How Long Does a
Divorce Take in Kansas?
According to the Marriages and Marriage Dissolutions Summary produced by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, there were 6,303 divorces and 95 annulments statewide in 2019. Going through a divorce, legal separation (separate maintenance), or annulment can be a difficult and emotional experience. However, knowing what to expect and how long the process will take can help make these proceedings feel more manageable.
Attorney Mark Jeffers is dedicated to providing comprehensive legal guidance and advocacy in all matters of divorce. As an experienced Kansas divorce attorney, Mark will help walk you through the entire process and offer you the detailed legal counsel and support you need to make the transition as seamless as possible.
Jeffers Law Office proudly serves clients in Overland Park, Olathe, Lenexa, Shawnee, Lenexa, Leawood, Prairie Village, Gardner, Merriam, and Mission, Kansas, as well as throughout Johnson County, Wyandotte County, Miami County, and Leavenworth County. Call today to schedule a free initial telephone consultation.
Understanding Kansas Divorce
In Kansas, either spouse may file a Petition For Divorce. The Petitioner (the spouse filing for divorce) will be required to state the reason or “grounds” for the divorce. Kansas allow both “fault” and “no-fault” grounds. According to Kansas Statutes Annotated 23-2701, a divorce shall be granted on any of the following grounds:
- Incompatibility ("no-fault" grounds)
- Failure to perform a material marital duty or obligation (fault grounds)
- Incompatibility as a result of mental incapacity or mental illness of one or both spouses (fault grounds)
Pursuant to Kansas Statutes Annotated 23-2703, “the Petitioner or Respondent in an action for divorce must have been an actual resident of the state for 60 days immediately preceding the filing of the Petition.” This indicates that either spouse, but not necessarily both, must have lived in the state for a minimum of 60 days prior to filing for divorce.
How Long Does Divorce Take in Kansas?
In Kansas, there is a minimum 60 day waiting period between filing for divorce and finalizing the divorce. For the divorce to be considered final, the Judge must sign the Decree of Divorce, and it must be filed with the Clerk of the District Court.
If the spouses are able to reach an agreement on all issues, the divorce may be finalized once:
- The 60-day waiting period has expired, and
- They can present a written agreement signed by both spouses to the court for the Judge's approval.
However, if they are unable to reach an agreement within the 60-day waiting period, the divorce will not be granted until such time as an agreement is reached or a trial is held.
Factors That Could Affect the Time
The time it takes to complete your divorce often depends on the circumstances surrounding your personal situation, as well as how fast you and your spouse are able to work out key divorce issues. The following factors may affect the time it takes to finalize your divorce:
Contested vs. Uncontested Divorce
In an uncontested divorce, the parties mutually agree on all terms of the divorce settlement. In a contested divorce, the spouses are unable to agree on all issues of the divorce. In a situation where the spouses contest the parenting plan (if they have minor children together), spousal support/maintenance/alimony, and/or the equitable division of marital assets and debts, the divorce may drag on for many months.
Complication of the Circumstances
However, many aspects of your personal situation can complicate divorce matters, thus resulting in a longer and more stressful divorce. Having minor children, large marital assets/debts, retirement accounts, and spousal support/maintenance/alimony requests are among matters that can make the divorce more complex.
Availability of the Court/Judges
Additionally, the availability of the court may affect the time it takes for the divorce to be finalized. Court hearings are scheduled around the schedules and calendars of the attorneys as well as the court's docket.
Work With an Experienced Family Law Attorney
Filing for divorce in Kansas involves many complexities. Trying to negotiate a divorce settlement dividing marital property and debts, establishing spousal support/maintenance/alimony apayments, child custody and child support with your spouse can make the entire process more stressful and lengthier. An experienced Kansas family law attorney can help explore your available options and determine the best course of action for your unique situation.
For over 40 years, Attorney Mark Jeffers has devoted his career to handling divorce matters and helping individuals get through this difficult transition in their lives. As your attorney, he will assess your unique circumstances, help you understand your options, and guide you through every step of the divorce proceedings. He will work diligently with you to establish a fair, just, and equitable settlement agreement as quickly and peacefully as possible.
If you’re considering filing for divorce, separate maintenance, or annulment, contact Jeffers Law Office to schedule a free initial telephone consultation. Attorney Mark Jeffers can offer you the comprehensive legal guidance and advocacy you need to navigate important decisions. He’s proud to serve clients in Overland Park, Olathe, Lenexa, Shawnee, Leawood, Prairie Village, Gardner, Merriam, and Mission, Kansas, as well as throughout Johnson, Wyandotte, Miami, and Leavenworth Counties.