Divorce vs. Annulment
vs. Legal Separation in Kansas

If you are unhappy in a marriage, you have options—like divorce, annulment, or legal separation. A divorce ends a marriage legally, while a court decree of legal separation allows the couples to live separately or apart while remaining legally married. Conversely, an annulment declares the marriage null and void, as if it never happened. A one-on-one conversation with an experienced Kansas family law attorney is crucial to evaluate your unique circumstances and determine the best option for you and your spouse.

Attorney Mark Jeffers has the experience and resources to guide clients in family law and divorce-related matters. He's available to discuss your unique situation, help you understand the differences between divorce, annulment, and legal separation, and determine the right option for your relationship. The firm proudly serves clients across Overland Park, Olathe, Lenexa, Shawnee, Prairie Village, as well as throughout Johnson County, Kansas. Call today to schedule a free initial telephone consultation.

Divorce in Kansas

Divorce can be described as the process which permanently terminates a marriage legally. Kansas is a "no-fault" divorce state, and a divorce may be granted on any of the following grounds:

  • Incompatibility or no-fault
  • Failure to perform a material marital duty
  • Incompatibility by reason of mental illness

Furthermore, Kansas divorces are categorized into two types: contested or uncontested.

Contested Divorce: In a contested divorce, both spouses are unable to agree on one or more key terms of the divorce settlement. Settling such divorce issues will require the intervention of the Kansas courts, where the judge will issue a final divorce decree.

Uncontested Divorce: On the other hand, in an uncontested divorce, both spouses mutually agree on the key terms of the divorce settlement, including property division, alimony, child custody, child support, and parenting time, usually with the help of a mediator. All divorce terms agreed upon will be documented and filed with the court for official approval.

Annulment in Kansas

Under Kansas law, an annulment voids a marriage through a court order, as if it never happened. According to Kansas Revised Statutes Section 23-2702, the district court shall grant a decree of annulment of any marriage based on any of the following grounds:

  • The marriage is void for any reason.
  • The contract of marriage is voidable because it was induced by fraud.

Furthermore, the district court may grant a decree of annulment of any marriage if:

  • The contract of marriage was induced by mistake of fact,
  • There was a lack of knowledge of a material fact in the marriage contract
  • There are other reasons justifying the rescission of a contract of marriage.

Get in touch with an attorney to learn more about voidable marriages. 

Legal Separation in Kansas

Legal separation or separate maintenance in Kansas allows the couples to live apart while remaining legally married. Unlike a divorce, a legal separation doesn't officially end the marriage. Nonetheless, the couples seeking separate maintenance must provide a legally acceptable reason and meet the state's residency requirements. Both parties will work together to create the best separation agreement for their family.

Difference between Divorce, Annulment, and Legal Separation

Here are some key differences between a divorce, annulment, and legal separation:

What Happens to Your Marriage?

Divorce is a request to end a valid marriage legally. Legal separation allows the couples to live separately but will remain legally married. Conversely, annulment is a request to end an invalid marriage (void/voidable), like it never happened.

Residency Requirements

Obtaining a divorce or legal separation in Kansas requires either spouse to have lived in the state for at least 60 days prior to filing. In contrast, annulments have no residency requirements.

Marital Status

A divorce or annulment will restore the spouses to their previous legal status as single individuals. You are legally eligible to call yourself "single." Conversely, legal separation allows you to retain your marital status.

Possibility of Remarriage

Remarriage is possible after obtaining a divorce or an annulment. However, if you get a court decree of legal separation, you're no longer married, but you're not divorced either. Hence, you can't marry another person.

Ground for Marriage Dissolution

In an annulment, you must state the specific grounds or reason why the marriage contract is void or voidable. Conversely, this isn't required in a divorce or legal separation.

An experienced Kansas divorce lawyer can evaluate your unique situation, enlighten you on how to prepare for divorce, and work diligently with you to settle essential terms peacefully.

Work With an Experienced Family Law Attorney

Whether you are filing for divorce, annulment, and legal separation, dissolving your marriage in Kansas involves a lot of complex procedures. In order to make informed decisions, understanding the legal impact and emotional implications of all the marital dissolution options is crucial. An experienced Kansas divorce attorney can help you understand your legal options and help you make intelligent decisions.

Attorney Mark Jeffers is committed to offering knowledgeable advocacy to clients in family law matters. As your legal counsel, he will review the circumstances surrounding your personal situation and help you move forward confidently. Whether you are considering a divorce or legal separation, Attorney Jeffers can work with you and your spouse to establish a fair settlement agreement and settle relationship differences amicably.

Contact Jeffers Law Office today to schedule a free initial telephone consultation. The firm proudly serves clients across Overland Park, Olathe, and the rest of Johnson County, Kansas.


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