How Long Does a Divorce Take in Kansas? Complete Timeline (2024)

July 9, 2024

Divorce is a significant life event that can be emotionally and legally complex. One of the most common questions we encounter at The Bright Family Law Center, LLC is, “How long does a divorce take in Kansas?”

The length of your divorce depends on several factors, including the specifics of your situation, the type of divorce you pursue, and Kansas law. This blog post aims to provide a comprehensive timeline for divorces in Kansas in 2024, exploring the factors that influence the duration, the steps involved, and how an Overland Park divorce lawyer can help your divorce case go smoothly.

Factors Affecting the Duration of a Divorce in Kansas

Several factors can influence the cost of divorce as well as how long a divorce takes:

  • Type of Divorce: Whether the divorce is contested or uncontested significantly impacts the timeline. Uncontested divorces, where both divorcing parties agree on all terms, are generally quicker.
  • Complexity of Issues: Divorces involving complex issues such as property division, child support, mental illness, and spousal support can take longer to resolve.
  • Court Schedules: The availability of court dates can affect how quickly your Kansas divorce is processed.
  • Attorney Involvement: The efficiency and experience of your Overland Park divorce attorney can play a crucial role in expediting the process.
  • Mediation and Negotiation: The willingness of both spouses to negotiate and mediate can shorten the timeline.

Step-by-Step Guide to Kansas Divorce Laws

Understanding divorce proceedings in Kansas can help you anticipate the timeline and prepare accordingly. Here’s a step-by-step guide but please remember that these are estimates and each case is different:

1. Filing the Petition (within 1 week)

The Kansas divorce process begins with one spouse (the petitioner) filing a Petition for Divorce with the district court. Divorce paperwork outlines the grounds for divorce and the desired outcomes regarding property division, child custody, and support. In Kansas, there is a minimum 60-day waiting period between filing for divorce and finalizing the divorce. 

2. Serving the Petition (1-3 weeks)

After filing, the petitioner must serve the divorce papers to the other spouse (the respondent). This can be done through a process server, sheriff, or by certified mail. The respondent then has 21 days generally to file an answer.

3. Temporary Orders (1-2 weeks)

Either party can request temporary orders for issues like child custody, support, and use of marital property. These orders remain in effect until the final divorce decree is issued.

4. Discovery Phase (1-3 months)

The discovery phase involves gathering information and documents related to assets, debts, income, and other relevant matters. These may include bank account statements and retirement account statements. This phase can be lengthy, especially if there are disputes or complex financial situations.

5. Negotiation and Mediation (1-3 months)

Many divorces involve negotiation or mediation to resolve disputes outside of court. Mediation can be a quicker and less adversarial process, helping both parties reach an agreement on contested issues.

6. Pre-Trial Conferences (2-5 months)

If the parties cannot reach an agreement, the case may proceed to pre-trial conferences. These meetings with the judge help narrow down the issues and set a trial date.

7. Trial (3-8 months)

In contested divorces, a trial may be necessary to resolve remaining disputes. The duration of the trial depends on the complexity of the issues and the court’s schedule.

8. Final Decree (1-4 weeks)

After the trial, the judge will issue a final decree of divorce, which legally ends the marriage and outlines the terms of the divorce.

Types of Divorce Options and Their Impact on Duration

Kansas offers several types of divorce options, each with its own timeline implications:

Uncontested Divorce

In an uncontested divorce, both parties agree on all terms, including property division, child custody, and support. This type of divorce is typically the quickest, often finalized within 60 to 90 days.

Contested Divorce

A contested divorce occurs when the parties cannot agree on one or more issues. This type of divorce can take significantly longer, often ranging from several months to over a year, depending on the complexity of the disputes and court availability.

Collaborative Divorce

Collaborative divorce involves both parties working with their attorneys to reach a mutually acceptable agreement without going to court. While this process can be quicker than a contested divorce, it still depends on the willingness of both parties to cooperate and negotiate.


Mediation involves a neutral third-party mediator who helps the parties reach an agreement. This process can expedite the divorce if both spouses are willing to compromise on things like marital assets and parenting time, potentially finalizing within a few months.

The Role of Attorneys and Legal Professionals

Attorneys and legal professionals play a crucial role in the divorce process:

Legal Guidance

Attorneys provide essential legal guidance, helping you understand your rights and options. They can advise you on the best course of action and represent your interests throughout the process.

Document Preparation

Divorce involves significant paperwork, including petitions, financial affidavits, and settlement agreements. Attorneys ensure that all documents are correctly prepared and filed, preventing delays due to errors.

Negotiation and Mediation

Experienced attorneys can facilitate negotiation and mediation, helping you reach a fair settlement without a lengthy court battle.

Court Representation

If your case goes to trial, your attorney will represent you in court, presenting evidence and arguments to support your position.

Common Challenges that Can Delay Divorce Cases

Several challenges and delays can impact how your divorce case proceeds:

Disputes Over Assets and Custody

Disagreements over equitable division, child support and spousal support can prolong the divorce process. These disputes often require additional negotiation, mediation, or court intervention.

Incomplete or Inaccurate Documentation

Incomplete or inaccurate documentation can lead to delays in the court process. Ensuring all paperwork is correctly prepared and filed is crucial.

Court Backlog

Court schedules and backlogs can impact the timeline of your divorce. High caseloads can result in longer wait times for hearings and trial dates.

Lack of Cooperation

If one party is uncooperative or deliberately delays the process, it can extend the duration of the divorce. Effective communication and willingness to negotiate are key to a quicker resolution.

Photo of Couple Signing Divorce Papers

Tips and Resources for Individuals Going Through a Divorce in Kansas

Navigating a divorce can be challenging, but these tips and resources can help you manage the process more effectively:

Hire an Experienced Attorney

An experienced family law attorney can provide valuable guidance and representation, helping you navigate the complexities of the divorce process.

Stay Organized

Keep all documents and correspondence related to your divorce organized. This includes financial records, court documents, and communication with your attorney.

Consider Mediation

Mediation can be a quicker and less adversarial way to resolve disputes. Consider this option if both parties are willing to negotiate in good faith.

Focus on Communication

Effective communication with your spouse, attorney, and any involved professionals can help prevent misunderstandings and delays.

Seek Support

Divorce can be emotionally challenging. Seek support from friends, family, or a therapist to help you cope with the stress and emotions involved.

Utilize Online Resources

There are numerous online resources available to help you understand the divorce process in Kansas. Websites like the Kansas Judicial Branch and legal aid organizations provide valuable information and tools.

Contact The Bright Family Law Center For Help Navigating Your Divorce Case

The length of a divorce in Kansas can vary widely based on several factors, including the type of divorce, complexity of issues, and court schedules. Understanding the steps involved and the potential challenges can help you navigate the process more effectively. At The Bright Family Law Center, LLC, we are committed to providing the guidance and support you need to achieve a fair and timely resolution. If you are considering a divorce or need assistance with your case, contact us today for a consultation.