110 E. Broadway
Newton, KS 67114

   (316) 283-4560
   (316) 283-5049

Attorneys Contact Information:

John Robb


      (316) 283-4560
      (316) 288-4560

Joe Robb


      (316) 283-4560
      (316) 284-4202







A word of caution: The following frequently asked questions are based upon our experience in Harvey County and the surrounding counties here in Kansas. Some of the rules that we talk about are unique to Harvey County itself. Certainly our answers are based on Kansas law so if you are from another state you should not take our answers as being appropriate for your jurisdiction and you should contact an attorney where you are to help you with issues. Thanks for looking at our web page and if we can be of help, please let us know.

Q. Is marital counseling required in a divorce?

A. No. Our courts in Harvey County and some other counties do require that parents attend Divorce Impact Education to familiarize them with the effects of divorce upon children, but actual marital counseling is not required. Most attorneys will assess reconciliation issues and discuss counseling options and alternatives with you if the divorce doesn't appear to be inevitable. It is also possible to ask the Court to order marital counseling.

Q. I've only been married 3 months and I want a divorce. Will the Court give my husband half of my assets?

A. With such a short marriage it is more likely that the Court will give to each of you the assets and debts that you brought into the marriage. As time goes on, the view shifts toward an equal division of the property, but the Court will consider other factors also.

Q. My husband is threatening a divorce, and our home is in his name alone. Does he get the house?

A. Not necessarily. How property is titled or owned is not determinative of who will wind up with the property. Factors considered by the Court include the length of the marriage, the time, source and manner of acquisition of the property, the parties earning capacities and other factors that the Court considers necessary to make a just and reasonable division of the property.

Q. Where can I file for divorce?

A. A divorce can generally be filed in any state in which either party has resided for a period of residence as prescribed by state law. However, if more than divorce itself is sought (e.g., child custody and support or division of property), special jurisdictional rules may apply.

Q. My husband is really causing me problems, and I've just got to get away from him. Can I get a divorce quickly?

A. There is a procedure in Kansas for an emergency divorce. Our Courts cannot finalize a divorce for 60 days unless the Court declares that an emergency exists. These are usually based upon the health needs of one of the parties as expressed by a physician or mental health professional or, at times, they are based upon extreme abuse or other similarly heightened circumstances.

Q. I'm in an abusive relationship. What can I do to protect myself?

A. Kansas has special laws that allow you to seek orders from the Court to protect you (and your children) from an abuser. A Protection From Abuse Act case may be filed, and the Court will quickly, based upon adequate evidence, issue a protective order. In addition, a restraining order may be obtained in a divorce case to protect you. Harvey County is also fortunate to have an active Domestic Violence group to assist in these cases.

Q. My husband and I are divorcing. We're openly talking about property settlement. How do we decide what's fair?

A. Our Courts consider the age of the parties, the length of the marriage, the parties earning capacities and the time, source and manner of acquisition of the property in determining who gets what (and who pays what debts). The best advice is to talk it through and then review it with an attorney to get their opinion on what the Court might do with the case.

Q. What are some of the tax issues involved in a divorce?

A. Many transactions involved in a divorce do not have any tax effect. Obviously, your filing status will change, and if you are paying or receiving spousal support, it is deductible to the paying party and income to the receiving party. If your assets are sold, a gain may be recognized and you should consider taxes in valuing assets, particularly retirement accounts.

Q. My wife filed for divorce last week, and there's an Order that says I get to see the kids only when she wants me too. What can I do about it?

A. My guess is that the order says that you're entitled to reasonable parenting time as the parties can agree upon. If you're having problems, you're entitled to a hearing with the Court to determine if the temporary order entered is fair and in the best interests of the children. We can also ask the Court to more specifically set out when the children will spend time with you.

Q. My wife and I are divorcing and our biggest asset is my retirement account. How do we equitably divide our assets?

A. A retirement account, though in your name and pertaining to your employment, can be divided between the two of you. You can do this by agreement, or the Court can order it in a trial setting. Through a special Court Order, the account can be separated into two separate accounts, one for you and one for your wife, with the balance divided between the two of you in any amounts. Through this procedure, if done correctly, no tax should be recognized at the time of your divorce on this asset.

