Kansas Divorce Custody
According to Kansas divorce custody laws, courts prefer joint custody over sole custody but all custody matters are based on the premise that the best interests of the child should not be compromised. Following factors are considered while awarding child custody:
- In Kansas divorce custody cases where it is in the best interests of the child to have joint custody, both the parents are given equal legal and even physical custody of the child. They are not discriminated based on their sex.
- Parental child custody is awarded to the parent who is physically fit and mentally healthy to raise the child. If one parent dies, then the other parent gets the custody of the child and is responsible for all legal, health related, and educational decisions of the child.
- While awarding custody of the child, Kansas divorce custody laws allow three kinds of living arrangements of the child. In the first case, one parent gets the physical custody of the child and the other parent gets visitation rights so that the child gets to spend his weekends or alternate vacations or few weeks in summer with this parent. Only in some unique circumstances, where both the parents are considered unfit and incapable of raising the child or whose presence would not be in the best interests of the child, then a non-parent (mostly grandparents) get the custody of the child.
- Divided custody option is used by judges handling custody cases in Kansas, when there is more than one child. One child goes with one parent while the other child is awarded custody to the other parent. Visitation rights are awarded to both the parents. However, this practice of divided custody is mostly avoided as splitting siblings is not considered advisable.
- The parent who has been involved in basic care of the child often referred as the primary caretaker of the child is most likely to get the custody of the child. Divorce custody laws in Kansas specify that the role of the primary caretaker has been in preparing meals for the child, dressing up the child, bathing, taking care of dental and medical health of the child etc.
- Judges also consider the emotional, educational and social needs of the child. They try to determine which parent is most likely to fulfill these needs. The actual wishes of the child are sometimes directly asked to the child in Kansas divorce custody cases by the judges. If the child is considered mature enough and found wise to express his/her parental choices, then judges may award the custody to the preferred parent. To whom does the child turn to get emotional support, who prioritizes his/her life to accommodate the needs of the child are some of the few questions that judges try to answer while deciding for child custody.
- Kansas courts also consider the wishes of the parents and try to analyze how these wishes would fulfill the need of the child.
- Courts may also consider past police records to check the presence of domestic violence in the family. Whether the child was a witness or not, all these matters are considered important while awarding child custody in Kansas.
- If a parent has been involved in child abuse or child neglect, has criminal records, then he/she does not get the custody of the child. In fact, visitation rights also may not be awarded to the parent if the judges find him/her guilty of these practices. However, child support still becomes mandatory for the child for the non-custodian parent.
- Kansas courts are known to order divorce custody mediation if both the parties are unable to reach a parenting plan and fail to formulate a visitation schedule.
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