Mandatory Waiting Periods for Divorces

By Beverly Bird

When you're looking forward to putting your divorce behind you, finding out that you must wait a statutory period of time before it is officially over can be frustrating. Not all states have mandatory waiting periods, so you might avoid this inconvenience depending on where you live. If your state has waiting periods, you can take heart in knowing that it won't last forever – although it might seem like it.

When you're looking forward to putting your divorce behind you, finding out that you must wait a statutory period of time before it is officially over can be frustrating. Not all states have mandatory waiting periods, so you might avoid this inconvenience depending on where you live. If your state has waiting periods, you can take heart in knowing that it won't last forever – although it might seem like it.

Reasons for Waiting Periods

The idea behind mandatory waiting periods is that you might not move ahead with your divorce if you're given time to really think about it. Legislatures don't want to make it too easy for you to impulsively end your marriage. And, if your spouse doesn't pay child support as ordered, you could end up receiving public assistance. Research groups insist that divorce creates problems for children, and your government doesn't want to see this happen either. Sometimes, mandatory waiting period laws result from lobbying by religious and similar groups who are morally opposed to divorce.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More

Average Wait Times

In some states, such as Arkansas, the waiting period is over almost before the ink dries on your settlement agreement – it's only 30 days for an uncontested divorce. Then there are states like North Carolina, where the rule isn't actually called a waiting period, but it requires you to wait all the same. You must be separated for a year in this state to divorce. California's wait time is something of a middle ground between extremes -- six months. You can file for divorce at any time, but your case can't be finalized until six months have passed.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
Divorce Laws in California Regarding Education & Children

References

Related articles

Washington State Residency & Divorce

Most states have durational residency requirements for divorce -- you must live in the jurisdiction for a continuous period of time before you can file there. Washington law does not include such a rule, but it does impose a waiting period before the court will actually grant you a divorce.

How Long Till a Divorce Is Final After Filing?

Divorces are not finalized overnight. Even if you and your spouse are in complete agreement on the major divorce issues, many states have mandatory waiting periods that automatically delay the process. Further, depending on where you file, court scheduling will play a key factor in determining the time it takes a judge to sign off on the divorce.

Do You Have to Wait 6 Months Before You Can File for a Divorce in Illinois?

In some states, grounds for divorce are pretty straightforward – you have irreconcilable differences, and that's that. Illinois recognizes irreconcilable differences as a ground, but that's where the simplicity ends. A six-month rule applies in this state, although there's no waiting period if you file on fault grounds.

Get Divorced Online

Related articles

Can You Rush a Divorce in Any Way?

Some people are as eager to get their divorces over with as they were to get married in the first place. If you're one ...

Maryland's Laws on the Terms for an Immediate Divorce

If you want an immediate divorce, your best bet is to move to Nevada – and even there, the process isn't over ...

Tennessee Divorce After Desertion

Tennessee recognizes a total of 13 different fault grounds for divorce, some of them quite creative. The state also ...

What If a Child Custody Decision Has Been Made But Changes Occur?

It's not a foregone conclusion that parents move into separate households the minute they decide to divorce; many ...

Browse by category