Kansas Court of Appeals Reiterates Need for Financial Information in District Court Approval of Separation Agreements

On Behalf of | Nov 5, 2021 | Family Law

In order to approve a Separation Agreement and incorporate it into a Decree of Divorce, the district court must find that an agreement has been reached, and that it is fair, just and equitable. In order to make such a finding, the court must have sufficient evidence of the value of significant assets, which may be supplied by way of a Domestic Relations Affidavit, included in the Agreement, or appear on a spreadsheet. Absent such information, the need for which was recognized over 23 years ago in Kirk v. Kirk, 24 Kan. App. 2d 31, Syl. 1, 941 P.2d 385 (1997), it is an abuse of discretion for the district court to find the separation agreement is just and equitable. “The parties’ mere agreement and assertion that the separation agreement was fair, just and equitable, even with the assistance of counsel, was not enough in the absence of testimony from the parties, domestic relations affidavits, or the listing of values of the property to be divided in the separation agreement itself.” In The Matter of the Marriage of Lee v. Lee, decided November 5, 2021 by the Kansas Court of Appeals, Docket No. 123,508, the Court of Appeals, inter alia, remanded the case to the district court “so the district court may be presented with sufficient evidence to determine the fairness of the separation agreement.”