Kansas Divorce & Finances
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The division of joint finances can be one of the least pleasant aspects of a divorce. There can be a lot of uncertainty surrounding how the court makes determinations on joint finances. How will your joint property be divided? What are the tax consequences of your divorce? Are there estate planning issues that you will need to settle? What are spousal support payments? Will they be awarded, and if so, how much and for how long? The following are laws specific to Kansas Divorce and Finances.
Kansas Property Division/Community Property/Debts:
Kansas is an “equitable distribution” state. Marital property will thus be distributed on terms considered to be fair. Note that “fair” does not necessarily mean equal. In the equitable distribution adjudication, the court will consider, among other things, the contributions of each spouse to the marital estate, the total value of the properties of the parties, the economic circumstances of each party, any misconduct that may have occurred, and the amount of spousal support awarded.
Kansas Spousal Support:
There is no automatic obligation for either spouse to support the other in the event of a divorce. Where the court does grant spousal support (also called maintenance or alimony), it does so on a case-by-case basis and in consideration of many factors including:
- The financial resources of the party seeking support,
- The time and input of resources necessary for the party seeking maintenance to find appropriate employment and sufficient education and/or training for that employment,
- The established subjective standard of living during the marriage,
- Marriage duration,
- Physical and emotional condition of the party seeking maintenance,
- The ability of the would-be payor spouse to meet his/her own needs while meeting those of the other spouse, and
- Any other factors the court deems relevant.
Note that in Kansas, the spousal award duration, once determined, is capped at 121 months, unless the original divorce decree specifically empowers the court to hear later motions on the issue, and those motions are brought before 121 months have elapsed. In this instance, the maintenance award, may be extended one more 121-month period, at the court’s discretion. The court may also modify or eliminate the spousal support award prior to the expiration of the 121 month period when circumstances justify doing so, such as when the receiving party enters into another marriage or similar arrangement, or either party experiences a material change in financial circumstances.
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