KansasChild Custody Law
Kansas Child Custody Guide :: Table of Contents
Child custody is defined as the guardianship over a child, which covers both physical custody and legal custody. In a child custody dispute the court may award joint custody to both parents or sole custody to a single parent.
Child custody cases in Kansas can be either contested and resolved by court order, or noncontested and defined in a child custody agreement between the parents. A custody agreement or order will legally determine, at minimum, the following things:
- Where the child lives (physical custody)
- Who is involved in making parenting decisions (legal custody)
- How the visitation schedule with non-custodial parents or relatives is arranged
This page describes how a contested child custody case is handled in the Kansas court system, and what factors are used to determine which parent gets custody.
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After a breakup or divorce in Kansas, couples with children must come to a child custody agreement that describes which parent the children will live with, how visitation will be scheduled, and how the non-custodial parent will pay child support.
Some of the factors considered by Kansas in child custody cases include the child's wishes, willingness of the parent to cooperate with their partner and any history of domestic violence.
Factors in deciding custody, residency and parenting
To determine legal custody, residency and parenting time of a child, the court will consider all of the following factors:
- the parent's role with the child before and after separation
- what the parents desire in terms of custody and/or residency
- what the child (of sufficient age and maturity) desires to their custody and/or residency
- the age of the child
- the emotional/physical needs of the child
- the interaction of the child with their parents, siblings and anyone else who may have a significant affect on the child's best interests
- how the child adjusts to their home, school and community
- the ability of each parent to allow for a continuing relationship between the child and the other parent
- evidence of emotional and/or physical spousal abuse
- the ability of each party to cooperate in parental duties
- the child's school activity schedule
- the work schedule of each party
- Where each parties' residences and places of employment are located
- where the child's school is located
- whether a parent fits the registration requirements of the Kansas offender registration act, or similar act in any state, military, or federal law
- if a parent has been convicted of abuse of a child
- whether a parent is living with someone who is subject to registration requirements of the Kansas offender registration act, or similar in any other state, military, or federal law
- whether a parent is living with someone who has been convicted of abuse of a child.
In order to determine custody, residency and parenting time of a child, the court can order a parent to undergo a domestic violence offender assessment and can order the parent to follow any recommendations made.
Granting sole legal custody to one parent will not prevent the other parent from having access to information regarding the child unless the court orders so, and listing the reasons for that decision.
The court can order sole legal custody when the court finds that it is not in the best interests of the child that both parties have equal rights in making decisions for the child.
The court can also order joint legal custody with both parties.
If the parents are on amicable terms they may agree to custody terms in a parenting agreement between themselves, or via a mediator. If child custody is disputed, however, they will have to receive a child custody order from a Kansas judge, who will attempt to make a custody decision that is in the "best interests of the child".
In the state of Kansas, a number of factors are taken into account by the courts when determining who gets child custody. This section describes Kansas' custody factors, considerations, and presumptions when evaluating a custody order.
Is there a set list of statutory factors for calculating child custody in the state of Kansas?
Kansas has a list of statutory factors that are considered by the court when determining a custody order. This list may include factors such as the child's age, the living situation of each parent, any history of abuse or neglect from either parent, etc. Although there is a statutory list of factors, consider other factors at its discretion depending on the particular circumstances of the case.
Do judges in the state of Kansas favor joint custody?
Judges in Kansas are authorized to order either joint or single-parent custody of a child subject to a custody dispute.
Courts in Kansas do not have a presumption in favor joint custody orders when evaluating child custody. The judge will evaluate the specifics of the custody dispute to determine what custody arrangement is in the best interests of the child.
Do Kansas courts encourage parents to cooperate together to raise the child?
Kansas courts favor awarding custody to a cooperative parent who is willing to work together with the other parent regarding child visitation, scheduling, child support, and other co-parenting matters. Kansas law favors co-parenting as being in the best interests of the child, and the courts will favor a parent willing to cooperate over a parent who attempts to alienate their child from the other parent.
Are the child's wishes considered when determining custody in the state of Kansas?
In Kansas, the court does consider the child's reasonable wishes when determining which parent wins custody. The judge may take the child's age, maturity, and judgement into consideration when considering the child's custody preference.
Do Kansas courts consider domestic violence when determining custody?
Kansas has laws that explicitly permit the consideration of domestic violence in conjunction with child custody. This may mean that domestic violence is a statutory factor in custody determinations, that the court has a presumption against custody for abusers, or that special procedural considerations are imposed in cases involving domestic violence.
Do the courts in the state of Kansas have the right to hire an attorney or Guardian Ad Litem to represent the child?
Kansas has statutory authority for appointment of a guardian ad litem or attorney specifically to represent the child in a custody case. This person advocates for the best interest of the child, and is tasked with investigating the family situation and advising the court what custody situation would be in the best interests of the child.