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Kansas Court Records

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How are divorce records generated in Kansas?

Kansas divorce records are generated by gathering and documenting information concerning divorce processes in the state. Getting a divorce in Kansas simply means dissolving a marriage whereby both parties involved become legally single after the divorce has been finalized. In the state of Kansas, there are 18.8 divorces for every 1000 women who are above the age of 15 years.

Kansas offers other legal ways for breaking marital bonds such as legal separation and annulments. Legal separation allows the parties involved to make certain decisions that would have been made during a divorce proceeding. However, it does not legally dissolve the marriage and the parties involved are not legally single. An annulment, on the other hand, is a declaration that there was never a legal marriage in the first place.

Kansas allows for a ‘no-fault’ divorce. This is where none of the parties involved have to prove wrongdoing on the part of their partners to be granted a divorce. The grounds for divorce in Kansas are:

  • Incompatibility when the relationship between husband and wife has been broken beyond repair and either one or both of them are no longer interested in being married.
  • Incompatibility based on mental illness or incapacity by one or both spouses.
  • Failure to perform a marital duty or obligation.

There are two basic types of divorce in Kansas which are: contested and uncontested divorce. A contested divorce in Kansas is usually the option taken when the parties involved do not agree on one or more topics as regards their divorce settlement. Some of these topics disagreed on include, but are not restricted to, child support, alimony, property sharing, and custody of the children.

An uncontested divorce, however, is usually the means where both parties easily come to a mutual agreement partaking specific terms of the divorce. This type of divorce is settled without the need for it to be taken to court.

Divorce in Kansas begins by filing a petition for Dissolution of Marriage by one or both of the parties involved with the county’s district court. This is done to notify the court of either party’s intent to divorce.

The divorce is finalized when a judge signs and files the final divorce decree with the court clerk. This may take from 30 to 90 days depending on circumstances surrounding the divorce.

These divorce records are maintained by the office of the clerk of court or the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

Are divorce records public in Kansas?

According to the Kansas Open Records Act, divorce records are open to the public but are considered to be confidential or restricted to authorized parties. However, some parts of the record may be made accessible to the public, for instance, the informational section which highlights when and where the divorce was granted.

Whenever a divorce has been finalized, eligible people with legitimate claims have the right to inspect or copy these records just likelike any other court case. The same can be said about divorce records that have been sealed by court orders.

Note: Some basic information required before searching or requesting for divorce records includes the names of both parties, date of divorce, and location of the divorce.

What are the types of divorce records available in Kansas?

The state of Kansas provides three types of divorce records which are: divorce decree, divorce certificate, and divorce information.

A divorce decree is a court statement that details the court settlement, the final order signed by a judge that terminates the marriage. This decree is made available by the superior court only to the parties directly involved in the divorce case and their attorneys. Some of the details of this decree include the responsibilities and rights of the parties involved in the divorce, division of assets, alimony, financial responsibilities, child support, child visitation rights, child custody. This decree is maintained by and obtained from the Clerk of the District court in the county where the divorce was filed.

On the other hand, a divorce certificate contains basic information about the divorce. For example, the names of both parties involved in the divorce, the date of marriage, date of divorce, where the divorce was filed, the date of filing, and the court case number. Certified copies of divorce certificates are obtained from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

Lastly, divorce information is simply the informational copy of court proceedings that is made available to the public at the county district court level.

Note: The department preserves divorce records from the 1st of July 1951 to the present.

How do I get Divorce records in Kansas?

Divorce records in Kansas can be gotten from three major sources:

  • Clerk of the district court in the county where the divorce was carried out.
  • Kansas Department of Health and Environment
  • Third-party sites

The process of obtaining copies of divorce records in Kansas varies from county to county. Requesters can send requests to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment’s (KDHE) office of vital statistics by mail or by telephone. A completed Application for Certified Copy of Kansas Divorce Certificate should be signed by handwriting and submitted to the Office of Vital Statistics.

Eligible persons can also make record requests at the district court in the county where the divorce was filed or finalized. This can be done via phone calls, mail, online, or in person.

Obtaining divorce records from third-party sites can be in any format. It may be incomplete or standard depending on the reputation of the vendor.

Individuals may be required to pay administration, dupliction, or research fees which varies among different custodians. Copies of the record can be certified or uncertified. Certified records can be used for legal or formal purposes while uncertified copies are mainly used for informational purposes.

There are certain non-negotiable requirements to get access to the divorce records from the Clerk of Kansas Court. These requirements are;

  • The requester’s name should be listed on the divorce certificate.
  • The requester should be listed as a parent/guardian, child, or relation on the divorce certificate.
  • Payment of a required amount for the court fees.
  • Valid photo identification must be provided.

The information can be sent via mail or email although some county officials would require a visit in person.

Who can obtain divorce records in Kansas?

Generally, eligible applicants for divorce records include:

  • The divorced couple
  • Current spouse
  • Adult children
  • Direct relation (grandparents, parents/legal guardians, siblings, etc)
  • Legal representative of eligible persons

Ideally, divorce information is open to all while divorce decrees are obtainable by the parties involved, their attorneys and names that have been listed in the certificate. Lastly, divorce certificates are obtainable by the parties involved and their attorneys.

Are Kansas Divorce records available online?

The Kansas divorce information can be viewed online by the public. This can be gotten from the websites or indexes of the Kansas Clerk of Courts in the county where the divorce was approved. To access this, look for the public records database option, search for the names of the parties involved and the timeframe of the divorce. No fees are required in getting the information. However, records gotten through this means are not to be used for legal purposes.

Kansas records are also easily available online at the website of Kansas Department for Health and Environment and at the Kansas Clerk of Court website for a fee.

How do I seal my divorce records in Kansas?

The Kansas state statutes allow one or both parties of a divorce to petition for record sealing in the court where the case was filed or finalized. During the hearing, the parties involved can make the request to have parts or all of their divorce records sealed.

However this can only be done when compelling and valid reasons are provided to prove that it is in the best interest of all parties involved for the record to be sealed. It is at the discretion of the judge to weigh the damages and decide if the motion should be granted or not.

When these records are sealed and court orders have been served, the record shall be private with restricted access to the public. However, it remains accessible to the parties, their descendants, and certain court or law enforcement personnel. Also, a court order can also make the records open to the public.

Reasons that are considered for sealing divorce records include;

  • The need to protect identification of children involved in the divorce records.
  • Protection of proprietary business information.
  • To keep sensitive information like bank account numbers and social security numbers away from the public.
  • To protect domestic violence victims.
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