Contested vs. Uncontested
In Kansas, divorce is categorized into two – contested and uncontested divorce.
In an uncontested divorce, the spouses mutually agree on the important terms of the divorce settlement, including property division, spousal maintenance (alimony), child custody, child support, and visitation periods (parenting time). The spouses will file the agreed-upon terms with the Texas court for official approval and to finalize the divorce.
In a contested divorce, the spouses are not able to mutually agree on one or more critical terms of the divorce settlement. A court hearing may be required to settle any lingering divorce issues or relationship differences. During the hearing, the judge will give a final verdict through a divorce decree. An experienced attorney can help present your case diligently and improve your prospects of getting a favorable outcome.
Alimony, also referred to as spousal maintenance in Kansas, is a court-ordered payment that is made by the higher-wage-earning spouse to the lower or non-wage-earning spouse during the divorce process or for a period after finalizing the divorce.
According to Kansas Statute 23-2904, the court cannot award spousal maintenance for a period exceeding 121 months (10 years). When determining the amount or duration of alimony, the following factors may be considered:
- The length of the marriage
- The financial resources available to each spouse
- The age, physical health, and mental condition of each spouse
- The spouse's standard of living during the marriage
- The contributions of each spouse to the marriage
- The amount of time needed for the supported spouse to acquire the necessary training, skills, or education to become self-supporting
- Whether the paying spouse will be able to meet his or her personal financial obligations while paying maintenance
Under Kansas law, in a divorce proceeding, all marital property should be distributed equitably and fairly (equitable division). Marital property consists of all assets, real property, and debts acquired by the couple during the marriage. The following factors may be considered by the judge during the marital property division:
- The length of the marriage
- The age of each spouse
- How and when the spouses acquired the marital property
- The current and future earning capacity of each spouse
- Each spouse's family responsibilities and separate property owned
- Whether either of the spouses is receiving alimony payments
- Tax ramifications of the asset division
Child Custody & Support
To determine legal custody, residency, and support in Kansas, the judge will make the child's welfare and best interest a priority. When awarding child custody or determining the amount of support, the following factors may be considered:
- The child's preference, age, physical, and emotional needs
- The role and involvement of the parents before the marriage dissolution
- The desire of each parent for residency or custody
- The child's ability to easily adjust to a new environment, school, and home
- The child's relationship and interaction with the parents, siblings, and other family members
- The ability of both parents to collaborate and communicate
- Any evidence of neglect, domestic abuse, violence, or drug use
- The resources available to each parent
- The financial needs of the child
- The physical and emotional condition of the child
- The cost of the child's health insurance and education
Hiring the Right Family Law Attorneys
Filing for divorce in Kansas involves a lot of complexities. Trying to negotiate a divorce settlement with your ex-spouse, dividing marital property, determining child custody, and agreeing on parenting time, can make the entire process even more overwhelming. Fortunately, a knowledgeable Kansas divorce attorney can offer you the comprehensive guidance you need and help simplify the process.
Roth Davies LLC is dedicated to providing experienced legal services and comprehensive representation in family law-related matters, including divorce, asset division, spousal maintenance, child custody, and support. The attorneys at Roth Davies and legal staff will review the unique circumstances of your situation, help you understand your options, and determine the best course of action.
As your legal counsel, they will fight compassionately to protect the legal rights of both you and your children through each step of the divorce process. Their team will help resolve divorce issues quickly and peacefully, thereby making the transition as hassle-free as possible.