Topeka, Kansas Divorce Attorneys in Shawnee County
If you are going through a divorce in Shawnee, Kansas in Topeka, Kansas, it is a top priority to have an educated and experienced attorney by your side. The effects of these cases can impact you and your family immensely.
At Stange Law Firm, PC we have solely dedicated our practice to divorce and family law. We do not practice any other type of law. Whether your divorce matter needs to be litigated or resolved through mediation and collaborative law, Stange Law Firm, PC has the legal staff and resources to help.
From our new office opening in February 2019, Stange Law Firm, PC in Topeka, Kansas in Shawnee County assists the residents in the surrounding areas, with a wide range of family law matters, including:
- Topeka, KS Divorce Lawyers: If you need help with a divorce in Shawnee County, our lawyers can help.
- Topeka, Kansas Child Support Lawyers: If you are interested in finding out more information about child support, our webpage has additional information.
- Topeka, KS Child Custody Lawyers: If you are in need of a child custody lawyer, we have attorneys that can help.
- Topeka, KS Paternity Lawyers: If you are an unmarried parent that is in need of a custody attorney, we have lawyers who can assist.
- Topeka, Kansas Fathers’ Rights Attorneys: If you are a father in need of a divorce or family law representation, we have lawyers who can assist.
- Topeka, KS Family Law Attorneys: We can help with your family law needs in the Topeka, KS area in Shawnee County.
The attorneys that you will find at Stange Law Firm, PC understand that your divorce and family law matter in Topeka, KS may be one of the most difficult times in your life. That’s why our Shawnee County divorce attorneys are here to fight for you, whether your divorce is uncontested or contested. Additionally, our attorneys can assist if your case must be resolved at a trial.
You can also find out more information about Topeka here:
- Map to Topeka, KS: Click this link for Google Map directions to our Topeka, KS office in Shawnee County.
- Government Website for Topeka, KS: Interested in learning more about the government for Topeka, Kansas? Click this link to read more.
- Local Rules: If you are interested in the local rules for Shawnee County, Kansas, please click this link to read more.
- Shawnee County Courthouse: Click here for the address and directions to the Shawnee County Courthouse.
COMMON DIVORCE QUESTIONS IN KANSAS
Grounds for Divorce in Shawnee County
Parties in Kansas can get divorced when a there are irreconcilable differences and there is no reasonable likelihood that the marriage can be preserved. It is not necessary to show fault in Kansas to get divorced, but fault can impact property and debt division and spousal maintenance.
Residency Requirements in Topeka, Kansas
If you are going to get divorced in the State of Kansas, either you or your wife (or both of you) must be a resident in the State of Kansas, and must have lived in the state for at least 90 days, prior to the filing of the Petition. This action should be filed in the county where the petitioner resides. Whoever is filing for divorce should generally do so in the county in which they live. In some cases, a motion for a change of venue is a possibility.
Name of the Court and Title of the Action/Parties in Shawnee County
Here are a few key names for you to make note of. First is the Circuit Court, where the petition for the divorce is filed. The first action is called a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. The final action is called the Decree or Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage. Depending on which party is filing the divorce, you are either called the Petitioner (the party filing for divorce) or the Respondent (the one who gets served).
Legal Separation in Topeka, Kansas
Making the decision to file for a divorce is difficult for many parties. For those individuals who may not yet be ready to take that big next step, there is another option for you. Kansas divorce laws state that parties may file for a legal separation when there is a reasonable likelihood that the marriage can be preserved. Many of the guidelines remain the same, in regards to things like spousal maintenance, division of property, child support, etc. One or both of the parties must have resided within the State of Kansas for at least 90 days prior to filing this petition. It is important that you consider all options and factors at hand prior to making any legally binding decisions when it comes to legal separation and dissolution because a legal separation can be converted into a divorce.
Spousal Maintenance in Shawnee County
According to Kansas divorce laws, the court may grant spousal maintenance to either party. This depends on a finding that the party that is seeking spousal maintenance is not able to support themselves and lacks sufficient property to provide for their own needs; or that the party that is seeking spousal maintenance is the guardian of a child whose condition is such that it would be inappropriate for that party to seek outside employment.
