Divorce is not an enjoyable concept, but it is a sad reality for many Americans. Being financially devastating after a separation doesn’t have to be the goal for anyone, even though it may be unavoidable for some individuals.
It doesn’t have to ruin whatever feelings of financial security you developed during your marriage if you take the time to learn and abide by the regulations of your state while you prepare for your divorce.
Each state has its own rules, and this guide explains the ones in Kansas so that citizens can be aware before they commit a serious error.
Regardless of how things are progressing in your marriage, you might want to consider consulting a financial counselor to assess your financial situation. This article will explain everything about Divorce in Kansas.
How Do I File for Divorce in Kansas
Divorce in Kansas can be requested by either spouse. The spouse requesting a dissolution must submit a divorce petition to the court (legal documents).
The “grounds” or reason for the same will be stated in the separation petition, along with the filing partner’s (also known as the “petitioner’s”) desired property division or child custody arrangement.
The Petition and summons must be served on the other partner, referred to as the “respondent.” The petitioner’s assertions may be refuted in the respondent’s answer.
Your divorce settlement will go forward until an agreement is reached between you and your spouse or a judge rules in your favor after a trial.
In a dissolution case, the Petitioner or Respondent must have actually resided in the state for 60 days prior to the Petition’s filing. According to this, at least 60 days must have passed for one spouse—not necessarily both—to have resided in the state before filing for divorce.
Process to Divorce
One spouse must complete numerous pieces of paperwork and submit them to the county courthouse in Kansas to begin the dissolution of marriage procedure. The following details will be on the form you submit:
- Address of each spouse’s home
- Information about the marriage, such as how long it lasted
- divorce reasons
- the names of any minor children and any child support requests
- Alimony demanded
The form must then be delivered to the second partner in order to serve them.
An uncontested divorce is possible if both parties reach an agreement on the details of the separation, which include how to divide assets, handle alimony payments, and handle child custody.
A final hearing can be held sixty days after filing, at which time the magistrate will examine your documents and the proposed Decree. It will be approved, and your divorce will proceed if everything is in order.
But occasionally, a divorce is contentious, and the parties are unable to come to an agreement. There will be a period of investigation in this case during which information will be gathered, particularly economic declarations from both sides.
In an effort to arrive at a settlement, the attorneys representing each spouse collaborate. However, if one cannot be achieved, a trial will be scheduled. Before making a decision on all pertinent issues, the judge hears testimony and the evidence.
Grounds for Divorce in Kansas
You must specify a ground or cause for your separation in your initial petition. There are both “fault” and “no-fault” reasons for divorce in Kansas.
In Kansas, you can merely claim that both you and your partner are irreconcilable to achieve a “no-fault” divorce. You are only required to state that you can no longer get along in a no-fault dissolution; you do not need to furnish details as to what caused the separation.
Kansas acknowledges the following two grounds for fault:
- Inability to carry out a significant marital responsibility or obligation, like refraining from having sex.
- Mental disease or mental incompetence of one or both spouses as a cause of incompatibility.
Only when the following criteria are met can you file for divorce on the grounds of incompatibility due to mental illness or mental deficiency:
- The mentally ill spouse has been institutionalized for at least two years—this time doesn’t have to be consecutive.
- A court has determined that the spouse has a mental disease or is mentally unable (adjudication).
One of these fault reasons for divorce in Kansas usually won’t have an impact on alimony payments or property settlements. However, a decision about child custody may be affected by a spouse’s marital infidelity or mental health issues.
Filing for Divorce in Kansas
It is up to you to choose where and how you’ll file for a DIY divorce. The court in the county in which either spouse resides in the proper venue (court to file in).
If you file in the incorrect court, the judge may dismiss your lawsuit or order that you refile in the proper one. You can use the court location link on the Kansas Judicial Branch website to determine the appropriate court for filing.
District courts in Kansas are the first-level trial tribunals. Divorce cases are under the purview of district courts, thus you must file for dissolution of marriage there.
Later, you can petition the Kansas Court of Appeals or even the Kansas Supreme Court if you believe the judge’s final divorce order is incorrect. But keep in mind that it’s essential to submit your documents in your local district court when you’re starting your case.
