What are the steps for filing for custody?
In Kansas, you will generally file for custody as part of either:
- A divorce, or
- A “parentage” action (where you are asking the court to recognize your child’s biological father as the legal father).
When filing for child custody, you must always give notice to the other parent. To give notice, you will need to have a copy of the custody papers that you have filed with the court delivered to the child’s other parent and/or possibly to his/her attorney if there is an on-going court case already.
Some general pieces of information that you will likely have to submit to a judge when you file for child custody are:
- Your child’s current address, the places where your child has lived during the last five years, and the names and present addresses of who the child lived with during the last five years;
- If you have participated in or filed a custody and/or visitation case for the child in the past, tell what court it was in, the case number, and the date of the judge's decision;
- If there are any other proceedings, such as a “protection from abuse” case, that could affect your child custody case, tell what court it was in, the case number, and the type of case it is;
- If you know of any person(s) (who is not a party to the case) who has physical custody of the child or claims rights of legal custody, physical custody or visitation, give those persons' names and addresses.*
Note: You have the right to ask that any identifying information that you have submitted (such as the child's address) be kept confidential if you are worried about the health or safety of yourself or your child. The information has to be sealed and can only be made public if, after holding a hearing, a judge decides that it is best to reveal it.*
* K.S.A. § 38-1356