Divorce With Children

The legal dissolution of marriage is a complicated undertaking no matter the circumstances, but when dependent children are caught in the middle, the difficulties can be multiplied. The impact that divorce has on children is different for every family, but parents who truly want the best for their kids can work to mitigate that impact.

With a depth of understanding of pertinent child custody and child support laws, I am uniquely qualified to help you avoid common divorce pitfalls that not only unnecessarily hurt your children but cause undue additional emotional stress to you and your spouse as well. For more than 22 years, I have served clients in Kansas City as divorce attorney with experience in all aspects of family law.

Representing clients throughout Johnson County, Kansas, and others who need representation in the Johnson County courts.

Especially when children are involved, I like to remind couples – divorce will redefine the nature of your relationship, but divorce does not mean your relationship will altogether cease.  In fact, custody arrangements and parenting time may require certain amicability as your dual parenting relationship continues.


Avoiding litigation may be the first and best way couples can put their children first in the divorce process. Mediation allows you to do just that. By working together through a mediator, decisions that otherwise would be made by a judge can be determined by the two of you in a less emotionally traumatic manner.

Throughout the mediation process, I will be your neutral third party, helping you and your spouse work towards healthy solutions for you and your kids, bypassing the exorbitantly expensive costs long, drawn out divorce court hearings. In addition to mediation, couples seeking to lessen the impact of divorce on their children may consider other methods of alternative dispute resolution, including collaborative law.

As you work through a parenting plan, let us help you navigate sensitive topics such as custody, parenting time, primary residence, and reasonable child support.

Joint Custody

In Kansas, joint legal custody is often granted.  Kansas courts start with the presumption that the best thing for the children is that both parents continue to be involved in the lives of the children. Joint custody allows both parents several rights including:

  • the right to participate in major decisions regarding the children
    • including medical decisions
    • including religious upbringing
    • including education
    • the financial responsibility of supporting the children
    • the right to care for the children

Residential Custody

One of the decisions that will need to be made through divorce mediation (or in court) will be determining with whom your children will primarily live, or what’s called residential custody. Here are the three residential custody options.

  • The children live primarily with the mother
  • The children live primarily with the father
  • The children live equally with both the parents through shared residential custody

Child Support

The state of Kansas determines child support based on individual parent’s income, parenting time, special needs, and a few other considerations. The age of your child is another consideration and required support will change at ages 6, 12, and 18 (or upon high school graduation).  Modification (in either direction) can occur after 12 months if there is a significant change in one or the other parent’s life.  This could be loss of income, change in daycare costs, or due to health issues.

As you and your spouse see that divorce is imminent, take a moment to speak with an attorney that understands what’s at stake with both you and your children.

Contact Kansas City’s Family Law Attorney, Jean Wise

The Law Firm of Jean W. Wise has handled hundreds of divorces in Johnson County, from uncontested divorce to litigation over large marital estates, and involving every aspect of custody and child support.
Feel free to call (913) 345-9473 or email me. Let’s hear your story and talk about how I can help. If you’re looking for a divorce lawyer to provide compassionate, diligent, and tough-minded legal counsel, look no further.

Evening and weekend appointments available. I accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express.