Kansas Divorce Laws

When the time comes that you realize you simply cannot repair your marriage and divorce is the only option, learning more about the laws in Kansas can take much of the confusion and frustration out of the process.

Who Can File for Divorce and On What Grounds

In order for someone to file for divorce in Kansas, either the petitioner or the respondent must be a resident of the state for the 60 days prior to filing. The state offers no-fault divorce on conditions of incompatibility.

Fault divorce is allowed for one of two reasons. If one party is guilty of a failure to perform a marital duty or obligation, fault divorce is allowed. Also, if there is an incompatibility by reason of mental illness of mental incapacity, fault divorce is allowed. However, mental illness has to be proven in one of two ways. Either the spouse is confined to an institution for two years, or the court issues an adjudication of mental illness or mental incapacity while the spouse is in a mental institution.

Members of the military who are stationed in Kansas can file in Kansas. Using an attorney who is knowledgeable about military family law is very helpful in these cases.

Division of Property

Kansas follows an equitable distribution model when dividing property. This means property is divided along lines of what is fair, rather than what is equal. Whenever possible, the courts encourage couples to come to their own agreements on property and debt issues, but they will step in when needed. Factors the courts consider include:

  • Age of the parties
  • Length of the marriage
  • Property owned by the individuals
  • Earning capacities
  • Source, time, and manner of acquisition of the property
  • Any obligations and family ties
  • Maintenance payments or lack thereof
  • Dissipation of assets
  • Tax consequences
  • Any other factors deemed necessary

Child Custody

When children are involved in a divorce case, they face serious emotional trauma. The courts will encourage parents to make their own custody arrangements, but there may be situations when this is not possible. In these cases the courts will look at what is in the child’s best interests, taking into consideration factors such as:

  • Duration that the child has been under the care or control of a person other than a parent
  • The desires of the parents
  • The desires of the child
  • Relationship between the child and the parents, siblings, or any other influential figure
  • Child’s adjustment to school, home, and community
  • Whether or not the parents are willing and able to respect and nurture the bond between the child and the other parent
  • Any evidence of spousal abuse

The courts will not favor the mother simply because of her gender, even in cases involving very small children.


Some cases will require the support of one spouse from the other. This is awarded at the court’s discretion on a case-by-case basis. There are not specific factors considered in these cases, but the courts will order support as they deem is fair, just, and equitable considering all circumstances of the marriage.

Child support amounts are determined based on the Income Shares Model. This is figured by dividing the support requirements based on the income of each parent. Support continues until a child reaches the age of 18, with a few exceptions. These exceptions include:

  • Instances wherein the parents agree through a written document to continue support
  • The child is 18 before completing high school, in which case the support continues until June 30 of the school year
  • The child is still in high school after June 30 and after becoming 18 years old, in which case support continues until June 30 of the year the child turns 19