Session of 1997
SENATE BILL No. 320
By Committee on Judiciary
9 AN ACT concerning domestic relations; relating to marriage; counseling;
10 divorce, emergency and waiting period; amending K.S.A. 1996 Supp.
11 23-106, 23-108a and 60-1608 and repealing the existing sections.
13 Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Kansas:
14 Section 1. K.S.A. 1996 Supp. 23-106 is hereby amended to read as
15 follows: 23-106. (a) The clerks of the district courts or judges thereof,
16 when applied to for a marriage license by any person who is one of the
17 parties to the proposed marriage and who is legally entitled to a marriage
18 license, shall issue a marriage license in substance as follows:
19 MARRIAGE LICENSE
20 (Name of place where office located, month,
21 day and year.)
22 TO ANY PERSON authorized by law to perform the marriage ceremony,
24 You are hereby authorized to join in marriage A B of _________, date of birth
25 and C D of ____________, date of birth ____________, (and name of parent or guardian
26 consenting), and of this license, duly endorsed, you will make due return to this office
27 immediately after performing the ceremony.
28 E F, (title of person issuing the
29 (b) No clerk or judge of the district court shall issue a marriage license
30 before the third calendar day (Sunday and holidays included) following
31 the date of the filing of the application therefor in such clerk's or judge's
32 office except that in cases of emergency or extraordinary circumstances,
33 a judge of the district court may upon proper showing being made, permit
34 by order of the court the issuance of such marriage license without waiting
35 three days. Each district court shall keep a record of all marriages re-
36 sulting from licenses issued by the court, which record shall show the
37 names of the persons who were married and the date of the marriage.
38 No clerk or judge shall issue a license authorizing the marriage of any
39 person under the age of 18 years without the express consent of such
40 person's father, mother or legal guardian and the consent of the judge
41 unless consent of both the mother and father and any legal guardian or
42 all then living parents and any legal guardian is given in which case the
43 consent of the judge shall not be required. If not given in person at the
1 time of the application, the consent shall be evidenced by a written cer-
2 tificate subscribed thereto and duly attested. Where the applicants or
3 either of them are under 18 years of age and their parents are dead and
4 there is no legal guardian then a judge of the district court may after due
5 investigation give consent and issue the license authorizing the marriage.
6 The judge or clerk may issue a license upon the affidavit of the party
7 personally appearing and applying therefor, to the effect that the parties
8 to whom such license is to be issued are of lawful age, as required by this
9 section, and the judge or clerk is hereby authorized to administer oaths
10 for that purpose.
11 Every person swearing falsely in such affidavit shall be guilty of a mis-
12 demeanor and shall be punished by a fine not exceeding $500. A clerk or
13 judge of the district court shall state in every license the birth dates of
14 the parties applying for the same, and if either or both are minors, the
15 name of the father, mother, or guardian consenting to such marriage.
16 (c) (1) No clerk or judge shall issue a marriage license to a man and
17 woman until they complete a program in premarital counseling conducted
18 by a licensed professional or an official representative of a religious in-
19 stitution or have paid the fee as provided in subsection (a)(ii) of K.S.A.
20 23-108a and amendments thereto. The individuals applying for the mar-
21 riage license shall verify completion of the program by a statement to that
22 effect in the application affidavit and by filing with the application a
23 certificate of completion from the program administrator.
24 (2) No clerk or judge shall issue a license authorizing the marriage of
25 any person under the age of 18 years until both individuals applying for
26 the license and at least one parent or guardian of each individual com-
27 pletes a program of premarital counseling. The individuals applying for
28 the marriage license and the parent or guardian who attended the pro-
29 gram shall verify completion of the program by a statement to that effect
30 in the application affidavit and by filing with the application a certificate
31 of completion from the program administrator.
32 (3) As used in this section a licensed professional means a marriage
33 and family therapist meeting the requirements provided in article 64 of
34 chapter 65 of the Kansas Statutes Annotated or a licensed psychologist
35 meeting the requirements provided in article 53 of chapter 74 of the Kan-
36 sas Statutes Annotated.
37 (4) Any authorized provider for premarital counseling must provide
38 a fee schedule that accommodates families of various financial means,
39 including allowing participation by indigent individuals for no fee.
40 (d) Every marriage license shall expire at the end of six months from
41 the date of issuance if the marriage for which the license was issued does
42 not take place within the six-month period of time.
43 Sec. 2. K.S.A. 1996 Supp. 23-108a is hereby amended to read as
1 follows: 23-108a. (a) The judge or clerk of the district court shall collect
2 from the applicant for a marriage license:
3 (1) Who has complied with the premarital counseling program as pro-
4 vided in K.S.A. 23-106 and amendments thereto a fee of $50
5 (2) who has not complied with the premarital counseling program as
6 provided in K.S.A. 23-106 and amendments thereto a fee of $200.
7 (b) The clerk of the court shall remit to the state treasurer at least
8 monthly all fees prescribed by this section. Of each remittance, the state
9 treasurer shall credit 46% to the protection from abuse fund, 17.92% to
10 the family and children trust account of the family and children invest-
11 ment fund created by K.S.A. 38-1808 and amendments thereto, 20% to
12 the crime victims assistance fund created by K.S.A. 74-7334 and amend-
13 ments thereto and the remainder to the state general fund.
14 Sec. 3. K.S.A. 1996 Supp. 60-1608 is hereby amended to read as
15 follows: 60-1608. (a) Time. An action for divorce shall not be heard until
16 60 120 days after the filing of the petition unless the judge enters an order
17 declaring the existence of an emergency, stating the precise nature of the
18 emergency, the substance of the evidence material to the emergency and
19 the names of the witnesses who gave the evidence. A request for an order
20 declaring the existence of an emergency may be contained in a pleading
21 or made by motion. Unless otherwise agreed by the parties, a request for
22 the declaration of an emergency shall not be heard prior to the expiration
23 of the time permitted for the filing of an answer. Unless waived, notice
24 of the hearing requesting the declaration of an emergency shall be given
25 to all parties not in default not less than seven days prior to the date of
26 the hearing. Upon a finding that an emergency exists, the divorce and all
27 issues pertaining thereto may be heard immediately.
