Kansas Divorce Laws & Adultery: Does Cheating Affect a Divorce Case?

April 10, 2024

Extra-marital affairs can be painful and emotional. Nowadays, adultery is one of the most common reasons for divorces in Kansas. When cheating affects the terms of divorce, it may result in marital dissolution under Kansas law. A skillful Kansas family law attorney can help you understand how adultery affects the outcome of your divorce case, child support, and other marital matters. 

If you require a family law attorney in Overland Park, the Bright Family Law Center can guide you through the divorce process every step of the way and help you make decisions that are in the best interests of you and your family. Sit down with experienced legal counsel for a free consultation with a divorce attorney.

We’re available for all of your family law and divorce-related matters and to enlighten you on the effects of marital misconduct in divorce matters, alimony, asset division, child custody, and child support. Our legal counsel firm proudly serves clients in Overland Park, Olathe, Lenexa, Shawnee, Leawood, and Prairie Village, as well as throughout Johnson County, Kansas.

Understanding Kansas Divorce Laws

Kansas is a hybrid fault state and allows both no-fault and fault divorces. Under Kansas Statute Section 23-2701, a divorce petition can be granted by the court on the following grounds:

  • Incompatibility (no-fault grounds for divorce)
  • Failure to perform a material marital duty or obligation (fault grounds for divorce)
  • Incompatibility because of mental illness or mental incapacity of one or both spouses 

Keep in mind that a cheating spouse and adultery aren’t grounds for a fault-based divorce in Kansas. 

Grounds for Divorce in Kansas

Since Kansas divorcees can adopt a “no-fault” stance, this means spouses aren’t obligated to prove the other’s wrongdoing to obtain a divorce. However, adultery can play a role in divorce proceedings, alimony, property division, and child custody decisions. 

The impact of adultery on divorce outcomes can vary depending on the specifics of your divorce and the judge’s discretion. A property division lawyer understands how infidelity affects fault grounds and therefore plays a role in dividing property. Don’t file your divorce papers until you’ve spoken with an experienced family law attorney about a fair divorce settlement. 

Adultery and its Impact on Divorce

Infidelity is not grounds for a fault-based divorce in Kansas but it can affect marital property distribution, child custody, support, or other divorce-related issues.

Spousal Support 

Adultery can be factored in when awarding spousal support. This typically occurs in extreme cases where the extramarital affair is so unseemly that the unfaithful spouse has to be penalized by the court because it may be considered unfair to the faithful spouse if it’s not considered. 

Dividing Assets

Infidelity can be considered if there is substantial evidence that one spouse wasted a substantial amount of the couple’s finances or income on trips, vacations, and buying expensive items and jewelry during their affair. 

Photo of a book on the table

How Cheating Affects Child Custody and Support

Since Kansas has adopted a hybrid fault approach, the issue of adultery is typically not relevant to financial issues, child custody decisions, or other matters unless special circumstances apply. However, divorce laws in Kansas state that infidelity can be relevant when one spouse wastes marital assets and compromises a child’s best interest. 

If the evidence demonstrates that an unfaithful spouse was diverting marital assets outside the marriage, this might justify “equalization” by the judge when determining an equitable division of property.  A cheating parent who exposes their children to unsafe supervision can also receive unfavorable “residential custody” orders. Parents who fail to exercise parenting time because they are cheating can be penalized with less parenting time.  

The Bright Family Law Center can support those who are being questioned because of their financial and parenting conduct in child support cases. If you’re an aggrieved spouse, your divorce settlement can determine who has to pay child support and affect other divorce issues. 

Legal Consequences of Adultery in Kansas

In Kansas, the specific reason for the dissolution of marriage does not need to be proven but adultery can have legal ramifications in the divorce process. The legal consequences of adultery in Kansas, generally in extreme circumstances, affect decisions regarding alimony (spousal support), the division of marital assets, and child custody arrangements.

When a spouse engages in adultery and it has impacted the financial situation of the marital partnership or affected the well-being of children, a judge may consider these factors when determining alimony, spousal support, and the equitable distribution of assets.

Alimony and Division of Assets

The division of assets in Kansas courts during a divorce is aimed at ensuring fairness. Alimony can be awarded based on the duration of the partnership, the financial resources of each party, their needs, and their ability to support themselves.

The division of assets in Kansas follows the equitable distribution model, which means marital property is divided in a way that is deemed fair but not necessarily equal. Adultery can influence these decisions but most Kansas courts focus on the equitable nature of the distribution and the specific financial considerations of each party.

Proving Adultery in Divorce Cases

Proving adultery in Kansas divorce cases is not necessary but can be pertinent when the conduct of the spouses influences issues of alimony, asset division, or child custody. To corroborate assertions of unfaithfulness, the accusing spouse must provide evidence that an extramarital affair occurred and it had a tangible impact on the marital relationship or the family’s financial situation. 

A no-fault divorce professional will use the following evidence to explain how infidelity affected the marriage:

  • Witness testimonies
  • Photographs and videos
  • Emails, text messages, and written correspondence
  • Financial records showing how the adulterous spouse spent marital assets on the affair. 

The complexity of proving adultery and its implications show how important it is to seek legal guidance from an Overland Park child custody attorney to ensure that the evidence presented aligns with Kansas’s legal requirements and court expectations.

Factors Considered by Kansas Courts

Kansas divorce courts consider the following when determining divorce arrangements: 

  • Duration of the marriage
  • Health of both parties
  • Income and earning potential of each spouse
  • Distribution of marital property
  • Contributions to the spouse’s education or earning ability, 
  • Financial needs of each party.

When cases involve children, the courts prioritize:

  • The child’s best interests
  • Each parent’s relationship with the child
  • The child’s home, school, and community adjustment
  • Parental willingness to support a continuing relationship with the other parent. 

Although the specific reason for the divorce does not need to be established in Kansas, the behavior of the parties during the marriage can influence court decisions.

Role of The Bright Family Law Center, LLC

The Bright Family Law Center, LLC, guides individuals through the complexities of divorce in Kansas.  We use professional legal advice, proficient negotiation and mediation services, and aggressive representation in court to ensure that our clients are well-informed and prepared for each step of the fault-based divorce process. 

An Experienced Kansas Divorce Attorney Can Help

The Bright Family Law Center is committed to providing comprehensive support, whether it’s achieving a fair settlement or standing up for your legal rights in court. It’s important to understand how Kansas statutes may affect your divorce-based legal proceedings. Work with our experienced legal team that knows all of the relevant factors that affect your Johnson County divorce. We will lay the groundwork for a stable, post-divorce future for our clients.
Contact us today for a free consultation regarding your case.