Family Attorneys in Kansas City, Kansas, Guiding Clients Through Difficult Circumstances
Nobody gets married expecting to divorce, and even if it doesn’t come as a surprise, it can still be incredibly challenging to deal with. And the same can be said for relationships that have come to an end, even if they never involved marriage. The area of family law deals with delicate situations and complex family dynamics, and it’s important to get sound legal counsel from an experienced attorney you can trust.
When a change in circumstances is inevitable for your family, we’re here to help. We understand how difficult these situations can be, and we work with our clients to ensure they understand what their rights and options are and have someone in their corner throughout the entire process. Call Barnds Law LLC to find out more about our services.
What Types of Cases Fall Under Family Law?
Family law is a broad category that includes many case types. A few of the common cases family law attorneys — including those at Barnds Law LLC — deal with include:
- Child custody
- Child support
- Property division
- High-asset divorce
- Spousal support
- Prenuptial agreements
Other common issues that family law attorneys may help with include adoption, guardianships, termination of parental rights, and paternity cases.
How Is Marital Property Divided?
In the state of Kansas, marital property is divided equitably in a divorce if there is no prenuptial or postnuptial agreement in place that dictates otherwise. Only marital property is subject to divisions, and any separate property, such as an inheritance, is retained by the individual person.
Marital property is generally considered to be anything that is in both parties’ names, was bought during the marriage, or was used as joint property during the marriage. This means that even if a home is only in one person’s name, if it was bought after the date of the marriage and both parties lived in it, it could be subject to marital property division.
Property divisions can be confusing and complex, especially in cases where the parties have a high value of assets. If you’re not sure what property is going to be considered marital or separate and how that property may be divided, talking with an attorney can help you know what to expect.
Will I Get Spousal Support?
Spousal support, also sometimes referred to as alimony or spousal maintenance, is the name for the payments that one party makes to the other after a divorce. These payments are generally awarded in cases where there is a great income disparity between the two parties, and it can be awarded on a temporary or permanent basis. Spousal support is not automatically awarded in a divorce like child support is if there are children involved. Instead, spousal support comes into play if there is a prenup that stipulates it will be paid, if both parties agree that it should be paid, or if the judge decides that it is appropriate for the situation.
What Are the Options for Child Custody?
Child custody is an important aspect of family law. If you are getting a divorce and you have children from that marriage, child custody will be one of the main issues that will need to be decided before the divorce can be finalized. Both physical and legal custody will need to be determined.
Legal custody refers to who has the decision-making power. It’s common for parents to share legal custody, which means that they must agree on important decisions regarding the children, such as where they will go to school or medical treatments, or the issue goes to the courts to be decided. If only one parent has legal custody, that parent is tasked with making the decisions and keeping the other parent updated about what’s going on.
Physical custody deals with where the child is spending their time. If the parents share joint physical custody, they usually share time with the children roughly equally. Common schedules for this include alternating weeks or a 2-2-3-3 schedule. If one parent has sole physical custody, they are deemed the residential parent and they usually have the larger share of the time with the child.
How Is Child Support Determined?
The state of Kansas uses a child support worksheet and formula to determine how much child support is due and which party will be paying. There are some nuances to this process, but the basic procedure is to look at the parents’ incomes and add those together. This number is then used in the formula to determine how much the total support for the child(ren) should be. Then, the parents split that support amount by the percentage of the total income. Any factors such as whether they have shared or sole physical custody are accounted for.
Let’s take a look at an example with easy numbers:
Parent A makes $3,000 per month. Parent B makes $2,000 per month. The total income of both parents is $5,000. Parent A is contributing 60%, and Parent B is contributing 40%. If the child support formula determines that the total support amount for one child on a combined income of $5,000 per month is $1,000 (again, we’re just using easy numbers here), that means that Parent A would be responsible for $600, and Parent B would be responsible for $400. If Parent B is the custodial parent, it would be likely that Parent A would be paying $600 a month in child support to Parent B.
How Long Do Family Law Cases Take?
When you start a family law case, it’s normal to already be looking for the light at the end of the tunnel. However, it’s impossible to give a prediction on how long a family law case will take to be finalized because every situation is unique, and a lot depends on how many decisions there are to make and how well the parties are able to communicate and cooperate.
For example, a simple divorce with no children and a prenuptial agreement may be able to be finalized in as quickly as 60 days, which is the mandatory waiting period in the state of Kansas. However, a high-asset divorce where there is disagreement on who gets what or a custody battle where both parents are pursuing full custody could take months or even years. And even after the case is “final,” there is the chance of modifications being needed later on.
Your attorney can help you get a better understanding of how long your case may take, but keep in mind these are usually minimums or averages and may not reflect your case exactly.
Whether you are dealing with a divorce or a high-conflict custody battle, we’re here to help. Call our office at 913-514-0909 to speak with a member of our team and schedule your initial consultation. We will listen to your story and let you know how our firm can help.