It may surprise you to learn that if both parties consent, couples living anywhere in the State of Kansas can file and complete their divorce in Sedgwick County (the county that includes Wichita).
Technically speaking, as long as the Petitioner has lived in Kansas for at least 60 days, he or she can file in any county in Kansas. If neither party lives in Sedgwick County, however, the opposing party would only need to file a motion to change the venue to the county in which one or both parties live, and it would almost certainly be granted.
But why would a couple living in another part of Kansas want to file and complete their uncontested divorce in Wichita? The reason is that in Wichita, couples can usually avoid the time and trouble of appearing in Court to discuss the terms of their uncontested divorce agreement on the record in front of a judge, and answer any questions the judge may have about their settlement.
Every county in Kansas has its own local rules and has established its own common practices for how things are done. In counties with fewer cases and less crowded dockets, the courts are not overly burdened by requiring the parties to a divorce action to read their proposed divorce settlement on the record. This approach is adopted by many Kansas counties, and has the advantage of allowing the judge to give each proposed divorce agreement a more thorough review.
In Wichita, requiring parties to a divorce to go on the record in front of a judge to complete every divorce would cause a great deal of strain on the Sedgwick County courts. Therefore, parties who file and complete their divorce in Sedgwick County are allowed to file notarized Interrogatories in lieu of appearing in Court.
These Interrogatories generally state that the party signing the Journal Entry and Decree of Divorce which is being submitted to the Court has reviewed it, finds it to be fair, just, and equitable, and is in agreement with its terms. The Interrogatories also must state the reason why the party is unable to appear in Court. Acceptable answers can be as simple as “work obligations,” or “prior commitments.”
In Wichita, the Journal Entry and Decree of Divorce is still submitted to a judge for review, but the parties to an uncontested divorce are typically able to avoid making the court appearance through filing Interrogatories.