An Uncontested Divorce in Kansas
By Elizabeth Rayne, J.D.
Although an uncontested divorce may be less stressful and time-consuming than a contested divorce, you must ensure that you follow the laws of the state to properly dissolve the marriage. An uncontested divorce means that the couple agree to end the marriage and agree on the terms of the divorce, including spousal support, property division, child custody and child support. Before a divorce settlement agreement is finalized in Kansas, the court must review the settlement agreement to ensure that it is fair for both spouses.
Requirements for Divorce
In order to get a divorce in Kansas, you must meet the residency requirement and show grounds for divorce. At least one spouse must have lived in the state for 60 days prior to filing for divorce. You must have grounds to file for divorce, which may be fault or no-fault grounds. Fault grounds place blame on one spouse for causing the divorce, typically for failing to fulfill a marital duty or obligation. A couple may also file for no-fault divorce, meaning that neither spouse is to blame but the couple is incompatible. An uncontested divorce may be fault or no-fault, so long as the couple agree to the grounds.
You may initiate the divorce proceedings by filling a divorce petition with the district court in the county where either you or your spouse live. After filing, you must serve a copy of the petition on the other spouse. The other spouse will have the opportunity to respond to the claims in the divorce petition. Additionally, the responding spouse may add his own request for spousal support. The court must wait at least 60 days from the day the petition is filed before finalizing the divorce.
If the divorce is uncontested and the spouses agree to end the marriage, they may sign a settlement agreement. The agreement includes provisions about spousal support, property division and, if applicable, child custody and support. When complete, the agreement is submitted to the court for review. Once approved, the court finalizes the divorce and the terms of the agreement become enforceable.
In order to finalize the divorce, as well as the settlement, the court may schedule a hearing. Usually, at least one spouse must be present at the hearing. The court may require the spouse to bring certain documents, such as the divorce decree signed by both spouses, property division agreement, agreed upon parenting plan, lists of how debts will be divided between the spouses, and completed child support worksheets. Further, the spouse who attends the hearing must provide proof that she notified the other spouse of the hearing. The judge will approve the settlement agreement if he finds the agreement valid as well as equitable for both spouses.
Elizabeth Rayne earned her J.D. from Penn State University and has been practicing law since 2009, advising clients on issues ranging from employment law to nonprofit management. For two years, she served as a contributing editor for the "Vermont Environmental Monitor."