The court will take in and consider the following factors in ruling the amount of spousal maintenance to be compensated:
- The time necessary for the spouse seeking support to acquire sufficient education or training
- The comparative earning capacity of each spouse
- The standard of living established during the marriage
- The obligations and assets of the marriage, both separate and marital
- The duration of the marriage
- The age, physical and mental condition of the spouse seeking support
- The ability of the supporting spouse to meet both his needs and the needs of the spouse seeking support
- The conduct of the parties during the marriage
- And any other relevant factors
The order establishing spousal maintenance must also state whether the award is modifiable or non-modifiable. If the award is modifiable, the court may modify the award only upon a showing that the circumstances have changed so considerably as to make the terms unreasonable.
Distribution of Property in Topeka, Kansas
Kansas divorce laws call for an equitable distribution of assets. This means that the court will divide the marital property between the parties as it deems equitable and fair, after setting aside each party’s separate property. This essentially means that you get to keep what belongs to you (property you owned prior to the marriage) and all shared property (property you owned during the marriage) will be divided equally between you and your ex-spouse. The court will consider the following factors in dividing the property between the parties:
- The economic circumstances of the parties at the time of the division of property
- The contribution of each spouse to the marital estate
- The value of the non-marital property set apart to each spouse
- The conduct of the parties during the marriage
- Custodial arrangements for minor children
Child Custody in Shawnee County
Kansas courts will determine the issue of child custody based upon the best interests of the child. A partial list of aspects that the court will consider in determining the best interests of the child include:
- The wishes of the parents, the need of the child for a frequent and meaningful relationship with both parents
- The interaction and interrelationship of the child with both the parents and any siblings
- The wishes of the child
Prior to awarding custody, the court shall first consider awarding joint physical and legal custody to both parents. If the court decides that joint physical and legal custody awarded to both parents is not in the best interests of the child, the court shall next consider joint physical custody, with one party being awarded sole legal custody. If that arrangement is also found to not be in the best interests of the child, the court shall next consider joint legal custody with one party granted sole physical custody. If that arrangement is not in the best interests of the child, the court would next consider sole custody to either parent, or a third-party custody arrangement.
There will be no preference given to either party based upon the parent’s age, sex or financial status, nor because of the age or sex of the child, in determining custody.
When custody of a child is at issue in a proceeding for dissolution of marriage the court shall order the parents to attend educational classes regarding the effects of custody and dissolution of marriage upon the children. The court may also order the parents to attend an alternative dispute resolution program to resolve any disputes regarding issues of custody or visitation.
Child Support in Topeka, Kansas
As with every other family law issue, the court will determine the matter of child support. The court may order either or both parties to pay an equitable amount necessary to support their child or children. Pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 88.01 and Form 14, some of the factors the court will take into consideration while determining the amount of child support include:
- The financial needs and resources of the child
- The financial resources and needs of the parents
- The standard of living the child would have enjoyed had the marriage not terminated
- The child’s physical and legal custody arrangements
Legally, your liability to pay child support shall end upon the death of the child, the marriage of the child, the child entering active duty in the military, the child becoming self-sufficient, the child reaching eighteen (18) years of age, or, if the child is enrolled in a secondary school program of education, when the child reaches the age of twenty-one (21) years of age.
You may also be required to provide health insurance for your child. In addition, if you were already paying for health insurance for your children and spouse prior to the divorce, you are obligated to continue paying for it from the time of filing until the divorce is final (meaning you cannot cancel health insurance for your children and spouse during the divorce proceedings).
Name Change in Shawnee County
A spouse may request a name change back to their former or maiden name. This request may be granted by the court upon the divorce.
Contact our Topeka, Kansas Divorce Lawyers in Shawnee County for a Consultation
When you have a family law case and need representation in the Shawnee County area, our attorneys are ready to help. The attorneys of Stange Law Firm, PC know how important family is to you and are ready to lead you through your case.
Shawnee County (Topeka), Kansas Office (785-380-2382) | 800 SW Jackson Street, Suite 812, Topeka, Kansas 66612