This section has basic information about divorce laws in Kansas. You will find more information about divorce, including the risks of taking your children out of state while a divorce is pending, on our general Divorce page. To watch brief videos about divorce in Spanish with English sub-titles, go to our Videos page. Lastly, learn more about the court process on our Preparing for Court – By Yourself page.
What are the residency requirements for divorce in Kansas?
To get a divorce in Kansas, you or your spouse must be a resident of Kansas for at least 60 days immediately before the petition is filed. A “resident” includes someone who is in the military and stationed in the state.1
1 Kan. Stat. § 23-2703
What are the grounds for divorce in Kansas?
A divorce in Kansas may be granted for the following reasons:
- incompatibility, which means the spouses cannot get along;
- failure to perform a material marital duty or obligation; or
- incompatibility by reason of “mental illness or mental incapacity” of one or both spouses.1
To prove the ground of mental illness or mental incapacity, the judge must find that:
- there has been confinement in a mental institution for a period of two years, either continuously or not; or
- there was a determination (“adjudication”) of mental illness or incapacity by a court at some point during the confinement for mental illness.2
Also, the judge will appoint three doctors to evaluate the person and at least two of the doctors must say that the person is suffering from mental illness and that there is not a good possibility of recovery from the mental illness.2
1 Kan. Stat. § 23-2701(a)
2 Kan. Stat. § 23-2701(b)
Can I get alimony?
Alimony, known as maintenance, is money paid from one spouse to the other for future support. The judge will decide how much money is to be paid, if any, based on whether it is fair (“just and equitable”) under the circumstances. If granted, it can be paid in a lump sum, or in periodic payments. The judge will decide if maintenance should be based on a percentage of earnings or on any other basis.
The judge can also make modifications to the maintenance payments, or terminate them according to circumstances.1
1 Kan. Stat. § 23-2902
What are the basic steps to get a divorce?
While divorce laws vary by state, here are the basic steps that a person may have to follow to obtain a divorce:
- First, you or your spouse must meet the residency requirements of the state you want to file in.
- Second, you must have “grounds” (a legally acceptable reason) to end your marriage.
- Third, you must file the appropriate divorce papers and have copies sent to your spouse - for the exact rules for serving the papers, contact your local courthouse or an attorney.
- Fourth, if your spouse disagrees with anything in the divorce papers, then s/he will have the opportunity to file papers telling her/his side. In his/her response, the other party may express his/her opinion challenging the divorce, asking that it be granted under different grounds or letting the judge know that s/he agrees to the divorce. If your spouse contests the divorce, then you may have a series of court appearances to sort the issues out. Also, if a certain period of time passes and your spouse does not sign the papers or file any papers of his/her own, you may be able to proceed with the divorce as an uncontested divorce anyway. (Speak to a lawyer in your state about how long you have to wait to see if your spouse answers before you can continue with the divorce.)
- Fifth, if there are property, assets, a pension, debts, or anything else that you need divided, or if you need financial support from your spouse, then these issues may have to be dealt with during the divorce or else you may lose your chance to deal with these issues. The issues may be worked out during settlement negotiations and incorporated into the divorce decree or in a series of court hearings during the divorce. Custody and child support may also be decided as part of your divorce.
Where can I find additional information about divorce?
We hope the following links to outside sources may be helpful. Please note that WomensLaw has no relationship with any of these organizations and so we cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information contained on their websites.
Kansas Legal Services has a manual called Divorce 101, How to Plan and Prepare for a Divorce Action, which you may find useful especially if you want to file for a divorce without an attorney’s help.
The Kansas Judicial Council has links to divorce forms for both those individuals with minor children and those without minor children.
You will find more information about divorce, including the risks of taking your children out of state while a divorce is pending, on our general Divorce page. To watch brief videos about divorce in Spanish with English sub-titles, go to our Videos page. Lastly, learn more about the court process on our Preparing for Court – By Yourself page.