28 (b) Pretrial conference. Upon the request of either party, the court
29 shall set a pretrial conference to explore the possibilities of settlement of
30 the case and to expedite the trial. The pretrial conference shall be set on
31 a date other than the date of trial and the parties shall be present or
32 available within the courthouse.
33 (c) Marriage counseling. After the filing of the answer or other re-
34 sponsive pleading by the respondent, the court, on its own motion or
35 upon motion of either of the parties, may require both parties to the
36 action to seek marriage counseling if marriage counseling services are
37 available within the judicial district of venue of the action. Neither party
38 shall be required to submit to marriage counseling provided by any relig-
39 ious organization of any particular denomination.
40 (d) Cost of counseling. The cost of any counseling authorized by this
41 section may be assessed as costs in the case.
42 New Sec. 4. (a) Before a divorce petition may be filed, the parties to
43 the marriage shall complete, either together or separately, a divorce ed-
1 ucation program as provided in this section. This applies only if one or
2 more of the following are true:
3 (1) The parties have a minor child;
4 (2) either party is the physical custodian of a minor at the time of the
5 filing of the complaint for divorce; or
6 (3) the wife is pregnant with a child whose father is the husband at
7 the time of filing. If the pregnancy is discovered after the complaint is
8 filed, but before entry of the judgment of divorce, the court shall not
9 enter the judgment until the parties comply with this section. Once it has
10 been determined the wife is pregnant at the time of the filing, termination
11 of the pregnancy by abortion or other means shall not relieve the parties
12 of the requirement to receive counseling pursuant to this section before
13 obtaining a divorce.
14 (b) Parties to whom section (a) applies must sign affidavits stating
15 that they have completed the required divorce education program and
16 file the certificate of program completion issued by the program provider
17 when the divorce petition is filed.
18 (c) Parties to whom section (a) applies shall complete a divorce ed-
19 ucation program covering at least all of the following subjects related to
20 issues about the following:
21 (1) Effect of divorce on the child involved including developmental
22 stages; responses to divorce; symptoms of maladjustment to divorce and
23 responses to maladjustment; and education or counseling options for the
25 (2) parties to the action including communication skills; conflict res-
26 olution skills; emotional adjustment, family adjustment, financial adjust-
27 ment and work adjustment techniques; stress reduction; parallel and co-
28 operative parenting techniques; state custody guidelines; reconciliation
29 and counseling options, and remarriage issues; and substance abuse in-
30 formation and referral. This may be avoided if there is not a substance
31 abuse problem, and the individuals file an affidavit to that affect; and
32 (3) court procedure and process including divorce law, including
33 court procedure; legal representation; friend of the court procedures; and
34 alternative dispute resolution options.
35 (d) The provider of a divorce education program shall issue a certif-
36 icate of program completion to each individual who completes the pro-
38 (e) A divorce education program shall be conducted only by one or
39 more of the following:
40 (1) A licensed professional which means a marriage and family ther-
41 apist meeting the requirements provided in article 64 of chapter 65 of
42 the Kansas Statutes Annotated or a licensed psychologist meeting the
43 requirements provided in article 53 of chapter 74 of the Kansas Statutes
2 (2) a social worker meeting the requirements provided in article 63
3 of chapter 65 of the Kansas Statutes Annotated;
4 (3) a psychiatrist; or
5 (4) an official representative of a religious institution or such repre-
6 sentative's designee.
7 (f) If the individual conducting a program described in this section is
8 an official representative of a religious institution or such representative's
9 designee, the program may omit a subject listed in subsection (c) if train-
10 ing, education or counseling on that subject would violate a tenet of the
11 religious institution.
12 (g) Payment for a divorce education program shall be made directly
13 to the program provider. A program provider shall provide for a fee sched-
14 ule that accommodates families of various financial means, including al-
15 lowing participation by indigent individuals for no fee.
16 (h) If parties to a marriage file a certificate of program completion
17 demonstrating compliance with the divorce education program at the
18 time of filing for divorce and a decree of divorce is not entered, the parties
19 may comply with this requirement in a subsequent action to dissolve the
20 same marriage by filing the same certificate of program completion.
21 (i) The court shall not order a divorce education program if a party
22 to the marriage files an affidavit stating that the party is a victim of physical
23 abuse by the other party.
24 (j) If the parties to the marriage file for separate maintenance, the
25 judgment shall include a notice stating that, if the judgment remains in
26 effect for longer than four years, either party, without consent from the
27 other party, may file a complaint for divorce, and that, subject to a possible
28 requirement to complete a divorce education program, the divorce will
29 be granted without an allegation for divorce.
30 (k) If the parties file for a divorce within four years after a judgment
31 of separate maintenance has been entered and the parties would have
32 been subject to the requirement of a divorce education program, the
33 court shall not enter a judgment of divorce until the parties complete the
34 divorce education program. The parties must obtain a certificate of pro-
35 gram completion and file the certificate along with an affidavit stating
36 course completion at the time of filing for divorce. If the court finds that
37 one party to the marriage refuses to complete such a program, the court
38 may grant the divorce upon the completion of the program by the other
39 party and that party's filing of the certificate of program completion.
40 Sec. 5. K.S.A. 1996 Supp. 23-106, 23-108a and 60-1608 are hereby
42 Sec. 6. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its
43 publication in the statute book.