Kansas Custody and Visitation Schedules
In Kansas, you can create your own custody and visitation schedule (on your own or with the other parent) or you can work with an attorney or legal professional and have them create it. If you don't want to pay the high cost of an attorney, and want to easily make your own schedule, you can use the Custody X Change software.
Custody X Change is software that creates custody schedules, calendars, and professional parenting plan documents.
It is important to have an understanding of the laws pertaining to child custody and visitation in the State of Kansas prior to creating a child visitation schedule. Familiarizing yourself with the law will prepare you for writing the schedule and also for what to expect in court.
The family laws regarding child custody and visitation can be found in the Kansas Statutes Annotated, Chapter 60, Article 16: Divorce and Maintenance.
The law defines the different types of custodial arrangements and the different kinds of residential arrangements in detail. It even provides people other than parents the legal recourse to file for custody or visitation, so it is important to know the limits of the law and what to expect when making a child visitation schedule.
No. According to the law, the State of Kansas does not show favoritism to parents based on gender when awarding custodial rights and responsibilities. Both parents are considered to be equally entitled to raise their child (K.S.A. § 60-1610a-3-C).
Additionally, there is no presumption that young infants (or children of any age) are better off with their mother. Each parent is just on his or her own merits and each parent is just as entitled to the child as the other one is until facts can prove otherwise.
There are three types of physical custody, also referred to in Kansas as the "residential arrangements" of the child, which may be awarded. According to Article 60-16-1610-5, the types of residential arrangements that parents can have in Kansas are:
- Residency: A residential arrangement in which the child resides with one or both parents on a basis consistent with the best interest of the child.
- Divided residency: A residential arrangement in which one or more children reside with each parent and have parenting time with the other. (This is only done in exceptional cases.)
- Nonparental residency: If neither parent is fit to have residency, residency can be granted to a relative of the child or another person the court sees fit.
This is the first decision that you must make concerning your residential, or child custody, schedule. It is basically the decision of where the child will live.
In most cases, you will choose to have your child reside primarily with one parent and have significant parenting time with the other parent, or the child will spend time residing with both parents.
In all custody cases in the State of Kansas, the best interest of the child is the main factor considered when deciding upon the child's custody, residency, and parenting time schedule.
The court may consider any factor relevant to the child's best interests and well-being, including, but not limited to, the following (K.S.A. § 60-1610a-3-D):
- The custodial preferences of the parents
- The wishes of the child if s/he is of an appropriate age and maturity level to voice a custodial preference
- The previously established relationships between the child and each of the parents and any other important people in the child's life (such as siblings) and the history of the residence and care giving of the child
- How well the child is adjusted to his or her current home, school, and community
- The willingness and capability of a parent to recognize the importance of the other parent in the child's life and their willingness to help foster a meaningful and ongoing relationship between the child and the other parent
- Any evidence of spousal or child abuse
- Whether or not a parent or any person living in the parent's home or in close contact with the child is a registered sex offender
Parents involved in a child custody case are expected to submit a parenting plan to the court.
The parenting plan must designate either or both parents as legal custodians and include a child visitation schedule, also referred to as a parenting time schedule.
Working together with the other parent is the best way to ensure your child visitation schedule is designed to serve your child's best interests by providing your child with a schedule tailored to his or her needs.
If you cannot reach an agreement with the other parent, the court will create a parenting plan and child visitation schedule for you.
The child visitation schedule should contain three basic elements:
- A regular visitation schedule which dictates when the child will spend time with each parent on a regular, ongoing basis. The parents may design the schedule in any manner they desire as long as it meets the needs of the child and serves the child's best interests. You may modify the standardized visitation schedule of the court to fit your child's needs or create one entirely unique that meets your child's specific needs.
- A holiday schedule that outlines which holidays are celebrated by the family and where the child will spend them. Parents typically rotate holidays during the year and alternate them each year. Special days, such as birthdays, Mother's Day, Father's Day, and three day weekends may also be included in the holiday schedule. The holiday schedule takes precedence over the regular schedule.
- A vacation schedule that allows the child to spend extended time with each of the parents when the child is on school vacations and also allows the child to spend additional time with each parent during their personal vacation time. Predictable vacations, such as winter break, may be predetermined but it is common for parents to allow provisions for the personal vacation time that does not have specific dates.
Yes. K.S.A. §60-1616b allows grandparents and step-parents the recourse to be granted visitation rights.
Granting visitation rights to a non-parent does not diminish the authority and rights of the custodial parents and it does not delegate any custodial rights to the grandparent or step-parent granted visitation.
The State recognizes that other people besides the natural parents may be of importance in a child's life and will grant visitation to them despite the protests of the parents if the court finds that severing an established relationship would be harmful to the child.
If a non-parent petitions the court and is awarded visitation in the course of your family dissolution process, you may wish to propose a time for the visitation to take place so that it is done when it is a convenient time for you. This visitation time can be accounted for in the child visitation schedule.
The top fifteen cities in Kansas (by population, US Census Bureau, 2008) are: Wichita, Overland Park, Kansas City, Topeka, Olathe, Lawrence, Shawnee, Manhattan, Lenexa, Salina, Hutchinson, Leavenworth, Leawood, Garden City, Emporia.