One day you’re planning your dream wedding and seemingly the next day, you’re headed for divorce. For many people, this is an uncomfortable truth. Many couples face this life-altering event at some point in their lives. In the United States, about 50% of married couples divorce, the sixth highest divorce rate in the world. Whether you’ve been married for 5 years or 50 years, it’s good to know what to expect and be prepared for the process.
What is the process for filing for divorce in Kansas? What are the considerations?
First, you must meet the residency requirement. In order to file for divorce in Kansas, you or your spouse must have lived in Kansas for at least sixty (60) days. If you meet this requirement, the next step is to file certain documents and pay a filing fee. These documents may include the Petition, a Domestic Relations Affidavit, and Temporary Orders.
If you are the first to file, there a few things that you may want to consider. If you file first, you may request the court to set Temporary Orders. Temporary Orders are arrangements set up by the court that stay in place until the parties can go through a formal divorce hearing. Temporary Orders can cover a variety of issues, such as temporary possession of the marital home, child support, child custody, spousal maintenance, etc. Usually, once these are filed and the judge signs the Orders, it is up to the opposing party, whether represented by counsel or not, to seek modification of the Orders. Although this may be a benefit, a downside to filing first is that the party filing first pays all of the initial filing fees.
What are the next steps? What do I need to do?
Every divorce situation is unique. That is why it is important to keep detailed records of assets, debts, and other documentation of items acquired during the marriage. It is important to have documentation regarding:
- Each party’s income, which may play a factor in determining child support and spousal support;
- Assets acquired during the marriage, i.e., property such as the marital home and vehicles;
- Debts acquired during the marriage, i.e., mortgage and credit card debt; and
- The balance of any retirement accounts.
In Kansas, courts consider a number of factors when determining how to divide property in a divorce. These considerations include the age of the parties, duration of the marriage, earning capacities, dissipation of assets, and other such factors as the court considers necessary to make a just and reasonable division of assets.
The divorce process can be confusing and overwhelming. These are only some factors you should take into consideration when filing for divorce. Although it might not be a completely smooth process, being organized and detailed can help alleviate some stress.
Marisol Garcia was always going to be a lawyer. She attended an art, science and law magnet high school where she took classes on tort and negligence, argued cases in her school court room, and participated on the mock trial team. Outside of school Marisol was on the Wichita Youth Court, a participant in the Wichita Bar Association Grow Your Own Lawyer program and was on the Mayor’s Youth Council under Mayor Carl Brewer. Marisol completed her undergraduate degree from Kansas State University and attended the University of Kansas School of Law. She clerked at Martin Pringle for two years prior to joining the firm and focuses her practice on adoption law, divorce and family law as well as real estate.