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How to File for Divorce in Kansas

The Alexander Law Firm, LLC May 3, 2024

Person Signing Divorce PapersWhen going through a divorce, it's essential to recognize that each state has its own distinct set of laws. These legal foundations are in place to ensure fairness and protect the rights of all the parties involved.   

However, trying to understand the specific divorce laws in Kansas can often feel overwhelming, as it's not just a matter of signing divorce papers and calling it a day. Knowing the divorce requirements, procedures, and grounds is essential to make informed decisions and feel confident throughout the process.   

If you are looking for compassionate help with filing for divorce, we're here to help.

Understanding Kansas Divorce Laws  

When considering a divorce in Kansas, it's important to understand the specific laws that govern this process to help you better prepare for the divorce filing process. However, it's always beneficial to seek legal counsel to ensure your rights and interests are fully protected. Here is a detailed breakdown of the key aspects you need to know:  

Residency Requirements 

In Kansas, either you or your spouse must have been a resident of the state for at least 60 days prior to filing for divorce. If you're a member of the military stationed at a Kansas military post or reservation, this also fulfills the residency requirement.  

Grounds for Divorce 

Kansas allows for both fault and no-fault divorces. No-fault divorces can be filed on the grounds of incompatibility or irreconcilable differences. Fault-based divorces require proof that one spouse failed to fulfill a material marital duty or obligation. Mental illness or incompetence can also form the grounds for divorce under certain conditions.  

Property Division 

As an equitable distribution state, Kansas divides all marital assets equitably, but not necessarily equally. This includes all property acquired during the marriage, regardless of how or when it was acquired. Both parties are also responsible for any debts accumulated during the marriage.  

Child Custody and Support 

Child custody decisions are made with the best interests of the child in mind. The court prefers co-parenting arrangements where both parents play an active role in the child's life.

Child support is determined based on both the financial resources and needs of both parents and the child's needs.  


Different types of alimony can be awarded in Kansas, including general support, reimbursement support, and transitional support. In extreme cases, factors such as infidelity may impact the amount of alimony awarded.  

Waiting Period 

After filing for divorce, there's generally a waiting period of at least 60 days before the final hearing can take place. However, under certain circumstances, an emergency divorce can be requested to waive this waiting period.  

Preparing and Filing Divorce Paperwork  

The process of preparing and filing divorce paperwork in Kansas involves several steps, which can be complex and time-consuming. At The Alexander Law Firm, LLC, we're here to assist you. Here's a detailed breakdown to help guide you through this process:  

  1. Choose the Correct District Court: The divorce case can be filed in the Kansas district court where either spouse lives or where the non-filing spouse can be served with the court papers.  

  1. Complete the Necessary Forms: For an uncontested divorce, the necessary forms include the Petition for Divorce, Civil Information Sheet, Summons, Domestic Relations Affidavit, and proposed Decree of Divorce. All these documents need to be filled out accurately and completely.  

  1. Self-Represented Litigant Certification Form: If you are representing yourself, you need to complete a Self-Represented Litigant Certification Form.  

  1. Pay the Filing Fees: Court filing fees for divorce in Kansas are around $190-$200.  

  1. Serve Your Spouse: Once the divorce paperwork is filed, you must serve your spouse with a copy of the papers, which provides them with official notification of the divorce proceedings. This can be done through various methods such as certified mail, sheriff delivery, or even publication in a newspaper.  

  1. Wait for Your Spouse's Response: Your spouse must respond to the divorce petition after they receive a copy of the divorce paperwork. If they do not respond within a certain period, you may be able to request a default judgment.  

Difference Between Contested and Uncontested Divorce 

As you proceed with your divorce, it's important to understand the differences between a contested and uncontested divorce. Each involves different procedures and could significantly impact the time, cost, and emotional toll of the divorce process.  

Uncontested Divorce 

An uncontested divorce is when both spouses agree on all divorce-related issues such as child custody, property division, and alimony. This consensus avoids the need for lengthy court proceedings and can yield the following benefits: 

  • Less Time Consuming: Since there are no disputes to resolve, an uncontested divorce usually takes less time to finalize compared to a contested divorce.  

  • Cost-Effective: As court involvement is minimal in an uncontested divorce, legal costs are typically lower than in a contested case.  

  • Reduced Stress: The cooperative nature of an uncontested divorce can help reduce the emotional stress associated with the dissolution of a marriage.  

Contested Divorce 

A contested divorce occurs when spouses cannot agree on one or more key issues required to end their marriage. These disagreements can be about child custody, property division, alimony, or other matters and can cause additional challenges: 

  • Involvement of the Court: In a contested divorce, the court is asked to make decisions on the unresolved issues. This requires more court appearances and involvement from both parties.  

  • Higher Costs: Due to the increased court involvement and possible need for experts like child custody evaluators or property appraisers, contested divorces can be more expensive.  

  • Longer Process: As the court needs to decide on various matters, contested divorces usually take longer to finalize.  

Regardless of the type of divorce, it's essential to have an experienced attorney who can guide you through the process. At The Alexander Law Firm, LLC, we are well-versed in family law and have the experience necessary to provide the support you need. 

Seeking Legal Help  

Going through a divorce can be challenging, but you don't have to do it alone. If you're considering filing for divorce in Kansas, reach out to us at The Alexander Law Firm, LLC for a free consultation. We serve clients in Kansas City, including Wyandotte County and Olathe, as well as other counties in the area. Let us provide you with the trusted legal guidance and support you need during this challenging time.