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Kansas Legal Separation
Legal Separation in Kansas

In Kansas, a legal separation requires the same legal maneuvering as a divorce, but the marriage stays intact. People incorrectly believe that they are legally separated if they live apart for an extended period of time, but Kansas requires a formal filing of separation. A legal separation may give troubled spouses the time and distance to work through issues of their floundering marriage. This routine may be a good option when the spouses want to live separately but still provide financial support for one another. In Kansas, a legal separation is an alternative to divorce. The spouses are still married but allowed to live apart under a court decree of separate maintenance.

In a separation, the court demands an equitable division of assets and debt. Whether it’s established by the couple or by the judge. The couple should try to agree on custody and visitation for their children; the judge, however, has final authority to determine custody rights.

Using a model separate maintenance agreement as a guide, the parties can write their own. The arrangement must include a division of both assets and debts. It should also include child support and custody issues, if they apply. The spouses should negotiate until they are satisfied, and should double-check everything when a draft of the maintenance agreement has been reached. This makes certain all issues have been addressed.

Separation Agreement

A separation agreement is a legal binding contract signed by spouses, which is intended to resolve property, debt and child related issues. This can be a very complex and detailed document depending upon the unique situation of the marriage. Many spouses consult an attorney to provide this or they decide to prepare their own.


A Kansas family law court, or a reputable legal document provider, can provide the necessary legal forms to file for separation, which include a Petition for Separate Maintenance. They must be completed following the form instructions. The notarized Separate Maintenance agreement is joined to the petition, which is described in Kansas Statutes, Article 16, Chapter 60, Section 1604.


The petitioner must evaluate his or her grounds for a legal separation. In Kansas, a filing for legal separation is done on the same grounds as a divorce, which are:

  • incompatibility with the spouse
  • documented insanity of either spouse, or
  • a clear failure to perform a material marital duty.
The petitioner should be prepared to state the specific reason for legal separation in court documents and at any court appearance. In a filing due to mental incapacity, the respondent spouse needs to have been confined to a mental institution for a minimum of two years, or a court has judged him or her to be mentally ill.


To file for legal separation in the state of Kansas, the petitioner or the respondent needs to be a resident for at least 60 days.


The petition should be filed in the county court where either spouse lives. The petitioner needs to ask the court to incorporate the separation agreement into the decree for separate maintenance.

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