Contact: Kayte Charlesworth
Phone: (913) 534-8099
Kansas Divorce Rate Increased 40 Percent Last Year
K.C. Attorneys Shed Light on Reasons Why
& Offer Tips for Divorcing in Kansas
The divorce rate in Kansas increased 40 percent last year, compared to the two previous years, according to the Kansas Office of Vital Statistics. In 2016, there were just over 12,000 divorces in the state, compared to approximately 8,000 in both 2014 and 2015. *
Why the jump in numbers? “It could be several factors,” said divorce attorney Scott Mann, of Overland Park, Kansas. “The improving economy may mean couples feel financially secure enough to end their marriages; when couples are living on a tight budget, they may not want to incur the expense of each of them being single.”
“Also, as some couples get older and realize they are unhappy in a marriage, they may be less willing to stay in a marriage,” Mann said.
What do some couples not realize until they are in the middle of a divorce? “Most divorces end with the spouses reaching a compromise agreement, but sometimes a court may decide against their wishes; this can cause feelings of disappointment that can linger.” Mann pointed out.
Mann and his law partner, Stephanie Tucker Muir, are authors of a new book, Divorce in Kansas—The Legal Process, Your Rights, and What to Expect. “We hope the book eases the anxiety that comes with not knowing what might happen during the divorce process,” said Muir. “Individuals usually have a general understanding of the process, but when they are more informed, they are the better prepared ask the right questions and to understand how the law will apply to their case.”
Muir adds, “Across the nation, most divorces occur in the first quarter of the year. People don’t want to split up during the holidays, so they wait until after the first of the new year.”
Authors Available for Interviews
To schedule an interview, contact Kayte Charlesworth by phone at (913) 534-8099 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A review copy of the book—hard copy or PDF—is available upon request from the publisher.
*Source for divorce statistics: Kansas Dept. of Health and Environment: Bureau of Public Health Information. http://www.kdheks.gov/hci/as/2015/2015_Annual_Summary.pdf / PDF pages 170-182
About the Authors
Scott M. Mann, Esq., is a founding member of MannTuckerMuir, LLC, The Family Law Firm in Overland Park, Kansas. His practice is focused exclusively on family law issues, including divorce, determination of parentage (paternity), spousal support, child custody, and child support. Scott also handles post-decree matters such as modification of support, modification of custody and parenting time, and enforcement of support and custody orders and agreements.
Scott handles complex cases throughout the Kansas City metropolitan area. His practice includes mediation, collaborative divorce, and traditional litigation of family law cases. He is a graduate of the University of Missouri at Columbia School of Law. He is licensed to practice law in both Missouri and Kansas. Scott is a fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and of the International Academy of Family Lawyers. He is a past president of the Family Law Section of the Kansas Bar Association. He frequently teaches a variety of family law topics to other attorneys.
Scott has served as editor for several state and national family law publications. He also serves as the editor of the Practitioner’s Guide to Kansas Family Law (Kansas Bar Assn., 2d. Ed. 2013). He is a founding member of the Collaborative Divorce Professionals of Greater Kansas City. Scott has also been named to the following peer-rated lists: U.S. News Best Lawyer in Family Law, Kansas City Business Journal Best of the Bar, and Super Lawyers of Missouri and Kansas. He may be contacted through his website at: www.manntuckermuir.com.
Stephanie Tucker Muir, Esq., of Overland Park, Kansas, is a founding member of MannTuckerMuir, LLC. Her practice is dedicated exclusively to family law—divorce, determination of parentage (paternity), spousal support, child custody, and child support. Because a client’s issues and legal needs, particularly with young children, may not end with a decree of divorce, Stephanie also handles post-decree matters such as modification of support, modification of custody and parenting time, and enforcement of support and custody orders and agreements.
Stephanie received her Juris Doctor degree as well as her undergraduate degree from the University of Kansas. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, a Kansas family law mediator, and a member of the Kansas Bar Association; she is also a member of the Johnson County Bar Association and the Missouri Bar Association. She is a founding barrister and an officer of the executive committee for the Johnson County Family Law American Inns of Court. She was selected as a Super Lawyer by Super Lawyers magazine. Stephanie is licensed in both Kansas and Missouri.
It is always Stephanie’s goal not only to provide solid legal representation but also to be compassionate with her clients during some of the most difficult times of their lives. She may contacted through her website at: www.manntuckermuir.com.
Ten Tips for Divorcing in Kansas
- Don’t try to do it yourself. Doing it yourself or using generic forms purchased on the internet is often an invitation to disaster. Hire an experienced family law attorney to guide you.
- Knowledge is power, time is money, and ignorance is not bliss. Assist your attorney in understanding all the facts relevant to your situation. The more clear, complete, and organized you are, the better your outcome is likely to be, and the lower the cost to you of getting there.
- Let go of “fault.” In Kansas, determining if a spouse is “at fault” or is guilty of “bad behavior” is irrelevant to whether a divorce will be granted, or to the outcome of most issues.
- Take the long view. Try to make those decisions that – five or ten years from now – you will wish you had made, and make your behavior now something you will be proud to look back on.
- Put your children first. If you have children, remember that both parents will have lasting ties after the divorce. Be sure your words and actions reflect that reality. Avoid discussing the details of your divorce with your children of any age. Don’t lean on your children for support.
- Take inventory. Gather important financial and other records. Identify your priorities and goals. Is your or the child’s safety a concern? Do you have a premarital agreement? Is divorce the only option?
- Take care of yourself so you can take care of your children. Feeling as if you’re on an emotional roller-coaster is normal. Try to maintain a support network of family and friends; or, find a counselor to assist you with the emotional side of the divorce process. Give yourself time to make solid decisions.
- Be realistic. Most divorces end by settlement and compromise, not in a trial. Your goal should be to get through the process with as little harm possible to you, your former spouse, and your children.
- Take the high road. Divorce doesn’t have to be uncivil or ugly. Protect your reputation and your finances by not engaging in a “scorched earth” approach. Maintain to your core principles.
- Haste makes waste. Choose an attorney who understands your goals and objectives. Take the time to find the right attorney for you. The legal process often takes time, so be patient.
By Scott M. Mann and Stephanie Tucker Muir, Overland Park, authors of Divorce in Kansas – The Legal Process, Your Rights, and What to Expect.
For more information, visit the authors’ website at www.manntuckermuir.com