There is no cookie-cutter solution to the issues you are facing.

Types of Divorce in Kansas or Missouri

Like most states, Kansas is considered a "no-fault" state. This means that either or both parties can claim incompatibility as the reason for ending the marriage. No details need to be given, just the assertion of incompatibility and the impossibility of reconciliation in the future.

Kansas does recognize fault if either spouse wishes to identify fault, but the grounds are limited to:

  • Failure to perform a material (i.e., relevant) marital duty or obligation; and

  • Incompatibility by reason of the mental illness or the mental incapacity of one spouse, or even both spouses.

Missouri, like Kansas, is a no-fault state. As a result, there is no need to prove fault in order for the dissolution of marriage to be granted. However, the court may consider (but is not limited to) any of the following when deciding whether the marriage should be dissolved:

  • A spouse committed adultery;

  • One spouse is unable to tolerate the behavior of the other spouse;

  • The couple has lived apart for 24 months (12 months if both agree to the dissolution;

  • A spouse was abandoned for six or more continuous months; and

  • One of the spouses is involved in criminal activity

Filing for Divorce in Kansas or Missouri

To file for divorce in Kansas, one must have resided in the state for 60 days, which can be proven by showing voter registration, a state driver’s license or ID, property taxes paid, or other relevant documentation.

The spouse who files the divorce papers in the local district court is called the petitioner, and the other spouse the respondent. The respondent must reply to the divorce petition filed by the other spouse or the divorce will be granted by default.

After the initial filing, at least 60 days must pass before the divorce can be finalized. The length of time to finalize the divorce will depend on how long it takes to resolve the legal issues related to the marriage. These issues include the division of assets and liabilities, maintenance, legal custody, child support, and child custody.

In Missouri, divorce is often referred to as a dissolution of marriage. You or your spouse must have resided in Missouri for more than 90 days prior to filing a petition for dissolution of marriage. The dissolution of marriage cannot be granted for at least 30 days after the petition has been filed.

Hiring an Experienced Family
Law Attorney Is Essential

Even if you and your spouse agree on the major issues of the divorce, you need an experienced family law attorney to attend to every little detail to resolve the issues that are important to you. An experienced family law attorney can help you avoid any potential legal pitfalls and see your agreement through to finalization.

An experienced family law attorney is even more essential if you’re still in a contentious stage and arguing over the details of your divorce. If possible, you want to avoid leaving your case in the hands of a judge to decide your fate for you. Take control of your future by utilizing the expertise of Ron Rundberg, an experienced family law attorney.

If you’re in the Kansas City area, in Kansas or Missouri, contact Rundberg Law, LLC. Ron Rundberg will provide you with personalized care and proven results.

Before beginning my legal career in 1991, I co-founded an adoption agency. My wife and I have been married for 23 years, with a blended family of five adult children. I understand divorce issues from my personal experience and many years of experience as a family law attorney. Call me immediately for a free consultation about your situation.

Ron Rundberg is licensed in both Kansas and Missouri. In Kansas, he serves Johnson, Douglas, Wyandotte, Miami, and Franklin Counties. In Missouri, he serves Jackson, Cass, and Clay Counties.