Divorce in Kansas: Part 1
Sunflower state not especially generous with online divorce help, but does have decent online resources for domestic violence
Attorney useful even in uncontested proceedings
Experts and legal authorities advise both parties in a contemplated divorce to retain legal counsel, for at least an initial consultation to make clear their legal rights and risks. Even in an uncontested divorce in which both parties agree, experts say the Petitioner (or plaintiff, in some states, which call the Respondent the defendant) should have an attorney in order to ensure the filing is legal and the eventual decree enforceable.
Another thing to consider is professional counseling; many who go through divorce ("dissolution of marriage") report pain and grief equivalent to that of a death in the family. Even when both parties recognize the relationship has run its course, the emotional upheaval can be traumatic. A compatible, experienced attorney can help with appropriate referrals.
Urgently addressing domestic violence
Furthermore, if the relationship includes domestic violence, that must be addressed in urgent fashion. Again, competent counsel can be invaluable not only in helping arrange shelter but also with filing protective orders and so on. Fortunately, residents of Kansas have many facilities and agencies that provide a variety of services; following are some of the online resources:
- Kansas Coalition Against Sexual & Domestic Violence (KCSDV home page);
- KCSDV resources page (list of contacts, counties map, major cities, etc.);
- Kansas Bar Association's DV page;
- Attorney General's DV page;
- A.A.R.D.V.A.R.C.'s Kansas: DV Resources.
Kansas divorce statutes
Unfortunately, unlike some states, Kansas does not have a wealth of handy, user-friendly online divorce information. Most of the following is based on the Kansas Divorce Statutes.
Residency requirements and venue
At least one of the parties must have been a Kansas resident for 60 days before the filing of the petition; this includes military personnel stationed in Kansas. The petition is filed in the District Court where either the petitioner or respondent resides--or where the respondent can be served.
In Kansas, legal separation is known as separate maintenance; basically, this allows many of the strictures of divorce requirements (division of assets, child-welfare orders and so on), but you can not re-marry. You can still file IRS taxes as married, in whichever category you can agree upon.
Annulment is legally allowed, but as in most states this category is restricted to certain, specific requirements that must have been in effect at the exact time of the marriage. In other words, your spouse's behavior--or your own behavior-- since the marriage took place has no bearing--the legal "fault" must occur such that one party was, basically, deceived or had no legal standing to enter into marriage.
NOTE: Continued in Part 2.
Divorce is tough, tough, tough
Many people who have gone through divorce proceedings report feelings akin to experiencing a death in the family. Don't let anyone kid you or mislead you. Even an uncontested divorce can leave you feeling drained and "washed up on the rocks." However, with appropriate counseling and competent legal advice, you can get through it and rebuild a new, vibrant life.
We can help. If you're ready to begin the search for a compatible, well trained, experienced divorce attorney, you can start with our free case evaluation. If you need more information, please browse our site, using the tabs at the top of the page.