Common Misconceptions About Divorce & Family Law

Family politics can be complicated since no two families are alike. And, no matter what your family is going through — be it divorce, child custody arrangements, or adoption — an experienced family law attorney can help guide you down the right path that ensures the best outcome for all involved. 

At Jeffers Law Office in Overland Park, Kansas, you’ll get legal counsel from an attorney who truly cares about you and your family and always works towards a solution that reduces conflict and expenses. The firm serves those throughout Johnson County including Olathe, Lenexa, Shawnee, Leawood, and Prairie Village. Call today for a free initial telephone consultation.

Six Misconceptions About Divorce & Family Law

  • If the other parent doesn’t pay child support, I can withhold visitation.

Incorrect. Child support payments are never connected to child custody or visitation schedules. If you withhold visitation due to non-payment, you will be breaching your agreement and could incur legal consequences for doing so. If there is an issue with your child support payments, you should take this issue to court and continue to follow the schedule as approved by the court. 

  • It’s possible for one of the spouses to deny the divorce.

Not really. If you serve your spouse divorce papers, they are allowed to contest them and instead offer their own terms, which can lead to a delayed divorce, but they won’t really stop it. If they do not respond within 21 days, a judge may then decide to issue you a default divorce. In either case, if your spouse is avoidant or has skipped town and won’t respond to your request, a judge will generally grant a divorce if you can prove you’ve made every attempt to reach your spouse.

  • The mother is always awarded primary custody of the children.

False. When the court evaluates a custody agreement, they are always doing so with the best interests of the child in mind. In most cases, this means that the child will continue to have regular and meaningful contact with both parents. This doesn’t mean that each parent will get equal time, but it is never assumed that the mother will get more time or full custody.

  • Alimony is a part of any divorce.

No. Alimony (also called maintenance) is never automatically awarded and will be looked at on a case-by-case basis. Alimony is often awarded when one spouse is more financially stable than the other or when a judge deems it necessary to allow one spouse time to become independently stable after the divorce. 

  • Our assets will all be split 50/50.

Not always. It’s possible that a couple’s assets will be split evenly, although Kansas follows an equitable distribution model which means assets should be split fairly but not necessarily equally. Couples can decide on their own how to best divide their assets, and in many cases, they may “trade” one asset for another even if it’s not an equal trade. For example, one spouse may keep the marital residence and the other may get the couple’s retirement account.

  • The children get to choose who they will live with.

If children are old enough and mature enough, they can express their interest in living with one parent over another. A judge will consider it, but will always use other factors when deciding on custody. However, if the child’s wishes coincide with their best interests, they could be granted.

How Legal Counsel Can Help

For answers to these and other questions you may have about family law including divorce, child custody, adoption, property division, or alimony, contact Jeffers Law Office to speak with an experienced Kansas divorce attorney. If you’re in or around Overland Park, Kansas, call today for a free initial telephone consultation.


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