Legal Information: Kansas


June 21, 2021

How will a judge make a decision about legal custody, residency, and parenting time?

A judge will make a custody, residency, or parenting time order based on what s/he thinks is in the best interest of the child. This is a list of some factors that a judge must consider when making a decision - however, these are not the only things the judge will consider. Anything else that is “relevant” should be considered as well:

  • each parent’s role and involvement with the minor child before and after separation of the parents;
  • what type of custody and residency the child wants (if the child is of sufficient age and maturity);
  • what type of custody and residency the child’s parents want;
  • the age of the child;
  • the emotional and physical needs of the child;
  • the relationship that the child has with each parent, sibling, and any other person who may significantly affect the child’s best interests;
  • how the child has adjusted to his/her home, school and community;
  • whether each parent is willing and able to respect and appreciate the bond between the child and the other parent and to allow for a continuing relationship between them;
  • evidence of spousal abuse, either emotional or physical;
  • the ability of the parties to communicate, cooperate and manage parental duties;
  • the school activity schedule of the child;
  • the work schedule of the parties;
  • the location of the child’s school;
  • the location of the parties’ homes and places of employment;
  • If a parent is a registered sex offender or is living with someone who is; and
  • If a parent has been convicted of child abuse or is living with someone who has been.1

1 K.S.A. § 23-3203(a)

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