Divorce and Custody
The decision to end a marriage is not an easy decision to make; nor is it one to be made in haste or ignorance. The ramifications of divorce are serious and permanent. Nevertheless, for those in an unhappy marriage, divorce may provide a light at the end of a very dark tunnel.
Generally, our office handles only divorces in Douglas County, Kansas. One of the first things we advise clients to do is to read the Douglas County Family Law Guidelines. That document provides a very basic look at the policies followed by judges who handle divorces in Douglas County.
Sometimes, we are asked for guidance by folks who choose to represent themselves in divorce or family law matters. Not surprisingly, we do not think this is the best option. For some reasons, however, we do recognize that it might be the only option for some people. For those folks, we suggest they review the following
• The Kansas Judicial Council Self-Help Information Page. The Self-Help Center is intended to help you find legal assistance and information, work with an attorney, and represent yourself in some legal matters.
• Kansas Legal Services Free Legal Forms page. Kansas Legal Services provides forms as a service to low income Kansans. Forms are easy to use and interactive.
If a marriage is ending, there are three legal options in Kansas: annulment, divorce and petition for separate maintenance. As you move forward, it is important to understand the difference.
Annulment: An annulment has the legal effect of erasing the marriage so that the parties, after annulment, can say they were never married. It is important to understand that annulment is not appropriate just because a marriage is of short duration. There must be a material misrepresentation that led to the marriage for the Court to be able to grant an annulment.
Petition for Separate Maintenance: This option is similar to a divorce in that the Court will divide marital assets, make decisions about on-going support, and even make custody and child support rulings if required; but, when all that is done, the parties remain married.
Divorce: This is the option most common and understood. The Court will will divide marital assets, make decisions about on-going support, make custody and child support rulings if required; and, in the end, the marriage will be legally ended.
If you have questions about any of these topics, or need advice on some other Divorce and Custody issue, please contact us to set up a consultation appointment. We can help.