Q. I've heard that alimony is required now in Harvey County?

A. Well, the law hasn't changed and what's now called spousal maintenance is proper in a number of cases depending upon the length of the marriage, the relative earnings and finances of the parties and several other factors. In addition, the local Bar Association has adopted some guidelines to help lawyers in advising clients, but these are not at all firm and are not formally adopted by our courts.

Q. Is it important that I file for divorce before my spouse does?

A. This depends on whether temporary possession of property, temporary custody and temporary support appear to be at issue. The party who initiates the action asks the Court to decide these temporary issues without initial input from the other side. It may be advantageous to be the proposer of this temporary order. If the opposition is unhappy with the temporary order the Court will schedule a hearing rapidly to re-visit temporary issues, but this requires action and expense on the part of the party seeking a change of the temporary order.

Q. Is it possible for one attorney to handle our entire divorce?

A. Yes. But that one attorney can only represent one of you - not both of you. If the two of you agree on all of the issues, you can have your attorney prepare the pleadings and handle matters with the Court. If your husband reads the documents and is comfortable signing them, you may avoid the cost of a second attorney. Certainly if your husband has any questions, he should consult his own counsel.

Q. My wife has filed for divorce, and the papers say that I have to get out of the house immediately. Can I fight it?

A. Yes. You are entitled to a hearing on the temporary orders that are issued when a divorce is filed. This hearing is held within 10 days after you request it. It is important that you not delay in requesting the hearing, and it is also important that temporary possession of the premises be coordinated with the Court and counsel so that you are not arrested or held in contempt for violating the orders.

Q. Our ex-daughter-in-law won't let us see the grandkids. Can we do anything about it?

A. You bet. Kansas law provides that visitation may be granted for grandparents and also for former stepparents. It will be important to show a substantial relationship with the children and that it is in their best interests to continue to see you.

Q. Can my wife and I agree on child support different from the court's guidelines?

A. Generally, yes. As long as you have logical reasons for varying, and it is clear that the children will be financially provided for under your plan, our courts will usually allow you to deviate from the guidelines and approve your agreement.

Q. How do courts determine child support?

A. Kansas has enacted Child Support Guidelines which are used to numerically calculate a presumed amount of support. The support is calculated based upon the parents incomes, health insurance and child care costs, and the number and ages of the children. The Court can vary from the presumption based upon such things as long distance visitation costs, income tax considerations and the overall financial condition of the parties.

Q. What is mediation?

A. Mediation is a process of dispute resolution that attempts to help the parties solve their dispute without the ultimate intervention of the Court. The mediator is neutral and strives to help the parties see the issues and explore ways of settling matters without more drastic and expensive Court action. It is often helpful in divorce and child custody matters as well as other civil disputes. The Court can order mediation as a step in a lawsuit or the parties can simply contact a mediator without any Court intervention at all.

Q. It's been several years since we set my child support. Should I try to increase it?

A. Usually, yes. Under Kansas guidelines you're entitled to a review when the children change to a different age group or upon a significant change in incomes. There are also other factors that point to the need for a review, such as changes in residence or custody, special needs, or long distance visitation costs.

Q. My husband and I are contemplating a divorce, and we can't agree on who the children will live with. What will the Court do?

A. If you cannot agree, the Court in a Harvey County case will require that you participate in mediation with a trained mediator. If you still cannot reach agreement, the Court will require that an investigation be done by court personnel. The investigator will interview both of you, will visit your homes and spend some time with the children, and will interview teachers and others who have contact with your family. The investigation ends with a recommendation to the Court which is considered at trial. The Court, if the matter goes to trial, will consider what is in the best interests of the children in making its decision.

Q. My ex-husband hasn't seen or contacted our children for years and my new husband is interested in adopting them. Is that possible?

A. Sure. Stepparent adoptions are most frequently done with the consent of the non-custodial parent, but there are provisions in the law allowing adoptions when the non-custodial parent fails to assume parental duties for a two-year period. Incidental contacts are generally not considered in this kind of determination.

