Divorce in Kansas: everything you need to know

1 min readLast updated February 22, 2024by Unbiased team

From filing and records to costs and more, this guide will take you through divorce in Kansas and help you make informed decisions.

Summary

  • There are two types of divorce in Kansas – fault-based and no-fault.   

  • The median cost of divorce in the US is $7,000, but this can fluctuate massively depending on your unique circumstances.

  • Kansas does not have a mandatory separation period for divorce.

  • A financial advisor can help you navigate your finances during a divorce and rebuild afterward.

What are the different types of divorce in Kansas?

In Kansas, there are two main types of divorce: fault-based and no-fault.

Need help rebuilding your finances after divorce?

A financial advisor can guide you through your financial recovery both during and after your divorce.
  • A fault-based divorce is when one spouse accuses the other of committing a specific wrongdoing that caused the breakdown of the marriage, such as adultery, abuse, abandonment, or felony conviction.

  • A no-fault divorce is when both spouses agree that the marriage is irretrievably broken and there is no hope of reconciliation.

The type of divorce you choose can affect the duration, cost, and outcome of your case.

A fault-based divorce usually requires more evidence, litigation, and conflict, which can prolong the process and increase the expenses.

A no-fault divorce can be faster, cheaper, and more amicable, especially if you and your spouse can reach an agreement on the main issues of your divorce, such as property division, alimony, child custody, and child support. This is known as an uncontested divorce.

If you and your spouse cannot agree on these issues, you will have a contested divorce, which will require the intervention of a judge or a mediator to resolve the disputes.

How much does a divorce cost in Kansas?

According to a survey by Martindale-Nolo Research, the average cost of a divorce in Kansas is $11,300, with $8,600 of that being attorney's fees.

However, this is only an estimate, and the actual cost of your divorce may vary widely depending on your specific situation.

For example, an uncontested divorce with no children and minimal assets may cost as little as $500, while a contested divorce with children and complex assets may cost tens of thousands of dollars.

The cost of a divorce in Kansas depends on several factors, such as:

  • The type of divorce (fault-based or no-fault, contested or uncontested)

  • The complexity of the issues involved (property division, alimony, child custody, and child support)

  • The level of cooperation and communication between you and your spouse

  • The involvement of attorneys, mediators, or other professionals

  • The fees and expenses of the court, such as filing fees, service fees, and transcript fees

There are some ways you can reduce the cost of your divorce, such as:

  • Choosing a no-fault and uncontested divorce, if possible

  • Negotiating and compromising with your spouse on the main issues of your divorce

  • Using mediation or arbitration instead of litigation to resolve your disputes

  • Representing yourself in court, if you feel confident and comfortable doing so

  • Seeking legal assistance from low-cost or pro bono services if you qualify

How do you file for divorce in Kansas?

To file for divorce in Kansas, you or your spouse must meet the following requirements:

  • You must be a resident of Kansas for at least 60 days before filing.

  • You must file a petition for divorce in the district court of the county where you or your spouse live.

  • You must pay a filing fee, which varies depending on the county but is typically around $200.

  • You must serve a copy of the petition and a summons to your spouse, either personally or by mail, unless you and your spouse file jointly.

  • You must wait at least 60 days after filing before the court can grant your divorce unless there are exceptional circumstances.

The petition for divorce is the main document that initiates the divorce process. It contains information such as:

  • Your name, address, and date of birth

  • Your spouse's name, address, and date of birth

  • The date and place of your marriage

  • The names and ages of your children, if any

  • The grounds for your divorce (fault-based or no-fault)

  • The relief you are seeking, such as property division, alimony, child custody, and child support

You may also need to attach other documents to your petition, such as:

  • A domestic relations affidavit, which lists your income, expenses, assets, and debts.

  • A parenting plan that outlines your proposed arrangements for child custody and visitation

  • A child support worksheet, which calculates the amount of child support you or your spouse will pay.

  • A settlement agreement, if you and your spouse have reached one

How do you split assets in a divorce in Kansas?

Kansas follows the principle of equitable distribution, which means that the court will divide your marital property and liabilities fairly, but not necessarily equally, based on several factors.

These factors include:

  • The duration of the marriage

  • The age, health, and earning capacity of each spouse

  • The contribution of each spouse to the acquisition, improvement, or preservation of the marital property

  • The income and financial needs of each spouse

  • The tax consequences of the property division

  • Any other relevant factors

Marital property is generally any property that you or your spouse acquired during the marriage, regardless of whose name it is in.

