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Frequently Asked Questions
We are often asked questions about Kansas Law as it pertains to Family Law. So, as a public service, we provide some answers to some commonly asked questions. Keep in mind that the answers to these questions provide only general information. You should contact a qualified family law attorney to find out how the law applies to your own specific situation. Although domestic relations is governed primarily by state statutes, individual judges determine how the statutes apply to specific situations in individual cases. The information provided on this page is not intended to provide legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship between the viewer and MannTuckerMuir. See our disclaimer page for further information.
Kansas is a "no-fault" divorce state. What does that mean?
This means that the usual ground for divorce is "incompatibility." "Incompatibility" means the relationship between husband and wife is broken to a point that they do not get along, don’t want to or cannot live together any longer, and that either one or both of them do not want to be married any longer.
Kansas appellate cases indicate that if one person wants a divorce and says that he or she is "incompatible" with the other spouse, then the husband and wife are, by definition, "incompatible" – even if the other spouse does not want a divorce, or thinks that they can work out their problems, or doesn’t think the problems are "any big deal."
Kansas courts are required to grant a divorce if one spouse asks for a divorce to be granted.
When a divorce petition is filed, the petition usually says only that the husband and wife are "incompatible." A party filing for divorce (or filing a "counterclaim" for divorce may claim "fault" grounds for the divorce; however, Kansas appellate decisions indicate this does not have any effect upon the way in which the courts decide issues in the divorce, unless that allegation has specific relevance to the issue to be decided.
What do I need to do if I've just been served with divorce papers?
The first two weeks to one month after a divorce filing is made or received is usually a chaotic time for both the husband and the wife (regardless who filed the divorce petition). Neither one knows what is going to happen, and the person who received the divorce petition is often unprepared, did not know there was anything wrong, or the divorce filing came at a particularly high stress time in their marital relationship.
The best approach is to take a deep breath and calm yourself. Making decisions while emotions are high doesn't usually work well. You want to make reasonable and informed decisions.
The first thing to do when served with divorce papers is to contact a lawyer. Although everyone has a right to represent themselves, it is rarely recommended that you do so. Despite what many people think, the law is complex and even in situations in which the dispute seems simple, it is rarely a good idea to not seek a lawyer’s advice.
It is extremely important that after receiving divorce papers they are not ignored. By not responding properly to divorce papers, many people have given up valuable rights, or entered into agreements that they could have easily avoided by proper action. If nothing else is done after receiving divorce papers, you must at least file an answer or response in the court identified on the papers within the time stated. We will describe the process further below.