Q. Should my child support change as my kids get older?

A. Yes. The law presumes that it should be adjusted as a child nears age 7 and age 16. Clearly it takes more money to care for children as they get older, and the law provides for that. In addition, you should seek an adjustment if your ex-spouse's income has increased or yours has decreased or if any other significant changes have occurred.



a. Divorce is usually a difficult and stressful time.  We present the following information in the hope that it will relieve some of your anxiety and help you understand the steps involved.  Please don’t hesitate to ask us questions!

b. Also, please don’t rely on this information as your predominant or final source of information.  Each case varies depending on the facts, and this isn’t a substitute for analysis and direct advice from us in a conference.

c. Use of this website does not establish an attorney-client relationship.  We would be happy to confer with you about this toward formally becoming your lawyers.  Until such time as we expressly agree to become your counsel, we will not consider ourselves engaged on your behalf and you should not do so either.  Please contact us to discuss this further as we would like to consider representing you.


Although a legal form of legal separation called “Separate Maintenance” is available in Kansas, it is not a very common procedure because it is frequently merely a prelude to divorce and increases the total cost of the legal services to the family.  Legal separation leaves the parties married to each other while providing a court order covering such subjects as property and debt division, ongoing child support and custody, and spousal support.  In some limited situations, it may be desirable as an alternative to divorce.  Feel free to ask about legal separation if you feel it may be more appropriate in your situation.  If you are not sure you want a divorce, we will sometimes recommend counseling services to see if the marital problems can be worked out.


a.  Most actions for divorce in the State of Kansas are filed on the ground called “Incompatibility”.  In filing the divorce action, the Petition need only state that the parties are “incompatible”.  It is not necessary to allege or prove such traditional grounds as adultery, cruelty, physical abuse, abandonment, etc., even though such conduct may have occurred.  But if these circumstances exist, please be sure to bring them to our attention to discuss.

b.  Occasionally one spouse will state, “I will not give you a divorce” or “we are not incompatible”.  While one spouse may object to the divorce, the final authority to grant a divorce belongs solely to the Court; the parties involved do not have the power to “give” or “not give” a divorce. In virtually all cases if one party wants a divorce the court will grant one.


Either you or your spouse must have been a resident of the State of Kansas for at least 60 days before the filing of the Petition for Divorce.  Usually the divorce action is filed in the county in which you reside or your spouse resides.  We will be happy to discuss the exceptions to this procedure if you wish to file in a different county.


a.  Who should file?  There is no legal significance to whether the husband or wife files the Petition, although there may be procedural and tactical advantages for the one who starts the case. (The Petitioner).

b.  The first step is to file a petition.  The petition contains the following information:

i.  Date and place of marriage;

ii.  Residence of the parties;

iii.  Names and ages of children of the marriage;

iv.  Grounds for divorce;

v.  Request for a division of property and debts; for provisions pertaining to residence and parenting time; and for child support and spousal maintenance (alimony);

vi.  Change of Wife’s Name: a wife’s former name may be returned to her as part of the final Decree.  If you want your name changed, it is best if you let us know before we prepare the Petition.

c.  If there are minor children, an Affidavit setting forth the facts regarding their residence and the persons responsible for the custody of the children over the last five years is filed with the petition.

d.  If you are seeking temporary support for your minor children and/or temporary support for yourself, a Motion for Temporary Support may be filed with the petition.  It will be accompanied by another affidavit (called a “Domestic Relations Affidavit”) containing information about your incomes, the number and ages of your minor children, your monthly expenses and debts and how much support you are requesting to meet those needs. 

e.  If the Court finds your request for temporary support reasonable, it will issue a “Temporary Support Order,” sometimes called an “Interlocutory Order” or just “Temporary Order.”

f.  If your spouse has already filed, be sure to bring us a copy of the Petition and other court papers - especially if it was delivered to you by the sheriff, a process server, or your spouse’s attorney.


a.  There are two main ways to notify your spouse officially that you have filed a divorce action:

i.  Your spouse may sign a written receipt (called an “Entry of Appearance”) for a copy of the petition and any other papers filed at the same time.  The signing of the receipt acknowledges that the Court has jurisdiction over the parties.  It does not mean that your spouse has agreed to any of the requests in the petition or other papers filed.  The receipt can be signed in our office or mailed with the necessary papers to your spouse.  In some cases, if your spouse will come to our office to pick up the papers, your spouse is not required to sign for them because we can sign saying we gave the papers to them.

ii.  If your spouse is unwilling to sign a receipt or pick up the papers or you don’t want to handle it that way, the Sheriff will deliver (“serve”) a copy of the Petition (and temporary orders, if any) to your spouse.  Your spouse will then have twenty to thirty days in which to respond to (answer or oppose) the petition.


