A Guide to Filing for Divorce in Kansas
Filing for divorce in Kansas is a complicated and emotional process. It’s important that you understand the process, what you need to do to prepare, and how to complete the forms and file them with the court.
Here’s an overview of what you need to do in order to proceed with filing for divorce in Kansas.
- What Information Should You Gather
- Decide Which Type of Divorce to Use
- What are the Necessary Forms to File?
- Filing Your Forms with the Court
- How to Serve Your Spouse with Divorce Papers
- Frequently Asked Questions About Filing for Divorce in Kansas
What information should you gather to prepare for divorce?
There are many complicated issues in divorce that you need to prepare for. Getting organized early on and having the documents you need at your fingertips will make the entire process a little bit less daunting.
It will also save you time and money by expediting the entire process.
For a better understanding of what you’ll need, we’ve put together this Divorce Information Checklist. It’s a great resource as you begin the task of pulling together your financial documentation.
Decide Which Type of Divorce to Use
Once you have decided to get a divorce, you need to decide how to get divorced. You have several options in Kansas, driven in part by your relationship with your spouse and how well you can work together to reach a resolution.
The most common types of divorce are:
Which option is right for you? To answer that, you need to weigh the pros and cons and think about your goals for the process.
We put together a great guide that covers each of these options in detail. Check it out here if you’re trying to decide which path is best for you.
What are the necessary forms to file for a Kansas divorce?
You must complete several forms and submit them to the court in the county where either spouse resides. If you’re using an attorney, they will make sure you are using the right forms and that they are filled out correctly.
If you are filing an uncontested divorce, the Kansas Judicial Council has created packets of basic divorce forms approved by the Kansas Supreme Court for people who want to represent themselves.
There are two separate packets — one for filing an uncontested divorce without children, and another packet when the divorce includes minor children.
To view the packets, go here.
Several other types of divorce-related forms are found here.
Filing Your Forms with the Court
After you have completed your forms, you must start the legal process by filing your forms and paying a fee with the Clerk of the District Court in the county where you or your spouse lives. To ensure that Kansas has jurisdiction over your divorce, either you or your spouse must have lived in the state for at least 60 days before filing paperwork with the court.
When you file, you will also need to pay a filing fee of between $100 to $200, depending on where you live. There will also be an additional fee if you decide to use a sheriff or process server to complete proof of service.
How to Serve Your Spouse with Divorce Papers
After you file for divorce, you must notify your spouse. That is accomplished in several possible ways.
- Voluntary Entry of Appearance. Your spouse signs a Voluntary Entry of Appearance form in front of a notary public. That acknowledges receipt of the Petition for Divorce, which is then filed with the Clerk.
- Sheriff’s Service. Fill out a Request for Service Form, requesting that the sheriff deliver the Petition for Divorce to your spouse. If your spouse lives in Kansas, you must pay a sheriff’s service fee. If your spouse lives in another state, it is your responsibility to find out the procedures required by the sheriff in that state and county and to pay any fees required.
- Certified Mail Service. Mail the summons and Petition for Divorce by certified mail – return receipt requested to your spouse at his or her last known residential address. File the “green” “return-receipt card” with the court when you get it back.
- Publication. If you cannot provide notice of the divorce to your spouse through other means, then you may be able to provide notice of the divorce by publishing a notice in a local newspaper. You must request permission to do so by filing the “Affidavit for Service by Publication” and obtain an order from the assigned judge allowing you to publish notice.
After you obtain the order, then you will publish a notice and then obtain “proof of publication” from the newspaper, which is filed with the court.
Until proof of service has been completed by any of these means, a divorce complaint cannot move forward.
Frequently Asked Questions About Getting a Divorce in Kansas
How much does it cost to file for a divorce in Kansas?
The filing fee to start a divorce case is $100 to $200, depending on which county where you live.
Can divorce fees be waived in Kansas?
Yes. If you can’t afford to pay the fees, you can file a request with the court to have the fees waived. A judge will then consider your request.
Can I file for a divorce online in Kansas?
You can work with an online service or an attorney to complete paperwork electronically.
Our favorite resource for a fast and effective online divorce is: 3 Step Divorce.
3 Step Divorce checks all the boxes that make an online divorce worthwhile.
They aim to make it easy – and they certainly deliver.
From step-by-step instructions to unlimited live support, here are just a few of the reasons why 3 Step is our #1 recommended online divorce resource:
- $299 flat-fee with no hidden charges
- Monthly payment options as low as $84/mo
- Initial questionnaire takes less than 1 hour
- Library of free tools and resources
- Unlimited access to support agents by phone or email
- Immediate access to completed forms
- Assurance of 100% court-approval (or your money back!)
3 Step Divorce also boasts the highest customer rating in the industry (4.6 stars based on 1,575 reviews).
You can learn more by reading our 3StepDivorce review.
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You will still need to appear in person at the courthouse to file the paperwork.
How long does it take to get a divorce in Kansas?
After filing the paperwork with the court, an uncontested divorce will take anywhere from 30 to 90 days to be finalized . The actual time will depend on the caseload of the court and the availability of judges to sign a final Decree of Divorce.
In a contested divorce, it could take months to work out issues, depending on how much each side decides to fight and cooperate or compromise with the other side.
What are the residency requirements to file for a divorce in Kansas?
To file for a divorce in Kansas, you must be a resident of the state for a minimum of 60 days before filing initial paperwork.
Can I file for divorce in Kansas without using a lawyer?
You can file for divorce in Kansas without using a lawyer. If you do, you are responsible for completing all forms, attending hearings, and following through on all aspects of your divorce. Court staff cannot help you prepare legal documents or provide you with any legal advice.
Representing yourself in a divorce generally works best in an uncontested divorce when both parties are in agreement on all issues. Seek legal representation to protect your interests in cases where there are disagreements about essential things such as a division of assets, child custody, alimony, and so forth.
Can I get a divorce in Kansas if I am pregnant?
You can file for a divorce in Kansas if you are pregnant, but the court will keep the case open until the child is born to establish paternity. That will make custody and child support issues less complicated.
Where there is a question of who the father is, court actions may be required to prove who that person is, possibly through DNA testing.
How is my divorce affected if I am a member of the military in Kansas
Some elements of a military divorce are the same as they are for civilian divorces in Kansas, but there are also some differences you need to know about as well.
Just as in a civilian divorce, one spouse must be a resident of Kansas for at least 60 days before filing initial paperwork. That can be more complicated than it sounds because service members are often stationed all over the world. Per Kansas statutes, a service member is considered to be a “resident” if they intend to move back to Kansas after their service.
The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act of 2003 eases many legal and financial burdens of military personnel while they are on active duty. For example, moving forward with a divorce can be delayed until after the completion of active duty. A service member can also choose to waive the delay and sign the paperwork allowing the divorce to proceed uncontested.
Military benefits, including the handling of retirement plans, are subject to rules set by the Department of Defense as part of the Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act.
Military members’ retirement will not be divided or distributed to a spouse unless they have been married ten years or longer while the member has been active duty military. A court can award up to 50% of a service member’s military retirement pay to the ex-spouse. If child custody is awarded, an additional 15% of the pay may also be awarded as well.
Looking for more great divorce tips? Here are a few of our favorite resources:
- 101 Financial Pitfalls of Divorce
- Health Insurance and Divorce: The Definitive Guide
- The Psychological Effects of Divorce on Children
- 29 Warning Signs That You’re in a Failing Marriage
- A Guide to Your Home and Mortgage in Divorce