Either spouse may file for divorce in Kansas. The spouse seeking a divorce must file a divorce petition (legal paperwork) with the court. A divorce petition will state the "grounds" or reason for the divorce and what kind of property or child custody settlement the filing spouse (also called the "petitioner) wants. See Kan. Stat. § 23-2704 (2020). The petitioner must serve the other spouse (called the "respondent") with a copy of the divorce petition and summons. The respondent can file an answer denying the petitioner's claims. Your divorce case will continue until you and your spouse reach a settlement or a judge decides your case at trial.
You'll need to pay a filing fee when you submit your divorce paperwork to the court. Filing fees vary from county to county and can change year after year. You should check your local court website for an online fee schedule.
If you can't pay the divorce filing fee, you can ask the judge to waive fees in your case. You'll need to file an affidavit (written declaration) showing that your income is too low to allow you to pay the fee. If a judge grants your fee waiver request, you won't be responsible for fees in your divorce.
Divorce costs vary wildly. For example, a childless couple with no assets can obtain a divorce relatively inexpensively and may not need to hire an attorney. However, a couple with several homes, a business to divide, and child custody at issue may have a lengthy and costly divorce trial. You divorce costs will also increase if you need to hire case experts such as custody evaluators, forensic accountants, or business valuators.
Once you file for divorce, you'll need to wait at least sixty (60) days before a judge will grant your divorce. This 60-day waiting period applies even if you and your spouse have reached an agreement on all terms of your divorce. In limited, emergency circumstances, a judge may waive the waiting period.
The time it'll take to complete you divorce depends on your family's unique circumstances and your working relationship with your spouse. Some contested divorces drag on for years when couples fight over everything in court, and have complicated businesses or marital assets to divide. Couples who have an uncontested divorce and have few assets may be able to obtain a divorce as soon as the 60-day period expires.
In your initial divorce paperwork, you'll need to state a ground or reason that you're seeking a divorce. Kansas divorce laws allow both "fault" and "no-fault" grounds. See Kan. Stat. § 23-2701 (2020).
To obtain a "no-fault" divorce in Kansas, you can simply state that you and your spouse are incompatible. In a no-fault divorce, you don't need to provide any facts regarding what led to the breakup, only that you don't get along anymore.
Kansas recognizes the following two fault grounds:
You can only seek a divorce based on incompatibility by reason of mental illness or mental incapacity if:
In Kansas, provinv one o these fault grounds for divorce probably won't affect alimony or a property award. However, one spouse's marital misconduct or struggles with mental illness may impact a child custody award.
Only Kansas residents can file for divorce in the state. Either spouse must have lived in Kansas for at least 60 days before filing for divorce. See Kan. Stat. § 23-2703 (2020).
Under Kansas law, you need to wait 30 days to remarry from the date your divorce decree is entered. This means you can get remarried on the 31st day after your divorce decree was signed off by the court. See Kan. Stat. § 23-2713 (2020).