Step 5: Resolving The big issues
The marital property is divided equitably, not equally, in the case of a divorce, since Kansas is an equitable distribution state. The court encourages both spouses to reach an agreement regarding the property and debt division or else, the court will decide the same.
The court will divide the personal and real estate property of both spouses including any retirement or pension plans owned by either of the spouses before marriage, got by either of the spouses in his/her own right after the marriage or was got by the joint efforts of both spouses by:
- Property division in kind.
- Awarding part of the property or the entire property to one spouse and requiring the other spouse to pay a fair sum.
- Ordering that the property be sold under the conditions as prescribed by the court and then distributing the sale proceeds between both spouses.
When dividing the property, the court will consider the following:
- The age of both spouses.
- The length of the marriage.
- Property owned by both spouses.
- Current and future earning capacities of both spouses.
- Source, time and manner in which the property was acquired.
- Family obligations and ties.
- Allowance for maintenance or the lack of it.
- Dissipation of assets.
- The tax consequences of the division of property based on the economic situation of each spouse.
- Other relevant factors.
Learn more about property law and who gets what when filing for divorce.
The spousal support – temporary or permanent is decided by agreement between both spouses or by the court at its discretion on a case-to-case basis. The court may award either spouse an allowance that it feels is just, fair and equitable for future support.
The future payments may be either modifiable or terminable according to the circumstances set in the decree. The court will, in any circumstance, not award maintenance for a period of more than 121 months.
If the original decree states that the court will hear motions subsequently for the reinstatement of the maintenance and the motion is filed before the time period of the payments expires, the court will then hear a motion by the spouse receiving maintenance to reinstate the maintenance payments.
Child Custody Laws
If there are minor children involved in the divorce, the court will do all that is possible to reduce the emotional trauma that the children could be experiencing. And, if both the parents are unable to decide on the issues pertaining to the children, then the court will decide the custody at its discretion according to the best interests of the child.
If the parents have agreed to a parenting plan, then the court assumes that this is in the best interests of the child. The court may pass a different order if it feels that the parenting plan is not in the best interests of the child. The court will consider the following factors in determining the custody, parenting time and residency of the child:
- Duration of time that the child has been in the actual control and care of a person other than one of the parents and the circumstances pertaining to the same.
- Desire of the parents regarding custody and residency of the child.
- Wishes of the child regarding custody and residency.
- Interrelationship and interaction of the child with his/her parents, siblings or any other significant person who can affect the child’s interests.
- Adjustment of the child to his/her community, home and school.
- Ability and willingness of each parent to appreciate and respect the bond between the other parent and the child and permit the continuing relationship between them.
- Evidence of any spousal abuse.
Child support guidelines in Kansas are based on the Income Shares Model that is used to calculate child support. The court will make provisions for the support, as well as the education of minor children. The court may modify or change any previous order within 3 years of the original or modification order when there is a change in the circumstances, regardless of the current domicile of the parents or child.
The court may order the payment of educational expenses and child support to be paid by either one or both parents for a minor child who is less than 18 years old.
When the child is 18, the support will terminate unless:
- The parents have a written agreement that is approved by the court to pay the support even after the child is 18.
- The child is 18 years before he/she completes high school education. In this case, the support will not stop automatically, unless the court orders otherwise, until the 30th of June of the school year when the child turned 18 years and was still attending high school.
- The child is a bona fide student of high school after 30th June of the school year when the child turned 18, in which case, the court may order the support to be continued throughout the school year during which the child turned 19 years old, as long as the child is a high school student and both parents agreed to the decision which caused the delay in the child completing high school.
In deciding the amount of child support, the court will consider all the relevant factors, without favoring any marital misconduct including the financial needs and resources of both the parents, financial needs and resources of the child and the child’s physical and emotional condition.