Step 4: The hearing
Whether or not a judge granted you a temporary ex parte order when you filed your petition, a court date will usually be set for a hearing on your petition within 21 days of filing.1 At this hearing, both you and the abuser will have the chance to present evidence, testimony, and witnesses to prove your case to the judge. Then the judge will decide whether or not to give you a final order. It is very important that you attend the court hearing. If you do not go to the hearing, your temporary order (if you have one) will expire.
If the abuser does not show up for the hearing, the judge may enter a “default” order, granting you what you requested in your petition. The judge may also decide to postpone the date of the hearing in order to be able to hear testimony from the abuser. If the judge postpones the hearing, be sure to ask that your temporary order will be extended until the next hearing date.
You may wish to hire a lawyer to help with your case, especially if the abuser has a lawyer. If the abuser shows up with a lawyer, you can ask the judge for a “continuance” (a later court date) so that you have time to find a lawyer. Go to KS Places that Help to find help in your area.
You can also read through the Preparing your Case section for ways you can show the judge that you were abused - this may be especially helpful if you are representing yourself. You can learn more about the court system in our Preparing for Court – By Yourself section.
1 Kan. Stat. § 60-31a05(a)