Gavel and paper cut out of family

Family Law FAQs

Oleen Law Firm June 20, 2023

Family issues are usually complicated, which makes legal cases about them complicated as well. The area of family law covers a broad swath of issues. Pre- and post-nuptial agreements, divorce, alimony, child custody, child support, paternity, and adoption are some of them. Because of their complicated nature, you deserve to get clear, honest answers to your questions.  

If you are considering or are involved in a family law matter in Manhattan or Junction City, Kansas, you no doubt have a lot of questions. At Oleen Law Firm, we are here to answer any of your legal questions and go beyond by advocating for your family in and out of court. When you work with us, you get five decades of experience on your side, so reach out today for support.  

Frequently Asked Questions About Family Law & Divorce

My spouse just served me with divorce papers. What do I do now?

You will need to file a responsive pleading to the divorce petition within 21 days. That doesn’t give you much time, so your first step should be to contact a family law attorney right away. Even if you and your spouse can agree to the terms of divorce, child custody, and other issues involved, you need someone who is looking out for your best interests.  

How long will it take to dissolve a marriage in Kansas?

Kansas upholds a 60-day waiting period for divorce. The clock starts ticking on the date the petition for divorce is filed. Of course, a divorce often takes longer than 60 days to finalize, even if it is uncontested. Moreover, in the event of an emergency, such as in cases where domestic abuse is involved, the court has the latitude to grant the dissolution in less than 60 days.  

What are the grounds for divorce in Kansas divorce?

Kansas is a no-fault divorce state, so no grounds are required when filing for divorce. The marriage must simply be “unsalvageable”. In some cases, grounds including mental illness, incapacity, or failure to perform a marital duty can be used.  

Will I get alimony?

Awards of spousal support are not automatic in Kansas divorce. Couples may agree to it or judges may order it if one spouse demonstrates a need for it and the other spouse has the ability to pay it. The maximum period for alimony is 120 months, with few exceptions.  

What’s the difference between legal separation and divorce?

The difference between legal separation and divorce is the actual dissolution of the marriage. In a legal separation, the couple goes through all the same steps as they do for divorce. They divide marital assets and debts, and they enter agreements regarding child custody, child support, and spousal support. However, in the eyes of the law, they are still married. As such, they may not remarry anyone else even though they are living separate lives.  

Might we benefit from mediation?

Mediation is a good option for couples who can largely agree on divorce issues but need help compromising on a final settlement agreement. Mediation can resolve contentious issues more quickly and more privately than addressing them in court. The process can also be less emotionally charged for the couple and less stressful for their children. 

Who gets to keep our house?

Which spouse gets to keep the home depends on a multitude of factors. In fact, even if the house is only in one spouse’s name, the other spouse may still end up living there. The home will be dealt with as part of the division of marital assets and debts and may be influenced by the child custody agreement. Neither spouse should assume they’ll get to stay or be able to afford to keep it once divorced.  

How are visitation schedules made or changed?

Child visitation is part of the child custody agreement and parenting plan. There are some common guidelines for custody agreements that can help, and your attorney certainly can help you create a visitation plan. These must be approved by the judge who will always rule in the child’s best interests. Child custody and visitation may be modified with court approval, but only if either parent or the children experience a significant life change that warrants revision to the existing agreement.  

I doubt I’m the child’s father. What are my options?

Since being a parent makes you financially responsible for minor children, regardless of your relationship with the child’s natural mother, you may want to know whether you are, indeed, the father if paternity is questionable. There is a legal process whereby you can challenge and prove paternity or that you are not a child’s biological father.  

What are the benefits of a prenuptial agreement?

Prenuptial agreements are not just for couples entering marriage with a significant wealth imbalance. These agreements help set expectations and provide couples with the opportunity to discuss important issues while they are happy with their relationship. They can save a tremendous amount of stress and anger should they decide to divorce down the road.  

Do I need an attorney for my divorce?

Technically, you do not need to have an attorney represent you during divorce, but it is a wise choice to do so. Your family law attorney will be the only person placing your best interests and wishes above those of everyone else involved. Plus, the guidance you will receive from experienced and compassionate counsel will be invaluable.  

Learn How Oleen Law Firm Can Help Your Family

No matter what type of family law issue you are considering or already facing, we can help you face it from a position of strength. We will treat you with honesty and respect at every turn and if we need to be aggressive while protecting your interests, we will do that as well. If you need family law guidance in Manhattan or Junction City, Kansas, call Oleen Law Firm today.