Knowledgeable Wichita Attorneys Guide You Through the Divorce Process
Sound counsel and supportive representation focused on positive results
The decision to dissolve your marriage can be heartbreaking. But the pain of divorce is no reason to make rash decisions that could negatively impact your future. At Peggs Wheeler, LC, our attorneys help clients set realistic goals, make informed choices and implement positive strategies that lay a firm foundation for their future. Kansas law makes it relatively easy to get a divorce; Peggs Wheeler makes it easier to divorce on the best possible terms.
Should you file no-fault or cite traditional grounds for divorce?
Kansas allows petitioners for divorce to assert traditional grounds, such as abandonment, adultery, and cruelty, for dissolving their marriage. However, under Kansas law the petitioner is only to state that the respondent spouse “fail[ed] to perform a material marital duty.” The details of the misconduct are reserved for trial.
The alternative is to file no-fault, citing “incompatibility.” Under Kansas family law, if one spouse wants a divorce, the court must grant the request even if the other spouse feels the couple can work out their differences. Filing no-fault is generally preferable because it sets a less adversarial tone for resolving your issues and gives you one less point you must litigate. Rarely does a finding of fault influence the court with regard to issues of support, child custody, or division of property. However, individuals may have deeply personal reasons for asserting grounds, especially if they come from a tradition that views divorce negatively.
What is the difference between contested and uncontested divorce?
Many people believe that if both spouses agree they should divorce, the divorce is uncontested. This shows an incomplete understanding of the divorce process, because even if spouses agree to dissolve their marriage, they must still decide on the terms of their marital settlement. In most cases, they must agree on four major issues: alimony, child custody, child support, and the division of the marital estate.
In an uncontested divorce, the couple agrees they are incompatible and one spouse files for a no-fault divorce. The couple then engages in negotiation or mediation to reach a marital settlement, which they present to the court for approval, and this agreement becomes the basis of their divorce decree.
In a contested divorce, a couple can attempt a settlement but may come up short, leaving one or two issues unresolved. They can present their partial settlement to the court but must then try their outstanding issues before the judge. Or, one spouse may file for divorce citing marital misconduct by the other spouse as grounds for the divorce. This type of divorce is contested from the outset and usually requires hearings on some of the issues.
In general, uncontested divorces are quicker, less expensive, and less stressful than contested divorces, because they avoid trial.
Dividing your marital assets in Kansas
Kansas is an equitable distribution state, which means each spouse gets to keep their separate property, and marital property is divided in a manner that is fair but not necessarily equal. An experienced divorce attorney can assist in a number of ways by:
- Protecting your rights to your separate property
- Challenging your spouse’s claim that assets are his or her separate property
- Challenging your spouse’s claim that his or her own debts are marital property
- Getting a fair allocation of retirement savings
- Resolving issues of ownership and management of a family business
- Raising pertinent facts that argue for a greater share in the marital estate
- Obtaining a fair resolution to the issues of ownership and possession of your marital home
Depending on the size of your marital estate, the equitable distribution process can be relatively easy or highly complex. Our knowledgeable attorneys take meticulous care and advocate strongly for your property rights.
Contact our Wichita family law firm for a free divorce consultation
Peggs Wheeler, LC provides knowledgeable and experienced representation for divorce in and around Wichita. For personal attention, responsive counsel and determined advocacy, call 316-512-7853 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.