Legal Separation in Kansas

By Jerrie Lynn South - DeRose
Legal separation is allowed under Kansas law.

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Although most marriages end in divorce, many couples get a legal separation to try and salvage their relationship through counselling and other avenues, or as a stepping stone to divorce. Legal separation requirements vary by state and in some states legal separation laws do not exist. Kansas has legal separation statutes.

Definition of a Legal Separation

Kansas courts determine the status of a legal separation.

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Legal separation is a formal request by a married couple to legally live apart until a decision is made either to reconcile or file for divorce. Under Kansas law, the court may order spousal or child support as part of the separation agreement.

Grounds for Legal Separation

The only grounds allowed by the state of Kansas for filing for legal separation are incompatibility, a diagnosed mental illness, or a failure to perform a marital obligation or duty. Both parties must show that they meet the aforementioned criteria.

Prerequisites

Kansas requires a 60-day residency prior to filing.

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Spouses must prove they resided in the state of Kansas for 60 days immediately prior to filing for legal separation. This requirement is meant to ensure that a married couple does not enter Kansas strictly for the purpose of getting a legal separation.

Terms

The court can set specific terms in a legal separation.

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A legal separation is similar to a divorce in that the court may set specific terms for one or both of the spouses. Items that can be court ordered under the terms of a separation agreement include property rights, debt, alimony, child support or visitation, and how dependant exemptions are handled when income taxes are filed.

Separation Agreement Samples

Look for state-specific separation agreement samples at county courthouse libraries.

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Although you can find examples of legal separation agreements on the Internet, look at sample agreements at the local county courthouse library or the local library for examples that will be more specific to the state of Kansas. (You can also requested through an attorney.)

Understanding Legal Separation Agreements

Becoming familiar with the structure of legal separation agreements provide a valuable aid for spouses choosing to prepare their own legal documents. Understanding the structure of separation agreements also aids spouses during settlement negotiations.

About the Author

Jerrie began writing in 1994 as an early childhood education consultant, reviewing Early Head Start and Head Start programs while assisting with writing and editing reports. She wrote a parenting column from 1993 - 2001. While working on her associate's degree in journalism, Jerrie wrote for the Pratt Community College newspaper. She earned additional education credits in family health and safety, mental health, and disabilities.

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