Session of 1999
By Special Committee on Judiciary

  9             AN  ACT concerning civil procedure; relating to reconciliation of a
10             marriage.
12       Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Kansas:
13             Section  1. (a) If parties to a marriage undergoing difficulties desire
14       the assistance of the court in obtaining an order for marriage counseling
15       but do not wish to file a cause of action for divorce, annulment or separate
16       maintenance, either party may file a petition for reconciliation. Such pe-
17       tition shall set forth the facts of the marriage, the facts pertaining to minor
18       children of the marriage, the court's jurisdiction and a request for an order
19       for marriage counseling. The court may order the parties into marriage
20       counseling as provided by article 16 of chapter 60 of the Kansas Statutes
21       Annotated, and amendments thereto, within a temporary order filed with
22       the petition. Neither party, however, shall be required to submit to mar-
23       riage counseling provided by any religious organization of a particular
24       denomination.
25             (b) The filing of a reconciliation action shall serve to stay the filing of
26       any action for divorce, annulment or separate maintenance until the same
27       is dismissed or converted into a divorce, annulment or separate mainte-
28       nance action pursuant to subsection (c).
29             (c) If marriage counseling proves unsuccessful in assisting the parties
30       in reconciliation, either party may then file a motion to convert the rec-
31       onciliation into a divorce, annulment or separate maintenance. After no-
32       tice to both parties and upon hearing the motion, such an action will be
33       converted and the court, as part of its order, shall issue a temporary order
34       pursuant to K.S.A. 60-1607, and amendments thereto, setting forth the
35       parties' rights and responsibilities until completion of the divorce, annul-
36       ment, separate maintenance, dismissal or modification by court order.
37             (d) If either party suffers abuse by the other party, the party suffering
38       the abuse may circumvent the reconciliation action by seeking a divorce,
39       annulment or separate maintenance action under the provisions set forth
40       in article 16 of chapter 60 of the Kansas Statutes Annotated, and amend-
41       ments thereto, if that party does not wish to participate in the reconcili-
42       ation process. The reconciliation process shall not bar the abused party
43       from seeking any of the protections afforded by law. However, an affidavit
44       setting forth the allegations of abuse shall accompany the filing of an ex
45       parte action within this action as set forth in subsection (b) of K.S.A. 60-
46       1607 and amendments thereto. In addition, an order allowing the con-
47       version to a K.S.A. 60-1608 and amendments thereto action for divorce,
48       annulment or separate maintenance or a K.S.A. 60-3101 and amendments
49       thereto action for protection from abuse shall be filed within either action.
50             (e) This section shall be part of and supplemental to article 16 of
51       chapter 60 of the Kansas Statutes Annotated, and amendments thereto.
52        Sec.  2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its
53       publication in the statute book.