Is There a Waiting Period to Finalize a Divorce in Kansas?
In Kansas, there is a minimum waiting period of 60 days after a Petition For Divorce is filed until it may be finalized. If an emergency exists, the courts may grant a divorce sooner. The 60-day period allows each party to work out agreements regarding assets, debts, alimony/spousal support, child support, and child custody.
Although the state of Kansas imposes a 60-day waiting period, a divorce proceeding may take longer depending on how smoothly the process goes. If either party is contesting the terms of the divorce, a divorce may take several months or, in rare cases, years to resolve.
Divorce Timeline in Kansas
Most divorce proceedings in Kansas follow a general timeline. The timeline is as follows :
Hiring a Divorce Lawyer
One or both parties hire a divorce lawyer in Johnson County, Kansas. The divorce lawyer drafts all necessary documents, including the Petition For Divorce, Temporary Orders (if needed), a Property Settlement Agreement, a Parenting Plan, and a Child Support Worksheet (if there are one or more children), the Domestic Relations Affidavit, and a Decree of Divorce.
Filing a Petition/Receiving a Response
The divorce lawyer files the Petition For Divorce on behalf of his/her client. The other party must respond to the Petition within 21 days of being served with the papers or voluntarily entering his/her appearance in the case. Failure to timely file a written response with the court means that the party is in default, and the case may proceed.
The parties exchange documents and information so that full disclosure of all income, assets, and debts is made. The couple then enters into mediation or settlement negotiations. If both parties agree to the terms of the divorce, the final documents are electronically filed with the court. Once the Judge approves the final Decree of Divorce, the case is concluded.
If one or both parties refuse to settle during mediation or through settlement negotiations, then their case will proceed to a Pre-Trial Conference, and ultimately, a trial. The purpose of a trial is for the judge to decide the issues not agreed upon and render a judgment based on the arguments and evidence presented by both sides.
Emergency Situations During Divorce Proceedings
In rare instances, there are certain situations that may warrant the courts granting a divorce before the 60-day waiting period has expired. In most cases, emergencies involve emotional or physical conditions, children, money, or the emotional or physical abuse of a spouse or child. They may include:
Matters Involving Children
If a child’s life, health, or welfare are at risk, a court may expedite a divorce. For instance, if the children are exposed to substance abuse or an intense situation in the home, the court may approve a divorce quickly and impose a restraining order against a parent.
Child or Spousal Support
Most child or spousal support cases are not classified as emergency situations. However, if one spouse refuses to support the family and pulls all funds out of the bank account, the other party may file a Motion and seek a hearing date so that the court may make the appropriate orders. The purpose of the hearing is to hear both sides of the story and restore financial stability.
The safety of children and spouses is always a priority with the courts. Therefore, if there is a domestic violence crisis, the court may proceed with a Petition For Divorce faster than normal. The judge may also order that there be no contact between spouses or parent and child.
Hire a Divorce Lawyer in Overland Park, Kansas
Jeffers Law Office provides comprehensive legal services for clients in divorce cases in Kansas. The law firm serves clients in all of Johnson County, including Overland Park, Leawood, Olathe, Shawnee, Lenexa, and Prairie Village. Contact us for a free initial consultation and legal services from an experienced family law attorney.