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Family Law FAQs

The cost savings of an uncontested divorce is a significant and major advantage to most couples seeking a divorce. When parties and their respective attorneys are agreeable, accommodating, and amicable, the result can be a substantial cost savings verses the costs associated with a contested or litigated divorce.An annulment is a legal method for voiding a marriage from its inception because the marriage is either illegal, invalid, or both. In Kansas, annulments are granted if: (a) the marriage is void for any reason; or (b) the marriage was induced by fraud. In addition, Kansas courts may grant a decree of annulment of any marriage in which the marriage was induced by mistake of fact, lack of knowledge of a material fact, or for any other reason justifying a recission of the marriage. (See, K.S.A. 23-2702).In Kansas, courts will recognize the grounds for a divorce on the basis of either “fault” or “no-fault.” Regardless of the particular circumstances involved that brings a couple to the place to seek a divorce, the vast majority of divorces in Kansas are granted on a “no-fault” basis, or otherwise on the basis of the parties being “incompatible.”
Although morally inappropriate for a variety of reasons, adultery rarely has a significant impact on a divorce except in gross and extreme instances in which one spouse had been using marital assets to support an extra-marital relationship. Then, under such circumstances, the court may consider the severity of the dissipation of marital assets that supported the extra-marital relationship, along with an appropriate division of assets and debts between the divorcing parties to adjust for such dissipation of marital assets. But, any such financial adjustments in a Kansas divorce on the basis of “fault” is not typically considered unless the conduct had been so gross and so extreme that a failure to consider and to penalize would itself become inequitable. (See., e.g., In re Marriage of Sedbrook, 16 Kan. App. 2d 668, 671; 827 P.2d 1222, rev. denied 251 Kan. 938 (1992)).
Typically, Kansas courts make decisions as to where, and with whom, children should reside in the children’s best interests. Kansas statute lists a number of factors that a court considers, including but not limited to: the child’s adjustment to home, school and community; the wishes of the parents and the child; which parent will most cooperate in helping the child maintain a relationship with the other parent; and evidence of spousal abuse (K.S.A. 23-3203). In Kansas, a parent is not preferred over the other parent simply because of gender (K.S.A. 23-3204). Each child-custody case is reviewed on its own unique facts and based on best interests of the children.With a limited exception, Kansas has a statutory 60-day waiting period, from the date the divorce petition was filed, before the divorce may be granted. (See, K.S.A. 23-2708).In Kansas, a legal separation called “separate maintenance” permits a married couple to live separate and apart from each other, and formally provides, among other things, an equitable division of the marital assets and debts. However, the couple remain married. “Legal separation” does not dissolve the marriage; it is merely a marital status that permits the couple to live separate and apart. A legal separation is not very common these days and may actually increase the overall costs of a couple deciding to separate and ultimately to be divorced.

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