As sad as it may be, when you finally realize that you can’t save your marriage and must get a divorce, you likely want to get it accomplished as quickly as possible. After all, the faster the emotional upheaval is over, the sooner you can move forward and establish your new life. But how long does a divorce actually take?
As a divorce lawyer from a firm like the Winfrey Law Firm can explain, every state has its own divorce laws, requirements and procedures. Your wisest strategy is to seek the advice, counsel and representation of an experienced local divorce attorney who can answer all your questions and help you through the process.
Residency and Waiting Time Requirements
Many states require you to be a resident for a specified period of time before allowing you to file for divorce. In addition, many states have a mandatory wait, often referred to as a cooling-off period, between the time you file and the time the judge grants your divorce. Again, your lawyer can advise you of your state’s requirements in these regards.
Quick Divorce States
If your state has a long residency requirement or long mandatory waiting period, you may wish to consider temporarily relocating to one of the states with more favorable laws. The following four states have such laws:
- Nevada – 6-week residency requirement, no waiting period
- South Dakota – no residency requirement, 60-day waiting period
- Idaho – 6-week residency requirement, 20-day waiting period
- Wyoming – 6-week residency requirement, 20-day waiting period
Before you decide to get your divorce in one of these states, however, be sure that you know and understand what other requirements they may have. For instance, how do they require you to give notice to your spouse that you filed for divorce? What are the laws regarding the division of your marital assets?
Some states have laws that allow you to obtain an expedited divorce under certain circumstances. Usually, you have to produce evidence of spousal abuse or domestic violence in order to qualify for an emergency divorce, but this is not always the case. Once again, your lawyer can advise you of your state’s emergency divorce laws (if any) and how you may qualify for one.
Finally, it goes without saying that the less you and your spouse fight about it, the smoother and faster your divorce will proceed. A fully litigated divorce that includes hard-fought custody and property settlement issues could take over a year to conclude.