When it comes to divorce, the question arises whether to hire a professional lawyer or do it yourself. In this article, we will look at both options, highlighting their advantages and disadvantages. We will also provide detailed information on the requirements and procedure for getting a divorce in Kansas
Online Divorce or Divorce with a Lawyer
Divorce is not the most pleasant experience in your life, but there are ways to make it less painful. Some couples turn to lawyers and ultimately transfer the paperwork to them. Other spouses come to a mutual agreement and do a DIY divorce.
Divorce Over the Internet
Internet divorce does not mean getting the dissolution of marriage without going to the local court. It is an inexpensive and quick way to get completed divorce papers online and download them in just a couple of clicks. There are also online divorce companies that offer extra services for an additional cost. These services include filing documents with the court for you, delivering papers to your spouse, legal advice on your case.
The application for online divorce preparation is suitable for couples who have an uncontested divorce
. In this case, the spouses agree on child custody, child support
, spousal support, and property division without an attorney. They also sign the Settlement Agreement and independently collect and fill out the divorce papers.
The main advantage of web divorce is that you do not need to search and fill out forms yourself. Online divorce companies do everything for you. You just need to complete a survey regarding aspects of your marriage. Most services send a package of prepared documents in a couple of days. After that, the spouses should sign the papers and apply for divorce through the court.
Divorce with Lawyer Assistance
Not every divorce can be done without an attorney. If the spouses can not reach a Settlement Agreement on at least one point, the Kansas court will consider their case as a contested divorce.
There are several types of lawyers depending on the specifics of the divorce. Each of them works in their specialization.
Family Law Attorney
If the spouses have minor children, they should hire a family lawyer. Family law attorneys always pay attention to what is best for the child. To do this, the lawyer considers both spouses’ opinions and puts the child’s welfare first. Hiring a family lawyer can help protect your child and their best interests during the often stressful divorce process.
Arbitrator, Collaborative Lawyer, Mediator
If the spouses can not agree on splitting joint assets and do not want to go to court, they can hire a third party to solve the issues. The arbitrator or mediator usually handles these matters. The mediator promotes productive and friendly discussion of all the controversial problems but does not make decisions. The arbitrator listens to both parties and then makes a mandatory decision, which the couple must comply with.
Spouses can also hire lawyers, even if they do not plan to bring the case to trial. It is called a collaborative divorce. Each of the parties hires lawyers and signs an agreement to negotiate. If the spouses break the deal and do not reach a compromise, each party is obligated to change their attorney before going to court.
In a contested divorce, the spouses hire divorce lawyers and go to court to settle the case with a judge. However, the main task of divorce lawyers is to negotiate between the parties and work together to resolve the matter.
The Average Cost of Divorce With a Lawyer
According to ConsumerAffairs, the average cost of divorce with an attorney in Kansas City will cost spouses $10,900 with no children and $16,400 with children.
The average cost includes the hourly rate and necessary fees in the divorce proceeding.
Divorce Process What You Need to Know
Before filing for divorce, spouses should resolve controversial issues that may arise and make sure they are eligible for a divorce in Kansas.
Like most states, Kansas has its residency requirements for people seeking a divorce. The petitioner or respondent must live in the state for 60 days before filing the divorce petition.
Any person residing at a United States military post or reservation in the state for 60 days is eligible to file a petition and has the full right to file a divorce in any adjacent county.
If spouses do not meet the Kansas residency requirements above, they can use one of the following options:
1. Get a 60-day residence permit in Kansas;
2. Ask your spouse to apply if they meet the Kansas residency requirements;
3. Select another state to apply to in which you live and meet all the residency requirements.
Grounds for divorce
In the application for divorce, the petitioner must indicate the grounds for the termination of the relationship. In Kansas, spouses can provide a no-fault ground for divorce. It means that a couple just has to state that they have irreconcilable differences and the marriage can’t be fixed. The spouses do not need to provide specific details of the split-up. They just need to state that they no longer get along.
As an alternative to a no-fault divorce, spouses have the option to file for divorce based on misconduct by one of the parties to the marriage. This type of divorce requires solid evidence to be presented in court.
Kansas allows a fault divorce based on the following grounds:
• failure to fulfill a material marital duty and
• incompatibility due to mental illness or incapacity.
Alimony, Child Support, and Property Division
As in any other state, Kansas laws allow spouses to decide matters regarding their marital property and financial support independently. After all, you know your situation better than anyone else. Besides, resolving these issues before filing documents in court lets you speed up your divorce as much as the law allows.
When dividing property, the following factors are taken into account:
• the age of the spouses;
• the duration of the marriage;
• own property;
• spouses present and future earning capacities;
• family obligations;
• the allowance of maintenance; and
• the tax consequences of the property division.
The amount of spousal support and child support depends on the financial capabilities of the supporting party. Also, alimony is not a mandatory payment unless the court has ordered it.
Filing Fees and Waiting Period in Kansas
When filing divorce documents with the court, the plaintiff needs to pay a filing fee. The filing fee varies from county to county and may even vary from year to year. Also, it increases based on the complexity of the case. On average, payments range from $100 to $150.
If you can not afford to pay the divorce filing fee, you can ask the court to waive it in your case. For this, you need to submit a written statement confirming that your income is too low to allow you to pay the fee.
There is a 30 day mandatory waiting period in Kansas after the divorce is filed before a judge can grant your divorce. It can take up to 90 days, depending on the court workload and if minor children are involved.
Divorce is only your family’s business. No one can force you to hire a lawyer or use an online divorce service. You can even use both options at the same time if you want. Online divorce will prepare the necessary documents fast, and a lawyer will help resolve controversial issues peacefully. This way, you can have a smooth divorce at an affordable price.