Kansas Child Custody
Chapter 60, Article 16 in the Kansas Statutes contain the laws and guidelines about child custody for the state. Divorced or separating parents in Kansas should learn these laws–especially as they make a Kansas custody agreement.
Types of legal custodial arrangements. Legal custody refers to the parental obligation to make decisions about and for the child. There are two types of arrangements: joint and sole. In a joint agreement, each parent has equal rights to make decisions in the best interest of the child. In a sole arrangement, one person has the right to make decisions. The state has a preference for joint legal custody, and if there is a sole agreement, there needs to be reasons why it hurts the child to have a joint agreement.
Types of residential arrangements. For a Kansas custody schedule, there are a couple of different residential arrangements that the parents can have. The state usually requires an arrangement where the child spends significant time with both parents–they reside with both parents often. There is also a rare possibility for divided residency, where one or more children lives with one parent and has parenting time with the other parent.
Submitting a parenting plan to the court. Article 16 specifies that if parents can agree to the terms of custody, they can submit a Kansas parenting plan together to the court. If they are not able to agree, each parent should submit a proposed plan and a judge will determine the final custody agreement and Kansas visitation schedule. When determining the best plan for the child, the judge will consider:
- The desires of the parents in relation to custody.
- The desires of the child concerning custody.
- The interaction and interrelationship of the child with parents.
- The child’s adjustment to the child’s home, school and community.
- The willingness and ability of each parent to respect and encourage the bond between child and other parent.
- Evidence of spousal or child abuse either by the parent or someone with whom the parent resides.
- Whether a parent or someone with whom a parent resides is subject to Offender Registration.