Emergency divorce is one of the ways Kansas couples can avoid the long and often dramatic conventional divorce process. This type of divorce follows the same procedure as the typical divorce but allows the petitioner to avoid the waiting period and bring the final hearing earlier.

Emergency divorce

Couples can speed up the termination of their marriage by including a request for an expedited divorce in their petition or filing a motion for an accelerated process later on. In this article, we’ll discuss how this type of divorce differs from regular divorce, the grounds for obtaining one and other options for speeding up the divorce process.

How Do You Initiate an Emergency Divorce in Kansas?

To initiate an emergency divorce in Kansas, the requesting spouse must show that certain pressing circumstances exist for the judge to grant the divorce immediately. Some situations during a divorce may be deemed emergencies, making the 60-day waiting period too long and necessitating an emergency divorce. 

– Grounds for an Emergency Divorce

Kansas family law gives judges wide discretion in deciding situations that fit the “emergency” description. Generally, Kansas judges may grant emergency divorces in domestic violence cases or when one spouse needs urgent financial support.

Before granting this divorce, courts require the requesting spouse to provide evidence of domestic abuse. To do so, the spouse may need to coordinate with local law enforcement or obtain police records. Also, you can speak to an experienced lawyer to find out how to get Kansas ex parte temporary orders to protect you from your abuser.

The petitioner may have to show various elements to prove an immediate need for financial support. They can show that they or their child have developed a medical issue demanding immediate attention, hence the need for financial support. They can also show that they can’t meet their reasonable needs during the divorce without their spouse’s financial support.

The court can agree to hold a hearing after proving any of these situations. Besides these emergencies, an expedited divorce can help streamline other legal processes, including getting a restraining order against an abusive partner or securing a custody order.

– Emergency Divorce Process in Kansas

If you’re wondering how to file for immediate divorce in Kansas, below are the general steps that an emergency divorce follows:

  • Filing of the divorce petition.
  • Provide vital facts of the case.
  • Granting of motion to an emergency divorce.
  • Court proceedings.

If you’re unsure where to find Kansas legal services divorce forms or a Kansas motion to dismiss form, you can visit the website of your residence county court for more information.

What Happens if You Don’t Initiate an Emergency Divorce in Kansas?

If you don’t initiate an emergency divorce in Kansas, you’ll go through the normal process of filing a divorce petition in a county court. Conventional divorces move through the courts quickly, even without an emergency. However, Kansas courts require that divorcing couples wait at least 60 days before any hearings.

Initiate an emergency divorce in kansas

Kansas divorce laws require that at least one spouse resides in the state for not less than 60 days before filing for a divorce. The Kansas residency requirement is shorter than in most states, making the typical divorce process quicker. Kansas laws also allow the spouse requesting the divorce to file a no-fault or fault-based divorce.

No-fault divorces in the state allow spouses to proceed with their divorce without apportioning blame for the breakdown of their marriage. For a Kansas court to accept a no-fault divorce petition, the petitioner only needs to state that the couple is no longer compatible or their marriage is irretrievably broken.

Fault-based divorces are less common in Kansas and require the petitioning spouse to claim and prove that the other spouse is at fault for the divorce due to marital misconduct that resulted in the breakup. According to Kansas family law, grounds for a fault-based divorce may include mental illness or neglecting an obligation or material marital duty.

What Does “Service” Mean in a Kansas Divorce?

“Service” in a Kansas divorce means that the petitioning spouse provides a copy of the divorce papers to their soon-to-be ex for them to be aware that the divorce is happening. The court makes this process mandatory to make the process fair. 

A process server or the county sheriff can do the service. Spouses who can’t reach their spouses can have a notice of the lawsuit published in a local newspaper at a fee. Once the divorce papers are received, the served spouse has 21 days to respond, which they can do by filing an answer, counterclaim, or both.

However, the respondent can waive service by filing the necessary documents in court if both spouses know about the divorce and agree to the divorce proceedings. After a spouse files a divorce complaint and serves the other spouse, the court waits for 60 days before scheduling a hearing.

Kansas law provides a 60-day “cooling-off” window that allows couples to work out a settlement to avoid an expensive, drawn-out court battle.

What Are the Alternatives to Emergency Divorce for Expediting a Divorce in Kansas?

The alternatives to emergency divorce for expediting a divorce in Kansas include filing for an uncontested divorce, legal separation or exploring a default divorce. Emergency divorces are taken seriously and may not always be available to couples terminating their marriage. 

Below, we discuss some of the alternatives to an emergency divorce.

– Uncontested Divorce

If a judge declines your request for an expedited divorce, you may consider an uncontested divorce. Spouses who can work together to sort out the most critical issues regarding their divorce can request an uncontested divorce in court.

Uncontested divorce

Usually, uncontested divorces involve fewer tussles and are shorter than conventional divorces. Both spouses agree on essential divorce issues, including the legal ground of divorce, child custody and support, spousal maintenance, parenting time, medical coverage for minor children and property division.

In most cases, spouses don’t need to hire separate attorneys. They may agree to have one draft their divorce settlement agreement and present it in court. Waiting periods and residency requirements still apply in uncontested divorces, but the process is streamlined compared to a contested divorce.

– Legal Separation/Separate Maintenance

Kansas couples looking to terminate their marriage quickly can file a legal separation, often referred to as separate maintenance. It follows a similar process to the typical divorce, only that spouses remain legally married after a legal separation.

So, why would spouses wish to end their marriage but remain legally married? Well, there may be a couple of reasons. Some people may choose legal separation as their religion may forbid divorce. Others may choose this process for the sake of their minor children.

In other cases, legal separation ensures the continuity of health care coverage or other insurance benefits. However, you should ensure that your health care plan allows coverage to continue after separation, as some don’t.

– Default Divorce

Filing for divorce means completing a petition that includes your reasons or grounds for the divorce. You can state that your marriage is irretrievably broken and that you want custody of your children and spousal support. In Kansas, you should serve the petition to your soon-to-be ex-spouse and provide the court with proof of service.

Default divorce

The respondent must respond to the petition within 21 days by accepting, denying, or countering the allegations. If they fail to respond, you can request the court to render a summary judgment, commonly known as a default divorce.

Upon requesting a default divorce, the judge can grant the pleas made in the petition, including child custody, child support, spousal maintenance and possession of the marital house. It isn’t uncommon for a judge to turn down unreasonable requests. However, judges will often grant a default divorce and the pleas of the filing spouse.

Conclusion

Individuals subjected to domestic abuse or who need financial support can terminate their marriages faster by filing for an emergency divorce. This type of divorce may finalize more quickly than the typical divorce if you can prove that your situation constitutes an emergency. 

  • An emergency divorce in Kansas lets you avoid the 60-day waiting period as in the typical divorce process.
  • For a judge to grant an emergency divorce, the petitioner has to prove grounds for requesting this type of divorce.
  • Even with an expedited divorce, a court may not hear a petition until after 20-30 days to allow the other spouse to file a response to the divorce complaint.
  • Other alternatives for expediting a divorce in Kansas include legal separation, uncontested divorce and a default divorce.

Like with any other divorce process, it is essential to work with a divorce attorney or a law firm specializing in family-related practice areas for the best results. They can assess your situation and tell you if it is appropriate to file for an emergency divorce.

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