a.  If you have reason to fear abuse or harassment from your spouse as a result of filing a Petition for Divorce, a restraining order can be issued by the Court, giving you exclusive possession of your present residence and forbidding your spouse to enter it except to remove personal clothing and effects and restraining each of you from harassing or abusing the other.

b.  The restraining order can be served by the Sheriff along with the petition and temporary orders, or it can be one of the papers delivered to your spouse when the receipt document is signed.

c.  A restraining order should also be considered prohibiting sale or destruction, etc. of property or depleting of accounts.


a.  It is neither practical nor ethical for a lawyer to represent competing interests. An attorney can only have one client. In those instances where you and your spouse have agreed on everything, it may be possible for us to do all of the legal drafting for you.

b.  If your spouse is comfortable signing the Agreement which we prepare at your direction we can get matters completed relatively easily.  If he/she has questions they are free to consult their own counsel.


Your divorce will be “contested” unless you and your spouse agree on all aspects of custody, parenting, support, property settlement, and the payment of liabilities, attorney’s fees, and court costs.  If your spouse disputes any of these matters, you have a “contested” divorce.  In either case, a trial or hearing before the Court is required, but it can be a very brief hearing in an “uncontested” case.


a.  The Court Clerk charges a small fee (approximately $200) when a divorce case is filed.  In most cases, there are usually no other “court costs” collected by the Clerk of the Court.

b.  Our legal fees are based upon the time actually expended on your case, the complexity of the case, the novelty of the issues involved, and several additional factors.  No divorce case is like any other, so “standard fees” are difficult to predict or provide.  The exact fee will vary with the services you require.  We have another document which we will provide you with that more fully addresses our fees.

c.  Our divorce services include the initial conference; the preparation and filing of the Petition (or review of the Petition filed by your spouse); the preparation of an Entry of Appearance (or “receipt”) to be signed by your spouse, or arranging for the sheriff to serve your spouse with a copy of the Petition; conferences to obtain information from you concerning your assets, liabilities, income, and expenses and to make recommendations about property division and support (the fewer conferences and the more organized you are, the less time we need to spend and thus lower attorney fees); routine or extended settlement negotiations with your spouse’s attorney; preparation or review of a Settlement Agreement; preparation or review of a Divorce Decree; preparation or review of forms required by the Kansas Bureau of Vital Statistics, The Kansas Payment Center and The District Court Trustee; and representing you at the court hearing or trial to obtain the divorce decree.

d.  Depending upon the circumstances there may be additional conferences, extensive negotiation, more complicated tax planning and advice (such as spousal maintenance arrangements), drafting of various provisions in parenting plans and additional court appearances.

e.  If a trial is necessary, the Court may order either party to pay some (but usually not all) of the other party’s legal fees.  This is usually fairly rare, but it is possible. If you are our client, you are primarily responsible to us for paying our fees and we will give you full credit (or a refund) for any payments made by your spouse (if any).

f.  We frequently require a refundable deposit (“retainer”) and additional funds in advance of providing services.  We will discuss our fees with you at our first meeting and provide you with another document outlining our fee policies.

g.  The degree of cooperation and agreement between you and your spouse (and your spouse’s lawyer too!) regarding matters of child support, parenting, and property and debt division has a direct effect on the amount of time which we will have to spend on your case, and, therefore, the fees charged by our firm.

h.  It is almost always in your best interest to come to a fair and equitable division of property and debts and a reasonable agreement concerning the support, custody, and parenting time with children if possible.

i.  Emotional “blackmail” or a desire for revenge for past or present transgressions can cloud the issues and almost always results in increased legal fees.

j.  Other factors which may increase the cost of a divorce action where the parties cannot reach an agreement might be:

i.  Depositions - A deposition is testimony under oath, taken by a court reporter in which the attorney (or attorneys) asks questions of a witness or party regarding the issues in the case.  This is usually done in the attorney’s office.  The reporter’s services alone may cost from $200-$300 to as high as $750 or more, in addition to the legal fees.

ii.  Costs for making copies of tax returns, financial statements, medical reports, various documents etc.

iii.  In some cases, the parties may disagree concerning the proper value to be placed on a business, land, home, or other asset.  In such cases, experts may be necessary (appraiser, accountants, business brokers, etc.) to establish the values.

