Legal Information: Kansas


June 21, 2021

Can 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.1 

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.2

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

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