What is residency and who can get it?
Residency is a legal order establishing who your child will live with. A judge may order that your child live with you full-time or part-time. In an exceptional case, the court may order “divided residency,” which is when one or more children reside with each parent and have parenting time with the other.1 Kansas does not have a preference about whether a child will live with one or both parents. A judge will make this decision based on the best interests of the child and on whether the parents can agree on a parenting plan. During the time that your child lives with you, you are responsible for his/her physical care and supervision.
If the judge decides that neither parent is fit to have residency, the judge can order that temporary residency be given to a grandparent, aunt, uncle, adult sibling, or
another person or agency if:
- the child is likely to be harmed if not immediately removed from the home; or
- allowing the child to remain in the home is contrary to the welfare of the child; or
- immediate placement of the child is in the best interest of the child;
- reasonable efforts have been made to maintain the family unit and prevent the unnecessary removal of the child from the child’s home or an emergency exists which threatens the safety of the child.2
In making a residency order to a non-parent, the judge should give preference first to a relative of the child by blood, marriage or adoption; second preference is to another person who the child has close emotional ties with. This type of temporary residency does not terminate (end) your parental rights.2
1 K.S.A. § 23-3207(a),(b)
2 K.S.A. § 23-3207(c)