What is the Waiting Period for Divorce?
In the United States, divorce proceedings and laws are governed by each individual state, not the federal branch of government. Generally, each state has its own guidelines and laws.
What is the Waiting Period to Apply?
The general waiting period for applying for a divorce is one year, as many states have adopted a new law which requires legal separation for one year before actually applying for a divorce. This law was adopted to be use for legal documents and insurance claims for those who are not married or divorced.
In other states, the waiting period can be up to two years, while others have either no waiting period or a three month waiting period such as Pennsylvania. Even if you have already been separated for months or years, the waiting period does not begin until the paperwork is filed by an attorney.
Waiting to Re-Marry After a Divorce
Another waiting period implemented by most states is one used for re-marrying after a divorce is final. Everyone dates during a separation and may indeed find that special someone; however, in order to marry them, the waiting period after a divorce must be followed. This time period varies from state to state and its best to check with your attorney or local government to ensure the time period has not changed.
California and Arizona require no wait period while Alabama requires 60 days and Wisconsin requires three months. On average however, several states have no waiting period other than waiting for the marriage license which can be 24 hours to one month. Additionally, many states require couples to complete a marriage preparation course at least one year prior to applying for a license.
Every states laws are put in place to protect couples as well as allow them the opportunity to have a “cooling off” period. It is often seen that many couples separate, file for divorce, only to reconcile later. This creates unnecessary paperwork for the courts as well as wasting money and resources. Having these waiting periods ensures that couples have exhausted all avenues to rectify their differences before making this final life changing decision.