Unfortunately, not every Sunflower State marriage lasts forever. And if the bloom is off your romantic rose, you might be wondering if you or your soon-to-be-ex gets the living room furniture. So who decides which spouse gets what after a marriage ends, and how? Here is an overview of marital property laws in Kansas.
Marital Property Law
“Marital property” is the legal term that refers to all of the possessions and interests acquired after a couple gets married. While a few states have enacted laws that consider all marital property as "community property," which is equally owned by both parties and must be equally divided after a divorce. Kansas, however, has no community property law. This allows for courts and the parties to be more flexible (and also more unpredictable) when dividing marital property during a divorce.
Marital Property Laws in Kansas
States have unique marital property laws. Kansas’s marital property statutes are listed in the table below.
Marital Property and Separate Property
As noted above, the majority of the property you buy or receive while married becomes marital property. In the case of a divorce, marital property is considered jointly owned by both spouses, and will get jointly divided, normally as close as possible to an even split. There are a few exceptions to the marital property rule for things like inheritance, gifts, and in some cases 401Ks, which are considered separate property. Separate property is property that you owned before the marriage and is normally not subject to division.
Because there are no state community property laws, Kansas courts will determine a “fair” property division between divorcing parties. For the most part, courts consider each party getting about half of the jointly owned property as fair. That said, a court could decide that an unequal property split is fair, which could happen if one spouse alleges some fault on the part of the other spouse. If both spouses are able to create their own agreement regarding property division, courts will generally accept their agreement.
More Resources for Kansas Marital Property Laws
A divorces can be an emotionally and legally complex process. You can visit FindLaw's section on Divorce and Property for additional articles and information on this topic. You can also consult with a Kansas divorce attorney in your area if you would like legal assistance with a marital property or divorce matter.