Divorce is a legal way of ending a marriage. Research has found that there were about 2.3 divorce cases per 1,000 residents in Kansas in 2018. The good news is that there has been a constant decrease in the number of divorces in this state over the past 30 years.
Read on to learn what you will have to do when filing for divorce in Kansas.
- 1 Valid Grounds to Get Divorce
- 2 How to Get a Divorce in Kansas
- 3 Requirements for an Uncontested Divorce in Kansas
- 4 What if I Have Contested Divorce?
- 5 Kansas Family Laws
- 6 Kansas Divorce Papers and Forms
- 7 How to File Divorce Papers in Kansas
- 8 How to Serve Divorce Papers in Kansas
- 9 How to Get a Divorce in Kansas Without a Lawyer
- 10 Common Questions
- 10.1 How is property divided in a divorce in Kansas?
- 10.2 How much does a divorce cost in Kansas?
- 10.3 How long does it take to get a divorce in Kansas?
- 10.4 How can I get a copy of my divorce in Kansas?
- 10.5 Do my spouse and I need to live in Kansas to get a divorce?
- 10.6 Can I still get a divorce if my spouse doesn’t want to get one?
Valid Grounds to Get Divorce
Legal grounds for divorce in Kansas include:
- Mental incapacity or mental disease by both or one spouse
- Failure of one spouse to perform material marital obligations
- Incompatibility (no-fault divorce)
If the reason for incompatibility is mental illness/incapacity, a divorce will only be granted by the court in case one of the spouses has been adjudicated as mentally incapacitated or ill. He or she must have been confined in a mental health institution for at least 2 years.
The petitioner can choose between a fault-based and no-fault complaint when filing for divorce in Kansas. No-fault divorces don’t obligate spouses to explain why they do not want to be in marriage anymore. All they need to do is say that they are incompatible in order to get a no-fault divorce.
How to Get a Divorce in Kansas
The uncontested divorce allows a divorcing couple to end the marriage in a peaceful, simple, and affordable way. The spouses are supposed to be in agreement on every single term of their divorce. While some couples complete their divorces themselves, others hire a family law or divorce attorney to get their documentation prepared.
Either party must have resided in this state for a minimum of 60 days before filing for divorce. They both need to agree on legal reasons (divorce grounds) for divorce. This may imply no-fault or fault grounds; both options are recognized in Kansas.
If incompatibility is the legal reason for your separation, you should not get along with your spouse when filing for a no-fault divorce. Check Kan. Stat. Ann. § 23-2701 (2020) to learn more about grounds for separate maintenance or divorce in Kansas.
As a petitioner, i.e., the party who starts the divorce, you will first need to prepare and complete legal divorce forms. Please note that divorce forms are not the same for divorcing couples without and with minor children.
Nonetheless, they both have to go through some common phases of the divorce process, such as:
- Filing their divorce documents
- Serving the documents on the other spouse (respondent), and
- Preparing for their final hearing
Divorce with minor children raises the need for a martial settlement agreement. It is intended to
solve divorce-related problems like:
- Child support, child custody, and parenting time (visitation schedules);
- Division of marital property (it includes the marital house, assets, and debts);
- Spousal support (also called alimony);
- Dental and medical coverage for children.
As for the spousal support or alimony, we recommend that you use an online maintenance calculator. Your alimony will depend on the length of your marriage as well as gross annual income.
Requirements for an Uncontested Divorce in Kansas
In Kansas, divorcing couples are required to live there for at least sixty days to get an uncontested divorce. They should also cite a legal reason for divorce, be it incompatibility or mental illness.
The incompatibility allows you to get a divorce without revealing the intimate details of your marriage. That’s why most spouses cite it as the ground for their divorce. You can also get a divorce in Kansas if your spouse refuses to engage in sexual interactions.
What if I Have Contested Divorce?
A contested divorce is the most favorable option for spouses who can’t agree on some points of their divorce settlements, such as custody, child support, alimony, or property distribution. In that case, the judges decide on the aforesaid issues without any involvement from spouses.
This type of divorce doesn’t only take longer than a typical uncontested divorce but is also more expensive. Sometimes the contested divorce may take a number of legal hearings and drag on for a few years.
Kansas Family Laws
Let’s cast light on things that come into play when going through a divorce with children, including alimony, custody, and child support.
Spousal Support, Maintenance, or Alimony
In Kansas, spouses have a few options regarding alimony. They can make periodic or lump-sum payments. Apart from that, some opt to set aside a percentage of their monthly earnings. See Kan. Stat. Ann. § 23-2902 (2018) for more information on maintenance.
Similar to most other states, there are 3 types of spousal support in Kansas:
- Temporary spousal support
- Short-term spousal support
- Long-term spousal support
Custody and Visitation
By agreeing on custody, the parents will be able to provide a parenting plan to the court. It must be in the best interests of the children to be approved. Otherwise, the court will order an alternative custody arrangement.
Many ex-spouses cannot come up with a parenting plan that works for both of them. If so, the court will create a custody plan after the case evaluation (23-3201.).
Kansas family laws recognize 2 types of custody: residency and legal custody. Either type of child custody can be awarded to:
- Both parents (joint legal custody), or
- Only one parent (sole custody)
The judge awards visitation (parenting time) to one parent and residency or primary custody to the other in most cases. In the event of sole residency, the visitation schedule is typically created so that it suits both the child(ren) and non-custodial parents.
