Kansas uses several factors to determine child custody. Primarily, a family court in Kansas determines custody based on the best interests of the child. Kansas prefers an award of joint custody, which allows both parents to share the rights and responsibilities involved with the rearing of their child. Parents who wish to file for child custody in Kansas should first become familiar with the custody statutes in this state.
Related: Help our readers by sharing your experience with child custody in Kansas.
Best Interests of the Child
A family court in Kansas determines child custody based on the best interests of the child. Factors included in determining a child's best interests are:
- The child's wishes
- The parents' wishes
- The child's adjustment to home, school and community
- Each parent's willingness to encourage a relationship between the child and the child's other parent
- Any history of spousal abuse
Interference with Visitation Rights in Kansas
If a court in Kansas awards a parent visitation or child custody, and he/she is found to have interfered with the other parent's rights, a Kansas court may do one of the following:
- Request a parent who is found to have interfered with visitation to attend a counseling or educational session about the importance of a child spending time with both parents
- Create a set visitation or parenting time schedule
- Order supervised visitation or parenting time
- Require a parent to post a bond, conditioned upon the parent complying with the current custody order
Mediation and Child Custody Kansas
A Kansas court may order a child custody case to mediation if there is an important issue for which the parties do not agree. The court will choose a mediator based on:
- The parties' agreement to have a specific mediator
- The mediator's prior relationship with any of the parties that could create a bias or conflict of interests
- The mediator's training and experience
- The mediator's knowledge of family issues, including the effects of divorce on a child, family psychology issues and knowledge of community resources that may serve as a potential referral resource for the family
Modification of Child Custody in Kansas
A parent in Kansas who is seeking child custody must be prepared to prove a material change of circumstances. A material change of circumstances is something that has caused or will cause physical, mental or emotional harm to a child, if the custody arrangement were to remain the same.
For further information about child custody in Kansas, speak with an attorney in Kansas or refer to the Kansas Domestic Relations statute.