Like many states, Kansas offers a no-fault divorce solution, meaning that it is not required for either member of the couple to “prove” a reason why the relationship did not work. Instead, Kansas allows couples to claim that they are incompatible to end a marriage. This makes it easy for individuals to take care of their personal lives without having to air out their dirty laundry to a court or a judge.
The popularity of no-fault divorce does not mean that Kansas has done away with the concept of fault in the separation. Kansas does still have two grounds for divorce in addition to incompatibility. Though rare, they are still vital parts of the law and continue to be used by some individuals in their divorce petitions.
Two Grounds for Divorce
Failure to Perform a Material Marital Duty
While some states have many different grounds for divorce, Kansas only has two. The first of these grounds is “failure to perform a material marital duty” – in other words, that one or both partners are unwilling or unable to engage in sexual relations inside the marriage. Individuals must use this failure as the primary factor in the breakdown of the union, though it does not require any technical proof.
The other ground is somewhat more difficult to prove. Kansas allows for divorce on the grounds of mental illness or incapacitation. The state requires the spouse in question to either be committed to a mental institution for a minimum of two years or declared mentally ill or incapacitated by the court.
Merely suffering from a mental illness is not enough to satisfy the requirements here, which makes the granting of these grounds reasonably uncommon in the state. For example, depression that someone treats with regular meds doesn’t count as “incompatibility because of mental illness.” For a court to declare someone mentally ill, they’ll have to comply with examinations by official doctors and mental health professionals who can testify to the judge or jury that their patient is mentally incapable of holding down a marriage.
What to Know Before Filing
The vast majority of divorcing individuals in Kansas tend to choose to do it on the grounds of incompatibility because the “fault” reasons are complicated and expensive. On the other hand, a no-fault divorce doesn’t require proof or force you to bring potentially embarrassing moments to the attention of a full court. This doesn’t mean that no-fault divorce is simple. If there are children or assets in the marriage, a judge has to okay a separation plan. If two people can’t agree on custody or alimony on their own, they’ll have to argue the case in court and will likely still have to explain why the marriage broke down.
If you are considering divorce or are already in the process of separating from your spouse, it’s crucial that you contact an attorney today to get the representation you need. No matter the grounds, a good lawyer can help you to make your divorce as efficient as possible.
Call a Divorce Lawyer in Kansas
If your marriage lasted a long time, resulted in children, or involved complicated finances, you must call a lawyer to protect yourself. Attorney Joseph T. Welsh can help you understand your options when filing for divorce in Kansas so you may reach the best possible outcome. Call us at 620-510-5030 or request a free case evaluation to speak to an attorney today.