How to File for Divorce in Kansas
Divorcing couples should learn as much as they can about the divorce process in their state before deciding to file. If you want to file for divorce in Kansas, you owe it to yourself to understand the state's unique divorce laws so that your divorce can proceed smoothly and quickly. This guide will give you a step by step overview.
1. Determine Your Eligibility
Eligibility for divorce in Kansas is determined by residency. In order to file for divorce in Kansas, either you or your spouse must have been a Kansas resident for at least sixty days. In general, you will file for divorce in the county where your spouse resides, unless your spouse is not living in Kansas. If this is the case, you will file for divorce in Kansas within your own county.
2. Fill Out Divorce Forms
Before you file for divorce in Kansas, you must complete the necessary forms to begin the divorce process legally. The petition for divorce is the most important of these documents. It spells out the reason for your divorce (called the grounds) and what you are requesting from the court as terms for the divorce (called relief).
The vast majority of spouses who file for divorce in Kansas use no-fault grounds, which means that you simply attest to your incompatibility. While fault grounds are available if a spouse has failed to fulfill a marital duty, fault divorces take much longer and cost much more—making it so most spouses elect to use no-fault grounds even if one spouse was responsible for the breakdown of the marriage.
Relief requested can take a number of forms. The divorce itself, and an equitable division of property, are standard relief in every divorce case. You may also wish to ask for child support, child custody, alimony, a change to your last name, or anything else you need or want from the divorce.
3. File Divorce Paperwork
After the paperwork is complete, you will be ready to file for divorce in Kansas. This can be done by going to your county courthouse and asking the clerk to file your divorce papers. The clerk will verify that you have the correct documents and will then charge you a filing fee. The filing fee may vary by county, so you may wish to check with the courthouse you intend to file with. Fee waivers are available for spouses who cannot otherwise afford to file for divorce in Kansas.
4. Serve Your Spouse
A copy of all the divorce paperwork must be delivered to your spouse as soon as possible, as well as a summons informing him or her of the right to file a response to your divorce petition. This process is called serving papers on your spouse, and it can be accomplished in several ways.
If your spouse is nearby, you may wish to have the sheriff's office hand-deliver the papers to your spouse's workplace or home. If he or she is far away, sending ceritifed mail with a return receipt is another option for serving process. You may also be able to publish notice in the newspaper, if your spouse cannot be located after a search.