This may include real estate, vehicles, bank accounts, investments, retirement accounts, businesses, furniture, jewelry, and more.

However, there are some exceptions, such as property that you or your spouse inherited, received as a gift, or owned before the marriage, as long as you kept it separate from the marital property. This is known as separate property, and it usually remains with the original owner after the divorce.

How does alimony work in Kansas?

Alimony is not automatically granted in Kansas. The court may award alimony to either spouse if it finds that it is fair and reasonable, based on several factors.

These factors include:

  • The financial resources of each spouse, including their earning capacity, income, assets, and liabilities

  • The time and expense necessary for the recipient spouse to obtain education or training to enhance their employability

  • The duration of the marriage

  • The age, physical and emotional health, and needs of each spouse

  • The conduct of the parties during the marriage

  • Any other relevant factors

The amount and duration of alimony will depend on the circumstances of each case.

The court may order alimony for a specific period of time until a certain event occurs or indefinitely, depending on the needs of the parties.

You and your spouse can also agree on alimony through a marital settlement agreement, which can specify the amount, duration, and terms of alimony.

What happens to children during a divorce in Kansas?

If you have minor children, you and your spouse will need to agree on a parenting plan that outlines how you will share custody, visitation, and decision-making.

There are two types of custody: legal and physical.

Legal custody is the right to make major decisions about the children’s upbringing, while physical custody is the right to have the children live with you.

You and your spouse can share joint legal and physical custody or one of you can have sole legal and physical custody, depending on what is best for the children.

If you and your spouse cannot agree on a parenting plan, the court will decide what is in the best interests of the children based on several factors.

These factors include:

  • The wishes of the parents and the children, if they are old enough to express a preference

  • The relationship and interaction of the children with each parent, siblings, and other significant persons

  • The adjustment of the children to their home, school, and community

  • The mental and physical health of all parties involved

  • The willingness and ability of each parent to respect and encourage the bond between the children and the other parent

  • The evidence of domestic violence, abuse, neglect, or substance abuse by either parent or anyone else in the household

  • Any other relevant factors

The court will also order child support, which is a payment that one parent makes to the other to help cover the costs of raising the children. Child support is calculated using a formula that considers both parents’ incomes and expenses, as well as the needs of the children.

The formula takes into account factors such as:

  • The number of children

  • The amount of time that each parent spends with the children

  • The cost of health insurance, medical expenses, child care, education, and other special needs

  • The tax implications of the child support payments

  • Any other relevant factors

How to protect your finances when going through a divorce in Kansas

Going through a divorce can be a stressful and challenging time, especially when it comes to finances.

You may have many questions and concerns about how to protect your assets, manage your debts, and plan for your future.

Here are some ways you can protect your money when going through a divorce:

  • Organize your finances: Before filing for divorce, gather all relevant financial information and documents, such as tax returns, bank statements, credit card bills, and retirement accounts. Make a list of all assets and liabilities, both marital and non-marital. This will help you and your spouse negotiate a fair distribution of property and debts.

  • Consider mediation: Mediation is a process where you and your spouse work with a neutral third party to resolve issues related to your divorce, such as property division, alimony, child custody, and child support. Mediation can be less time-consuming, less expensive, and less stressful than going to court. It can also help you maintain a cooperative relationship with your spouse after the divorce.

  • Think about Social Security: If you have been married for at least 10 years, you may be eligible to receive Social Security benefits based on your ex-spouse’s record. This can provide valuable income during retirement, especially if your ex-spouse earned more than you. However, certain criteria must be met to qualify for this benefit.

  • Seek professional help: Divorce can significantly impact your financial situation. Consider consulting with a financial advisor specializing in divorce to help you navigate these changes and plan for your future.

Get expert financial advice

A financial advisor can help you assess your current financial status, create a post-divorce budget, and develop a long-term financial plan that aligns with your needs and goals.

Unbiased can connect you with a financial advisor perfectly suited to meet your needs. Simply provide some details about what you’re looking for, and Unbiased’s platform will match you with your advisor.

Find your financial advisor with Unbiased today.

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Unbiased team

Our team of writers, who have decades of experience writing about personal finance, including investing and retirement, are here to help you find out what you must know about life’s biggest financial decisions.

Need help rebuilding your finances after divorce?

A financial advisor can guide you through your financial recovery both during and after your divorce.