Family Law

Pankratz & Hodge, P.A. can represent you in virtually any type of family matter. We routinely handle divorces, child support matters, custody and/or visitation matters, and also deal with paternity, grandparent rights, and adoptions. We will handle your case with competence and concern for your wishes.

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Family Law FAQs


  • How long does it take to get divorced? Kansas law imposes a 60-day waiting period. That means that 60 days must pass from the date the divorce petition is filed until the date the divorce can be granted by the Court.
  • How is property division determined? If the case goes to trial, the judge is required to make a fair and equitable division. There are no percentages assigned as necessarily being fair. The judge is required to consider the length of the marriage, the age of the parties, the relative incomes and income potentials of the parties, and the source and manner of acquisition of assets, among other factors. Thus, it is not required that everything be split 50/50 nor are there any other hard and fast rules for division. The judge will approve most any agreement made between you and your spouse regarding property division and assignment of debts.
  • How do I file for divorce? A divorce petition is filed in the county in which you live. The petition states when and where you were married, where you each currently live, and that the relationship of the parties has been broken because of incompatibility. (The judge is not interested in details of the breakdown of the marriage.) The petition then asks for an equitable division of property and assignment of debts and for orders of support and visitation, if children are involved. Several other documents, including orders to set the ground rules while the divorce is pending, are filed with the petition and the 60-day waiting period begins.

Child Support

  • How is child support calculated? Several years ago the Kansas Supreme Court adopted a formula for calculation of support based upon the combined gross income of the parents. Other costs, like health insurance and work-related daycare costs are also considered. Inability to pay support because of other financial obligations is not considered.
  • How is child support collected? Most counties in Kansas have a District Court Trustee whose job is the collection of child support. The Court Trustee can ask for contempt sanctions for parents who fail to pay and can get an income withholding order so that child support is taken directly from wages earned.
  • Custody and Visitation Kansas law presumes that parents will be awarded joint custody of their children, meaning that both parents have a voice in major decisions affecting the children=s lives. To determine residential custody, the judge is given a list of factors by Kansas statute that he or she is to consider when determining who the children should live with. There is no presumption that a young child should live with the mother and there is no age at which a child may determine with whom he or she wants to live.
  • My spouse is not paying support. Do I have to let the kids go to visitation? Yes. Child support and visitation are considered separate issues and lack of support does not excuse your disobedience of the court order regarding visitation.


  • May my current spouse adopt my children? Only if your ex-spouse consents to the adoption, or has failed to pay support or have any contact with the children for a period of at least two years.
  • My spouse and I are unable to have children. What steps should we take to prepare for an adoption? You should compile information about yourselves, including where you were born and raised, some information about your family of origin, how the two of you met, your interests and hobbies, and information about the kind of children you would consider for adoption and whether you want an open or closed adoption. Include photographs if you wish. Send that information to several attorneys and agencies who handle adoptions so that, as children become available for adoption, you may be considered as possible adoptive parents. You might want to also have a home study completed by a social worker. A home study will be required before the adoption is final and is helpful in obtaining a temporary custody order pending adoption.