Do I Have to Be Divorced Six Months Before I Can Get Married Again in Minnesota?

By Marcy Brinkley

In some states, such as Texas, divorcing spouses must wait for a specified number of days after a divorce before marrying someone else. The waiting period corresponds to the length of time allowed for filing an appeal. Minnesota, on the other hand, has not required a waiting period for remarriage since the law was changed in 1979.

Waiting Periods

In states that require a waiting period between the date of divorce and the date of remarriage, the purpose is to avoid a situation in which the new marriage might not be valid because the divorce case is reopened. For example, the time allowed for appealing a divorce in Texas is 30 days, so the divorcing spouses must wait for that period of time before marrying someone else. With a few limited exceptions, Minnesota law does not allow either party to challenge the finality of the divorce decree, so no waiting period is necessary.

Finality of Divorce

Since March 1, 1979, the only ground for divorce in Minnesota is an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. Therefore, unless one of the parties disagrees on that point in the divorce proceedings, or argues that the other party is not entitled to a divorce, the divorce becomes final on the day the decree for dissolution of marriage is entered. Both spouses are free to remarry thereafter unless an exception applies.

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There are two limited exceptions to the rule that the decree is final when entered: First, if one party contested the divorce on the grounds the marriage was not irretrievably broken, that party has 90 days to appeal the divorce and neither party is free to remarry before that time period passes. Second, if a party appeals on the basis the other spouse is not entitled to a divorce, neither party is free to remarry until the appeal has been concluded. Neither exception applies unless the complaining spouse raised the issue during the divorce proceedings.

Obtaining a Marriage License

If you plan to remarry in Minnesota, you must bring a copy of your divorce decree with you when you apply for a marriage license. There is a five-day waiting period between the application date and date you are permitted to pick up the license. Therefore, unless you qualify for a waiver of the waiting period or marry in another state, you will not be able to remarry immediately after your divorce becomes final.

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