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Know the Laws: Kansas

UPDATED September 26, 2017

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This section provides information about custody, residency, and parenting time in Kansas.

Who can get custody or visitation

back to topCan I get temporary custody if I have a protection from abuse order against the other parent?

Maybe.  In Kansas, you can ask for temporary custody, residency, and/or parenting time as part of an emergency or temporary protection from abuse order.*  However, the judge will not change an existing order of legal custody, residency, visitation or parenting time unless there is sworn testimony at a hearing that convinces a judge that there is a good cause or reason to do so.**

If you get temporary custody as part of a protection from abuse order, it is possible that the judge may grant parenting time to the other parent.  This means that your child’s other parent may be able to continue visiting your child while you have a protection from abuse order against him/her.

For more information on how to ask for temporary custody as part of your “protection from abuse” order, we recommend that you talk to a lawyer.  Please visit our KS Finding a Lawyer page for legal help in Kansas.  If you want to learn more about how to get a protection from abuse order, you can also visit our Protection from Abuse Orders page.

* K.S.A. §§ 60-3106(b); 60-3107(a)(4); 60-3105
** K.S.A. § 60-3106(b)

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back to topCan a parent who committed abuse get custody, residency, and/or parenting time?

Perhaps.  In making a decision about whether or not to grant legal custody, residency, and parenting time, a judge will look at many factors to decide what is in the child's best interest.  Some of the things that a judge must consider are:

  • "domestic abuse," which the law defines as:

    • a pattern or history of physically or emotionally abusive behavior (or the threat of either) that the abuser uses to gain or keep control over you; 

    • an act of domestic violence, stalking or sexual assault;

  • a conviction for child abuse by the abuser or by someone with whom s/he lives; and
  • whether the parent is a registered sex offender or is living with someone who is a registered sex offender.* 

If the parent is (or has been) violent or abusive towards your child (even if s/he has not been convicted of child abuse), this is also something a judge could consider when deciding what is in the child's best interest.

Note: To help the judge decide legal custody, residency and parenting time, the judge can order a parent to undergo a domestic violence offender assessment and to follow all recommendations made by the program doing the assessment.**

* K.S.A. § 23-3203(a)(9),(15)-(18)
** K.S.A. § 23-3203(b)

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back to topI am the child's family member. Can I get vistitation?

If you are the child’s grandparent or step-parent, you may be given visitation rights.* 

Grandparents may get reasonable visitation if the judge believes that a substantial relationship between the child and the grandparent has been established and the visitation rights would be in the child's best interests.**   Furthermore, if one of the child's parents die, his/her parents (the child's grandparents) can get visitation even if the surviving parent remarries and his/her new spouse subsequently adopts the child.***

If you are a step-parent seeking visitation, you may want to ask an attorney for advice as to what factors a judge may consider.   For legal referrals, go to our KS Finding a Lawyer page.

* K.S.A. § 23-3301(a)
** K.S.A. § 23-3301(b)
*** K.S.A. § 23-3301(c)

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WomensLaw.org would like to thank Pamela Burrough Jacobs, Immigration Project Attorney at the Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence for her help in revising this section.

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