Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Is the Kansas Legislature Considering Abolishing No Fault Divorce?

By now you may have heard one of the numerous local media outlets run with a story originally put out by KCTV 5 and the AP that the Kansas legislature is considering a bill to end no fault divorce in Kansas.

Here are just a few links to the story:

The problem?  It's all a complete and utter lie.

HB 2604, written by Rep. John Bradford and introduced by Rep. Keith Esau doesn't end no fault divorce.  In fact, it does just the opposite, it legalizes no fault divorce.


Under current divorce law Kansas allows for "incompatibility".  The new bill would replace that less than arbitrary reason with one of 10 reasons, one of which is "no fault".

Here are those 10 reasons, pay attention to number 8:

  1. (1) The respondent has been convicted of the crime of adultery, as defined in K.S.A. 21-3507, prior to its repeal, or K.S.A. 2013 Supp. 21-5511, and amendments thereto; 
  2. (2) the respondent has been convicted of a felony for a crime against persons as specified in article 34 of chapter 21 of the Kansas Statutes Annotated, prior to its repeal, or article 54 of chapter 21 of the Kansas Statutes Annotated, and amendments thereto, or convicted of a felony under the laws of any other jurisdiction which is substantially the same as a crime against persons as specified in article 34 of chapter 21 of the Kansas Statutes Annotated, prior to its repeal, or article 54 of chapter 21 of the Kansas Statutes Annotated, and amendments thereto;
  3. (3) the respondent has been convicted of a felony for a sex offense as specified in article 35 of chapter 21 of the Kansas Statutes Annotated, prior to its repeal, or article 55 of chapter 21 of the Kansas Statutes Annotated, and amendments thereto, or convicted of a felony under the laws of any other jurisdiction which is substantially the same as a sex offense as specified in article 35 of chapter 21 of the Kansas Statutes Annotated, prior to its repeal, or article 55 of chapter 21 of the Kansas 
  4. (4) the respondent has abandoned the matrimonial domicile for a period of one year and constantly refuses to return;
  5. (5) the respondent has physically or sexually abused the petitioner or a child of the petitioner or respondent;
  6. (6) both spouses have been living separate and apart continuously without reconciliation for a period of two years; or
  7. (7) both spouses have been living separate and apart continuously without reconciliation for a period of one year from the date of an order awarding separate maintenance to one of the spouses;
  8. (8) both spouses have agreed to separate due to no fault of either spouse; (emphasis added)
  9. (9) failure to perform a material marital duty or obligation; or
  10. (10) incompatibility by reason of mental illness or mental incapacity of one or both spouses
So why is the media intent on spreading lies and misinformation about the bill?

Let's look at the data shall we?

According to an Institute for Marriage and Public Policy Research Brief, "Seventeen of 24 recent empirical studies find that the introduction of no-fault divorce laws increased the divorce rate, by one estimate as much as 88 percent. More typically, studies estimate no fault divorce increased divorce rates on the order of 10 percent."

In other words, no fault divorce is good business for attorneys... not so good for Kansas families.

SB 2604 does not end no fault divorce, it reforms it in a way that encourages spouses to work together to move past differences.  What it does not do is force married couples to remain together against their will and for the first time it gives legal grounds for true no fault divorce.

1 comment:

brooklyn divorce lawyer said...

both spouses have been living separate and apart continuously without reconciliation for a period of one year from the date of an order awarding separate maintenance to one of the spouses..Thanks for sharing this information..