Common Misconceptions About Divorce and Family Law

Going through a divorce or handling other family law matters requires a thorough understanding of Kansas divorce and family laws. Unfortunately, there are many misconceptions and myths surrounding divorce, child custody, alimony, and property division in Kansas.

To be better prepared and avoid surprises during your divorce proceedings, knowing the facts surrounding family law in Kansas is vital. Consider speaking with a knowledgeable attorney who can explain relevant laws and help you understand your legal options during your divorce or family law matter. At Roth Davies LLC, our family law attorneys represent clients in Overland Park, Kansas, and throughout Johnson County.

Debunking Divorce and Family Law Misconceptions 

Here are some common misconceptions surrounding family law in the State of Kansas and why they’re not true.

Misconception #1: You can withhold visitation if the other parent fails to pay child support.

No, under Kansas law, visitation and child support are entirely separate matters. Even if the other parent refuses or fails to pay child support, you cannot deny visitation as a punishment. Instead, seek to enforce a child support order through enforcement action.

Misconception #2: You cannot get a divorce if the other spouse does not want the divorce.

Even if the other spouse is reluctant to get divorced or refuses to sign divorce papers, you can still obtain a divorce in the State of Kansas. One spouse can still file for divorce to start the formal process of the dissolution of marriage on the grounds of incompatibility.

Misconception #3: When adultery is involved, the non-cheating spouse will get everything.

While cheating can become a reason for divorce, adultery may not play any role in the divorce proceedings. Although Kansas can grant a divorce based on one spouse’s fault, grounds for a fault divorce do not include adultery. In most cases, judges in Kansas also do not consider cheating when awarding alimony or dividing marital property.

Misconception #4: Family law courts prefer mothers when awarding primary custody.

Family courts in the State of Kansas cannot give preference to a mother or father because of their gender alone. Under Kan. Stat. Ann. § 23-3201, courts must review each particular case based on the best interests of the child.

Misconception #5: You can only get a divorce in the state where you got married.

Generally speaking, a spouse can file a petition for divorce in any state where the spouses meet residency requirements. For this reason, you do not necessarily need to file for divorce in the state you were married in.

Misconception #6: You will keep all assets that are in your own name.

The vast majority of assets acquired by spouses during the marriage are considered marital property and are subject to equitable division laws in Kansas. A spouse can keep any property that can be classified as “separate.” In Kansas, separate property includes any assets a spouse owned before the marriage or any assets inherited or acquired through a gift during the marriage.

Misconception #7: Alimony is always awarded in Kansas divorces.

While Kansas law allows either spouse to request spousal maintenance (alimony), there is no guarantee that their request will be approved. Depending on many factors, the spouse seeking spousal maintenance may or may not receive alimony.

Misconception #8: All assets are split 50/50 in Kansas divorces.

As mentioned earlier, Kansas is an equitable distribution state. However, equitable does not mean equal, which means there is no guarantee that your marital property will be split 50/50 when you get a divorce. Family law courts in Kansas consider a variety of factors when dividing property. These factors include the duration of the marriage, the contributions of each spouse, and many more.

How Legal Counsel Can Help

The family law attorneys at Roth Davies LLC have the necessary experience and resources to assist clients in all family law matters, including child custody, property division, alimony, and others. As the legal counsel you can trust, Roth Davies LLC is committed to working diligently on your case to help you resolve any legal issues and protect your rights. The firm proudly serves clients in Overland Park, Kansas, and throughout Johnson County.

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