Serving the Respondent
The petitioner in the matter is the person who initiates the action. Due to the fact that the additional spouse will be answering the Petition, they are both considered respondents in this case.
The respondent must be personally served with the process upon the filing of the lawsuit. This official obligation serves as notification to the party the divorce lawsuit was filed against.
This implies that if a divorce lawsuit is filed against you, you will normally be given notice of the lawsuit in one of three different ways:
- Private Process servers personally serve you.
- By a deputy county sheriff, personal service.
- Completing a voluntarily entered appearance and waiver of summons service.
Usually, the petitioner’s spouse gives the respondent a copy of this documentation, which was created by the petitioning partner’s lawyer.
The divorce papers will typically be personally delivered to the party who was the target of the action using one of the aforementioned options (1 or 2). However, there might occasionally be significant benefits to choosing a less combative way to initiate the process.
The majority of the time, parties who choose to have their partner sign a voluntary entry do so because they have faith that their partner will be thoughtful and appreciate the additional effort.
The necessity for personal service is waived if the respondent signs the documentation in front of a notary public and it can then be filed in the separation proceedings.
The clock begins ticking on the 21/30-day window in which a Respondent must submit his or her answer to the Petition once service is “perfected” using one of the three methods mentioned above.
The necessary “cooling off period,” which refers to the number of days a Court must wait to formally settle and dispose of the divorce action, also begins to run after the final service is made.
Preparing for Your Final Hearing
The clerk will set a date for the final hearing upon the submission of proof of service (an affidavit) to the court confirming that the opposition has obtained the court documents. In Kansas, uncontested divorces can be granted quite quickly.
Nevertheless, there is a 60-day waiting period from the time you file your Petition until a court can finalize your divorce, even if both parties have agreed on all of the conditions of the separation. In other words, the date of the final hearing won’t be set until 60 days have passed since the proof of service was filed.
Mail the defendant a notification of the final hearing during the necessary waiting period, and finish the divorce decree’s necessary components. Additionally, make sure that any written settlement agreements between yourself and your spouse have been submitted to the court.
If the judge challenges you regarding your proposed settlement during the final hearing, you might well be required to provide testimony. At the hearing, you should be ready to respond to inquiries and have the necessary documentation with you, such as:
- the proposed Decree
- the Child Support Worksheet
- income verification paperwork
- proof of completion of parental education classes
- the Parenting Plan (if you have children)
- the Domestic Relations Affidavit, and
- the Vital Statistics Worksheet.
As soon as the divorce decree and settlement agreements are completely executed (signed by both spouses) and serve the good objectives of any minor children, the magistrate may decide to sign the final Decree without hearing from you.
How Long Does Divorce Take in Kansas?
Before a magistrate issues your divorce, you must wait a minimum of sixty (60) days after filing for divorce.
Although you and your husband have reached a decision on all the conditions of your separation, this 60-day waiting period still remains. A judge has the discretion to waive the waiting period in special, urgent situations.
The specific conditions of your family and the nature of your professional relationship with your partner will determine how long it takes to finalize your divorce.
When couples fight over every issue in court and must divide sophisticated enterprises or marital possessions, some disputed divorces last for years.
Couples with limited assets and an uncontested divorce may be able to finalize their separation after the 60-day waiting period has passed.
What Is the Average Cost of Divorce in Kansas?
The expense of marriage dissolution varies greatly. For instance, a childless marriage with no possessions can separate quite cheaply and possibly without the need for legal representation.
However, a couple with many residences, a business to divide, and a dispute over child custody may face a drawn-out and expensive divorce trial. If you need to hire case experts like custody evaluators, forensic accountants, or business valuators, your divorce fees will also go up.
Kansas is a state that “distributes income fairly,” however fairly does not always imply equality. The court divides property in accordance with what it deems fair in light of the couple’s situation, rather than sharing it equally.
If a judge believes there is a potential for reconciliation, he or she may compel the parties to participate in forced mediation or counseling. However, in practice, such requests are rarely granted if the opposing party vehemently disagrees with such counseling.
As per Kansas state divorce laws, adultery is not a valid cause to end a marriage. Furthermore, it typically has no impact on the amount of alimony, if any.