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7 Common Questions About the Divorce Process

Laura Thomas May 14, 2018

Biesterveld & Crook, LLC. specializes in injury accident related areas of law including car wreck injuries, motorcycle crashes, and commercial trucking negligence. However, Attorney, Caleb Biesterveld serves the public with other areas of expertise as well, such as divorce and child custody. The following FAQ’s and answers are some of the most common questions Caleb receives about divorce.

How Does Someone Start the Process of Filing for Divorce?

Caleb – Typically, the first step in the process is for the husband or wife to contact an attorney. In order to receive the best possible result, it’s strongly encouraged that you contact an attorney with significant experience dealing with family law-related issues, such as divorce, child custody, and child support.

The hired attorney will then request information from the client, which they will use to draft a Petition for Divorce. This is the first document to be filed in nearly every divorce case. The purpose of the document is to let the Court and all necessary parties know that the Petitioner (the party filing the Petition for Divorce) is seeking a divorce.

What Is the Average Length of Time It Takes to Complete a Divorce from Start to Finish?

Caleb – In the state of Kansas, the Court is required to wait 60 days after the filing of the Petition for Divorce to enter a final order divorcing the parties. That set period of time can be waived in certain circumstances. From my personal experience, an average divorce case takes around six months to a year to complete.

What if My Spouse Does Not Want to Comply?

Caleb – Divorces can end in two ways. They either settle, which means both parties agree to all the terms that go along with a divorce (including child custody, child support, maintenance/alimony, and division of assets and debts), or they go to trial. When divorces go to trial, the judge rules on any disagreements remaining between the two parties. Thus, if your spouse does not want to comply or agree to settle, then the case will go to trial and the Judge will render a verdict on the disagreements.

How Will the Courts Decide on Our Child Custody Arrangements?

Caleb – Several factors go into setting child custody arrangements. In Kansas, the Court will apply the factors laid out pursuant to Kansas law. Those factors can be found in the K.S.A. 23-3203 statute. Some of the factors considered in the determination of legal custody are parent involvement with the child, desires of the child, age of the child, needs of the child, behavioral history, and schedules of involved parties.

What Is Spousal Support, and Do I Qualify to Receive It?

Caleb – Spousal support is also commonly referred to as alimony or spousal maintenance. It is a sum of money paid by one party to the other through a divorce case. It is largely dependent on the financial need of the party requesting support, and the ability of the other party to provide that support. An example of spousal support would be that in Johnson County, Kansas, the guideline amount for spousal maintenance is 25% of the difference in the parties’ incomes, and the guideline duration is 1/3 of the length of the marriage.

How Will Property Be Divided?

Caleb – Marital property is typically divided in such a way that each party receives an equal or nearly equal amount of marital assets and debts. The law says the court must make an equitable division of property, which doesn’t necessarily mean that it will be exactly equal.

“Property” refers to all assets that you own. Examples of property include vehicles, houses, accounts, businesses, clothing, furniture, and jewelry. “Marital property” refers specifically to pieces of property that were acquired by one or both parties in the marriage within the duration of the marriage. These pieces of property would be subject to division as a result of the divorce. For any piece of property that was acquired prior to the marriage or were acquired by third parties as gifts or inheritance, these would qualify as “non-marital property” and would not be subject to being divided by the Court.

What Can I Expect to Spend for The Entire Divorce Process?

Caleb – Each individual case is unique, and each case costs a different sum. The biggest expense you can expect to incur from a divorce is the attorney fees. Typically, attorneys for divorce cases charge an hourly fee. The total fee will depend on how many hours the attorney spends working on the case. The quicker the parties work together and settle the case, the less the attorney fees will be, especially if the case can be kept from going to trial.

As far as a dollar value associated with divorce, a typical divorce will cost between $2,000-$10,000.