Divorce can be a time-consuming matter in some cases, but the Kansas family court system does provide the opportunity for an expedited divorce in emergency situations. Kansas upholds an emergency divorce option for those who need immediate divorce rulings. In most cases, emergency divorces are reserved for domestic violence and spousal abuse cases. However, they can also come into play when a divorcing spouse can demonstrate an immediate need for financial support from the other spouse.
An emergency divorce is typically a sensitive situation that requires careful attention from an experienced attorney. If you need help to escape domestic violence or if your family situation demands an immediate resolution to your divorce case, the right attorney will make a significant difference in the outcome of your divorce case and your ability to secure an emergency divorce.
Grounds for Emergency Divorce
There are generally only two possible justifications for an emergency divorce petition in Kansas: domestic violence or immediate need of support. Proving the former may require coordination with local law enforcement, police records production, and coordinating with other legal teams handling the criminal and civil sides of a domestic violence issue. It is not uncommon for domestic violence offenders to face criminal prosecution from the state, civil claims from victims, and family law implications for their actions all at once.
When it comes to an immediate need for financial support, the petitioner asking for an emergency divorce may need to offer several elements. They may need to prove their medical status has changed, that their child has developed a medical issue that demands immediate attention and financial support, or they are otherwise unable to survive without financial support from their spouse. The emergency divorce process can significantly expedite a divorce if a petitioner meets the qualifying criteria. An emergency divorce may also streamline additional legal processes like securing a child custody decision or a restraining order against an abusive spouse.
How Does an Emergency Divorce Work?
Kansas state law typically maintains a 60-day waiting period for divorce decrees. This 60-day window begins when a divorce petition is filed and ends when a judge signs the divorce decree. This timeframe exists to provide the divorcing spouses one last opportunity to reconcile and save their marriage. However, the mandatory waiting period is a burden for many people enduring divorce proceedings and dangerous for others.
In the latter case, an emergency divorce can significantly expedite divorce proceedings when someone’s safety is at stake. When a petitioner files a divorce petition as an emergency divorce, there is a mandatory 21-day waiting period in which the other spouse has the opportunity to respond to or challenge the petition. At the end of the 21-day period, there will be a hearing if the other spouse responded to the petition, or the court will grant a summary judgment to the petitioner and approve the emergency divorce.
During the emergency divorce hearing, the judge will consider the petitioner’s case for their emergency divorce. This may require reviewing compiled evidence and listening to testimony from various sources. If the judge determines the petitioner’s grounds for filing for emergency divorce are valid, the hearing will instantly transition to a formal divorce hearing. The judge will then deliver a ruling on the divorce immediately.
Benefits of Emergency Divorce
The main benefit and purpose of an emergency divorce is immediate safety and support when it is needed most. Securing an emergency divorce means you will not need to wait as long for a support ruling when you have an immediate need for financial support or protection if you or your children have been abused or harmed by your spouse.
Emergency divorces are taken very seriously in Wichita courts, so it is vital to have reliable legal representation by your side if you intend to pursue an emergency divorce. If you do not need immediate financial support, or your spouse has not committed any type of domestic violence or abuse, it may not be appropriate or reasonable to pursue an emergency divorce. An experienced Wichita, KS divorce attorney can help you determine your best available alternatives to emergency divorce that may expedite your proceedings.
Alternative Options for Expediting Divorce
Aside from emergency divorce, there are few other ways to potentially speed up your divorce proceedings. However, these options are only available in certain situations. For example, if you and your spouse have only been married for a few months, have no children, have no shared assets, and you each earn individual income under a certain threshold, you may qualify for a summary dissolution. This process is a simplified divorce that frees up court resources while also streamlining divorce proceedings for divorcing couples. You will still need to wait the mandatory 60 days in most cases. However, for the most part, you can start building your new life on your own after starting the summary dissolution process.
Another alternative to emergency divorce is an uncontested divorce. This simply means that you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse agree on the terms of your divorce and do not see any need to litigate. It’s possible to simply negotiate these terms and draw up a divorce agreement on your own or undergo supervised mediation with the help of an attorney. Ultimately, the more collaborative and agreeable you and your spouse are willing to be with one another during your divorce proceedings, the more likely you will be to secure a speedy divorce.
Hire the Right Divorce Attorney
No matter what type of divorce petition you intend to file, it is essential to have reliable legal representation in your corner as you start the divorce process. If you need an emergency divorce due to a clear and evident threat to you and your family’s safety, call our firm. An experienced attorney can help you complete the filing process as quickly as possible. If you believe you and your spouse qualify for summary dissolution under Missouri state law, your Wichita, KS divorce attorney can assist with these procedures as well.
An emergency divorce filing might be exactly what you need to ensure your family’s safety and security following domestic violence, abuse, or the appearance of a severe medical issue. Consult with an experienced Wichita, KS divorce attorney to learn more about whether an emergency divorce petition would be the most appropriate legal recourse for your situation.