iv.  In matters relating to child custody and parenting disputes, there may be need for  evaluations of the parties and/or children.  Behavioral professionals (psychologists and/or social workers) are usually used for these.  The professional fees can add from $150.00 to more than $1,500.00 to the divorce costs.


a.  Your children, although technically not “parties” to your divorce action, are deeply involved in the changes that a divorce will make in your family. The Court will make whatever orders the Judge finds necessary to protect and provide for the best interests of the children.  The Court’s orders will cover such items as legal custody, residency and parenting time with the children, and the support of the children.  “Mediation” conferences with a neutral mediator to see if you and your spouse can work out an agreement about the children are frequently (virtually always in Harvey County) required by the Judge before the final hearing (see section on Mediation).

b.  Although a divorce ends the legal relationship between you and your spouse as partners in marriage, it does not end the legal relationship that each of you has as a parent to the children.  Each of you will continue to have, after the divorce, the same obligations as a parent that you had before the divorce.  You will most likely be awarded “joint legal custody” of your children and will share the duties of guiding their education and religious training; selecting their doctor and dentist; being responsible for their discipline; etc.  Unless the Court decides that joint legal custody is not in a child’s best interest, both parties will continue to be involved in these major decisions.

c.  Whether the court orders “joint” or “sole” legal custody, one of your residences will usually be designated as the residence of the children.  The Court will establish a parenting plan which sets out parenting time for each of the parents.  Kansas has done away with traditional “visitation.” The right of time with each parent is as much the right of the child as it is the right of each parent. The purpose of parenting time is to permit the child to continue to have contact with both parents to as great an extent as possible. 

Usually, the parents are encouraged to submit to the court a parenting plan put together by the parents, setting out the children’s time with each of them.

d.  Parenting plans and parenting time really require that the parents cooperate with each other as mature adults to ensure that good co-parenting takes place, that it is for the benefit of the children, and that it is convenient to the schedules of both parents, and the children themselves.

e.  If you and your spouse can agree on the details of a parenting plan, the Court will usually approve the plan which you have worked out.  A typical pattern of parenting with the non-residential parent is to be together with the children on alternating weekends, an evening or two during the week, several weeks or more in the summer, some time around birthdays, Christmas and other holidays, plus additional or different times as you may agree upon.

f.  If a parenting plan cannot be arranged between the parents by agreement, either of them may ask the Court for an order specifying a parenting plan.  Our courts in Harvey County virtually always require mediation (see that section) and if mediation fails, then a child custody investigation is done with a court worker recommending a parenting plan to the Court.


a.  Similarly, though parents may be divorced from each other, they remain parents obligated to provide for their child’s financial needs.  This is a duty which both parents have, and neither of them can “bargain it away” through an agreement with the other parent.  It is the child’s right to be supported and the Court will usually protect his or her right, despite an agreement between the parents that no child support shall be paid.

b.  Kansas courts have a “customary support” (known as “guidelines”) scale from which we can, with reasonable certainty, estimate the amount of child support that will be required in a particular divorce.

c.  The factors involved in the determination of the child support include the ages of the children, the number of children to be supported, the non-residential parent’s income, the residential parent’s income, any special educational or health needs of the children, and similar factors.

d.  Child support is normally payable until the children reach the age of majority (in Kansas, 18 years old or to the end of the senior year while the child is attending high school).  The obligation to pay child support may, by agreement between the parties, be continued beyond the age of majority to cover such matters as educational expenses in college and the like, but such an obligation cannot be imposed by the Court without the agreement of the parties.

e.  The payment of child support, (whether temporary child support during the proceedings or permanent child support awarded in the divorce decree), should not be thought of as equivalent to the purchase of a “ticket” to see the children. The child support obligation is owed to the residential parent and it is one which will likely be enforced by the Court (through a Court Trustee and Income Withholding Orders) if payments are not made.

f.  The residential parent does not have the right to deny parenting time simply because the other parent has not been “on time” in making child support payments or may be behind in the child support payments.  Denial of access to the children should not be used as a “lever” to enforce a financial obligation which exists between the parents. 