Both parents must provide support to their children after getting divorced. The general rule of thumb is that the parent with no primary residential custody pays child support. That doesn’t mean the other parent (the primary caregiver) is not also responsible for this type of support.
Kansas Divorce Papers and Forms
You should prepare and file divorce papers and forms when starting your divorce process. It will take you a few days to prepare all these documents without a lawyer.
The complete divorce documentation is published online on the official website of the Kansas Judicial Council. Nevertheless, you need to check with the local courthouse clerk to ensure these forms are accepted by the judges.
In addition to filing a Petition for Divorce, you may also need to complete some of these forms:
- Domestic Relations Affidavit
- Civil Information Sheet
- Civil Cover Sheet
- In-State Summons or Out-of-State Summons
- Child Support Worksheet
- Parenting Plan
- Notice of Hearing
- Decree of Divorce
More and more people use online divorce services to file documents when ending their marriage. It comes as no surprise given that this lets them avoid expensive attorney fees. Take this option into consideration before heading to a divorce attorney.
How to File Divorce Papers in Kansas
You can either hire an attorney to complete your divorce papers or do it on your own. From a Petition for Divorce to Report of Dissolution, there are a variety of papers to prepare and file.
What papers and forms you will need to file will depend on your particular case. It’s best to consult the local clerk or CompleteCase support about your divorce documents.
File your divorce paperwork
Make 2 copies of each document – the original for you, one copy for the court, and the other copy for your spouse. Then visit the local courthouse and file all the documentation required. Be ready to pay filing fees.
After stamping your papers with the date, the clerk will assign your divorce case a number. Read through the Instructions for filing Divorce for more details.
Serve your spouse
Once you have filed the documents, you will have to provide your spouse with a packet that contains copies of everything and the summon. Do it at the earliest opportunity after leaving. The other party must be served in no more than 90 days after filing the Petition and Summons.
Both parties in a divorce must provide a written statement (Domestic Relations Affidavit) that discloses their financial situation. It includes information on spouses’ assets, debts, incomes, and expenses.
That helps in determining if one party should get spousal support. Besides, it will give you a better idea of how much you should pay for child support if required.
How to Serve Divorce Papers in Kansas
You need to serve your spouse with all the divorce documents (Decree of Divorce, Petition, Summons, Notice of Hearing, etc.) at his/her home address unless your spouse is a pro se litigant representing himself/herself without the assistance of a lawyer.
In case he or she has hired a lawyer, you’ll need to send the papers to the attorney’s office. As a petitioner, you should notify your spouse by means of one of these options:
- Certified Mail Service
- Sheriff’s Service
- Voluntary Entry of Appearance
How to Get a Divorce in Kansas Without a Lawyer
Hiring a lawyer isn’t absolutely necessary to get divorced. You can do it yourself with ease, especially if your divorce is uncontested. However, you will need to get prepared for court proceedings and prepare the documents required in Kansas.
Once you have prepared all the necessary divorce papers, you will have to file them in the local court to get a no-fault divorce. Alternatively, you can file these papers and forms online without paying large fees to an attorney.
While online divorces are legal in Kansas, they aren’t recommended for spouses who face a contentious divorce. However, if divorcing couples can agree on the major issues, then they should try to complete their divorce online and thus avoid getting ripped off by attorneys. Keep reading to learn more.
File Divorce Papers Online
Starting an uncontested divorce online is a private, simple, and affordable process. After completing your divorce papers, you need to file them at your convenience. This will not only save you time but also thousands of dollars in attorney fees.
There is a large number of online agencies offering this type of service. Not many are reliable, though. CompleteCase is the most dependable choice when filing your divorce documentation online.
You might be wondering how it works. After a brief online interview, you will go through a simple three-step process as follows:
- Determine your eligibility for divorce in Kansas and check if our service works for you.
- Get the divorce questionnaire completed to receive customized documentation along with instructions for filing.
- Follow the filing instructions and print completed forms. It’s that simple! Don’t worry, all the forms are 100% accurate and up to date.
How is property divided in a divorce in Kansas?
The property division is managed in accordance with the equitable distribution during a divorce process in Kansas. That requires disclosing the financial situation of both spouses to get marital property divided.
How much does a divorce cost in Kansas?
While the filing fee varies from county to country, it is $150 on average in Kansas. You should also add attorney’s fees (about $5,000 in total) if you opt to hire one.
How long does it take to get a divorce in Kansas?
It takes from 1 to 3 months for the court to finalize the process after filing the divorce papers. It depends on the judge’s availability and court caseload.
How can I get a copy of my divorce in Kansas?
To obtain a certified copy of your divorce decree, you need to go to the local District Court and visit a clerk’s office. Please note that it must be located in the county in which your divorce has been filed.
Do my spouse and I need to live in Kansas to get a divorce?
As far as the residency requirements are concerned, one spouse must have lived in Kansas for 60 or more days prior to filing in order to get a divorce.
Can I still get a divorce if my spouse doesn’t want to get one?
Yes, you can get a divorce in Kansas, even if your spouse doesn’t want it. The court will grant your divorce using the incompatibility as a ground for divorce.