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Co-parenting in Kansas: Joint Custody Tips for Divorced Parents

Kansas Laws on Custody

In Kansas, there is no presumption of “primary” or “custodial” parent when it comes to legal and physical custody of a child. Instead, the court looks at a number of factors to determine the best interests of the child in assigning legal and physical custody, including but not limited to the child’s wishes, the relationship between the parties, and the effect on the child of any proposed custody arrangement. Ultimately, the court is charged with creating a custody arrangement that provides the greatest stability and consistency for the child, as well as a parenting schedule that allows for meaningful contact with both parents.


Kansas Law on Child Support

Child support is handled through the Kansas Department for Children and Family Services. The Child Support Services Division (CSSD) is responsible for enforcing child support court orders, collecting child support payments, and providing other child support services. Under Kansas law, a person’s child support amount is based upon their income, the number of children they have, and other factors. Kansas state law (K.S.A. 40-1615) provides a basic guideline and formula for determining child support payments. Generally, the higher wage earner’s child support obligation is calculated first and then the lower wage earner’s child support contribution is subtracted.


Kansas Law on Co-parenting Expenses

Co-parenting expenses can be one of the most difficult aspects of co-parenting in Kansas. Kansas state law (K.S.A. 38-1591) requires that each parent is responsible for their own parenting expenses. This means that each parent is responsible for their own costs associated with raising the child, such as for childcare, medical expenses, school costs, and extracurricular activities. However, parents can also mutually agree to share expenses or create a separate agreement regarding parenting expenses.


Kansas Law on Parental Rights and Decision-Making

In Kansas, both parents share legal decision-making authority for their child, even if they are not married. Parents may choose to make joint decisions together, or the court can assign a primary decision-maker if necessary. When it comes to medical decisions, however, the court generally prefers that the child’s parents make the decisions in the best interest of the child, as long as they are acting in the child’s best interest.


Kansas Law on Visitation Rights

Kansas law (K.S.A. 25-451) requires courts to consider the best interest of the child when determining a visitation schedule. Generally speaking, the court will attempt to create a visitation schedule that provides for meaningful contact with both parents. This can include both in-person visitation and electronic communication (through methods such as email, text messages, or telephone).


Kansas Law Regarding Mediation

Kansas law (K.S.A. 60-453) requires each party to attend a mediation session to attempt to reach an agreement regarding the issues in dispute. In addition, K.S.A. 61-2903 requires that the court determine if mediation is necessary before ruling on any issue. If so, the court will order the parties to attend a mediation session to attempt toreach an agreement.


In Kansas, co-parenting involves navigating a number of legal issues. By understanding the relevant laws, co-parents can make informed decisions regarding custody, child support, co-parenting expenses, parental rights and decision-making, visitation rights, and mediation.


Fact Check and Resources

In crafting this post, we conducted thorough fact-checking and research, consulting the following sources:


Co-parenting in USA


Co-parenting in Canada


Warning:  This post is neither financial, health, legal, or personal advice nor a substitute for the advice offered by a professional. These are serious matters, and the help of a professional is recommended as it can impact your future.

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