a.  Domestic mediation is a process for those who are divorcing or have post-divorce conflicts to work with a mediator in order to resolve the problems created by divorce.  A mediator is a neutral third party whose role is to assist each party in defining the conflicts and work toward an agreement which is beneficial to both parties as well as their children.  This process was created to reduce the stress of divorce by allowing the parties to come to mutual agreement on issues. 

b.  Mediation agreements are used to resolve issues such as custody and parenting time with children, division of assets and liabilities, support payments, and other issues that the parties wish to include. 

c.  Attorneys, mental health agencies, practitioners, and some courts can refer parties to a mediator.

d.  Mediators may or may not be lawyers, but they will not act as legal representation of either party. Each party should have his or her own attorney review a mediation agreement before signing it.  The mediator does not make any decisions for the parties, but helps them to come to their own agreement.  The court, however, does retain the right to review and amend the agreement.

e.  Once an agreement has been reached, the mediator will put all of the details in writing and give copies to both parties as well as their attorneys.  After being signed, it goes to the court for approval.  Upon approval by the court, the agreement becomes enforceable like any other court order.  Agreements that are created by the parties themselves are more likely to be followed; however, if the agreement is not being complied with, the parties should contact their attorneys.


a.  Alimony was originally based, in the 17th and 18th centuries, on the fact that a woman was not entitled to receive an education, could not work outside the home, and could not obtain income to support herself following a divorce.  Thus the husband, if he wanted a divorce, was obligated to provide financial support until his wife’s death or her remarriage, since she obviously couldn’t support herself.

b.  Spousal maintenance is usually awarded today, either a) because the parties agree that a payment of spousal maintenance is appropriate or b) for a fixed period of time, in order to enable the recipient of the spousal maintenance payments to complete an education or otherwise become self-supporting or to provide some continuity in lifestyle for a period of time.  The initial order for spousal maintenance, if imposed by the Court rather than by agreement, cannot last for more than ten years, although extensions can be ordered where justified.

c.  Sometimes a part of the support payments are termed “spousal maintenance” by agreement, because such payments are taxed differently than child support or property equalization payments.  A recipient of spousal maintenance (“alimony”)  pays income tax on such money received as though it were earned income and the payer is allowed a deduction from income for the amount paid.

d.  We will discuss with you the arrangements that are most advantageous to you and guidelines used by attorneys and courts.


a.  The Court will not allow a wife to “take her husband to the cleaners”.  Nor will the Court allow him to “cut her off without a dime”.  The law requires an “equitable division” of the property and debts, taking all factors into consideration.  We will work with you to reach a fair division of your property and debts (regardless of who paid for it, or whose name it is in) which will be expressed in a settlement agreement.  The settlement agreement will include terms relating to support, insurance (health and life), responsibility for taxes, claiming dependants as exemptions on income tax returns, division of property and debts, and other matters relating to the dissolution of the marriage.

b.  It is our earnest desire that, with our help, you and your spouse can reach such an agreement.  If so, it will be signed by you both and likely accepted and filed with the court at the time of the divorce hearing.

c.  If you cannot agree, a trial will be necessary for the Court to decide how your property and debts shall be divided.  If the Court makes the decision, you are bound by it, even if you do not agree with the decision.  Therefore, it is usually in your best interest to reach an agreement prior to the divorce hearing if possible (and if something close to what the Court might do can be agreed upon.)  The Court will usually accept the terms of a settlement agreement reached by the parties.


a.  In some marriages, the ability of the parties (and the Court) to divide the marital property and debts may be limited by an existing “Premarital” agreement (also sometimes called an “antenuptial” contract).

b.  If you believe that there is a premarital agreement which relates to your marriage, you must let us know immediately, and bring us a copy of it.


a.  Each of the spouses has certain rights under applicable state and Federal law to a continuation of their right to participate in employer-provided group health insurance plans at their former spouse’s place of employment.  A notice to the employer that a former spouse wishes to elect continued coverage should be given within 30 days after the decree of divorce is filed at the courthouse.  If you do not have health insurance of your own, you may wish to consider electing to a continuation of your coverage under your spouse’s plan.

b.  While life insurance coverage for the benefit of a former spouse is not normally required, one or both of the parties may be required to keep insurance in force to protect the payment of child support, property division, or spousal maintenance payments not yet made.

