At the Law Offices of Valerie Moore, LLC, I provide divorce legal services to clients in the Lenexa, Kansas area. Misinformation can make any divorce unnecessarily complicated. I focus on giving my clients information they can use to make informed decisions about their futures.
Understanding Misconceptions About Divorce
Myth: Once my child is 12, he/she can decide where they want to live.
Fact: There is no “magic age” when a child can have input on where he/she lives. The court does not want to put a child in the position of choosing one parent over the other. There are several factors that the court looks at when determining what custodial arrangement is best and the wishes of the child is just one of those factors and is given no more weight than any of the other factors.
Myth: That fault will play a role in the division of assets and debts and/or custody
Fact: Kansas is a “no fault” state. That means that the court does not inquire as to “why” the parties are getting a divorce and these reasons have no bearing on the ultimate division of assets and debts nor on the custodial arrangement ordered by the court. Absent a showing that there was deliberate dissipation of assets (i.e. gambling) the court will not divide property on a fault basis. Additionally, unless it can be shown that the other parent’s behavior is risky and will adversely affect the child (i.e. drug use, domestic violence) the reasons for the divorce will not play a role in the custodial arrangement ordered by the court.
Myth: That the parents can agree to “no child support.”
Fact: Child support is the right of the child not the parent. This means that a parent cannot agree to waive support in exchange for being granted residential placement of the child. The residential parent cannot bargain away child support. The child has a right to receive financial support from both parents and the court will enter an award of child support based upon the individual financial situation of the parties. If parents agree to share residential placement on a nearly equal basis, child support can be reduced or even eliminated but only if there is a very specific expense sharing expense plan agreed to by both parties and approved by the court.
Myth: My child can testify at court hearings.
Fact: Children rarely, if ever, testify in court. In some instances, the court may order a home study or appoint a guardian ad litem (an attorney who represents the child’s best interests) to report back to the court on the child’s wishes. It is important to understand that a child’s wishes are just that, wishes, and the court may determine that the child’s desires are not in his/her best interest.
For answers to your questions about divorce or family law in Kansas, contact my law office to schedule a consultation.
*** The information on this website is for general informational purposes only and is not legal advice. Nothing in this website establishes an attorney-client relationship between Valerie L. Moore and the viewer.