c.  In addition, Kansas child support guidelines provide that the parents of minor children will be required to pay the uninsured costs of medical treatment for their children usually in proportion to the parent’s respective incomes.  It is therefore important that medical insurance for children be maintained whenever it is available.


a.  An “uncontested divorce” (the parties fairly quickly and early on agree on all matters relating to the divorce) can be accomplished in about sixty to ninety days from the date of filing the petition (or even sooner if the Court agrees that there is a genuine emergency which justifies shortening the required 60-day waiting period).

b.  A “contested divorce” (if there is any item, such as property or debt division, support, or child custody or parenting time on which the parties don’t agree) can delay the final hearing for many months, because added time is needed to develop the facts with witnesses and exhibits and more time must be reserved on the Court’s calendar for presentation of the evidence.


a.  If there is no appeal, your divorce will be final the day the Judge signs the Decree.  An appealed divorce is not final until the appeal is decided.  The parties have 30 days from the filing of the Decree to appeal.  Appeal requires “grounds” and is very rare.

b.  Any remarriage during the 30 days after entry of the Decree is “voidable” if an appeal is taken and the Decree is overturned.  If an early remarriage is in your plans please let us know.


a. Kansas law requires a parent who has been awarded a child’s custody to give written notice to the other parent at least 30 days before changing the child’s residence (even within Kansas) or removing the child from Kansas for more than 90 days.  The notice must be sent by restricted mail, marked “return receipt requested.”  The purpose of this notice is to allow the other parent time to object and be heard by the court.  Failure to give the required notice can result in custody being changed to the other parent and is a contempt of court.

b. Some court orders and District Court Trustee policies and procedures require that notice be given of any job change or move within 7 days of the change.


a.  Sometimes divorce seems like the only solution.  Often it is not.  After a divorce action is commenced, you and your spouse may decide to try to work things out.

b.  We support reconciliation, and if you decide to drop the divorce action you will owe only for those services actually performed.


This is a very difficult area and if this is an issue it’s important that you discuss it with us early.  It is possible that dating will cause problems in attempts to settle your case or particularly in custody and parenting time issues.  We’ll be happy to help you make informed decisions in this area.


We must have all the facts to represent you properly.  Anything you tell an attorney or an employee of this office is strictly confidential and will not be disclosed without your permission.


We will do our best to see that you receive copies of all documents prepared or received by us.  At the time of your initial appointment, you will meet our legal assistants, who will be available to help you if an attorney is unavailable.  They can give you information or take messages.  Try to work with them.  It will make things easier and will reduce the cost of your divorce.


Your legal problems will be given our continuing personal attention in an effort to obtain the best results possible for you in the most reasonable time and at a reasonable cost.


We expect you to be cooperative and truthful.  If you are not, we will not continue to represent you.  We also expect you to handle your financial commitments to our office in a prompt and business-like manner.  Please notify us of any change of address or telephone number or if you learn of anything that may affect your case.


a.  Do not telephone or write to the Judge concerning your case.  It creates the impression that you are seeking some special treatment.  The Judge will refuse to discuss your case unless all parties and their counsel are present.

b.  Well-meaning relatives, friends and associates will no doubt offer you advice about your case.  Frequently such advice is not accurate and you should be cautious in following it.  Your marriage, divorce, children, and property and debts are unique and they differ from every other family’s.  Divorce proceedings are very emotional and parties sometimes seek revenge.  You should also be thankful for the emotional support provided to you by friends and relatives.

c.  Try to cooperate with your spouse where the children are involved.  Discuss support and division of such items as the children’s property and your household furnishings with your spouse unless you are instructed not to.  Try to be fair in these discussions.

d.  The proper handling of a divorce requires more than just “filing the papers”.  Even at best, a divorce is a painful process.  We will be happy to recommend counselors for you or your children to help you cope with the emotional trauma of divorce. 

e.  You may also wish to consider financial or investment counseling and estate planning following your divorce.  If so, please let us know.


a.  A reminder that this information is not the final word or “exact” as to the law and you are encouraged to discuss your particular facts with us or another lawyer.

b.  Thank you for considering us or choosing us to assist you with your divorce.  We are committed to providing high quality legal services in as cost-effective a manner as we can.  We truly want to try to ease at least a bit of your burden as you deal with this difficult time.  Please feel free to let us know how you feel and what we can do to better meet your needs.  You will always have our best wishes for the future.




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