Divorce statistics often make it into national news. We get a lot of divorce information from the news, but you never really hear about the process, like which state is the easiest for divorce, or the hardest.
State laws vary and those laws can affect the divorce process. What states are the easiest and the hardest to get a divorce?
Expect Long Proceedings In These States
National news covers nationally relevant news and rarely goes into the details about local or state laws, but each state has them, and they can vary widely. For example, in Nebraska, the local laws allow for a divorce to take up to 420 days to process a divorce. The filing fee in Nebraska is also high. You will pay $157 to file. You have to be a resident of Nebraska for one year, and there is a two-month cooling-off period as well after filing.
No one likes the idea of divorce, some states hate it so much that they make it as difficult as possible to get one. Kansas, like Nebraska, has a cool down or waiting period after you file. You have to wait sixty days before you take another step in Kansas. That tacks on at least two months to your journey.
In these states, they use a "buyers' remorse" approach to divorce. About 41% of "buyers" never imagined regretting their purchase, although 30% did. Perhaps the idea behind the cooling down period in divorce cases is to give you an opportunity to back out instead of suffering a permanent decision based on a temporary situation.
California is another state where you can expect long delays and expensive filing fees. In California, the process takes about 360 days to process, and you are going to have to pay a whopping $350. Three hundred and sixty days does not sound bad when you live in Arkansas, where the minimum processing time is 540 days.
In New York state, if you are filing for a divorce, you can expect to wait about 360 days for that divorce to be processed. You will also pay a hefty filing fee of $370. South Carolina requires a one-year separation before you can even start the divorce process. South Carolina is actually in a tie with Vermont for having the longest processing times.
Vermont and Rhode Island are also known as being some of the hardest places to get a divorce. Texas is high on the list as well, as the hardest place to get a divorce. Each of these states has long processing times, relatively high fee schedules, and does what it can to prevent smooth sailing through divorce court.
The Easiest States to Get a Divorce
If you watch the national news, you may be led to believe that Nevada is an easy place to get a divorce. However, surprisingly, it is not Nevada that leads the pack, it is Alaska. You can get a divorce in Alaska in as soon as thirty days. Of course, there are residency requirements in Alaska, but if you live in Arkansas it may be worth establishing residency in Alaska to curtail that minimum processing time.
South Dakota is another state that hardly ever makes it into the national news, yet it is one of the easiest states to get a divorce. On average, it takes about 60 days to process a divorce in South Dakota. Wyoming, Washington state, and Iowa round off the list with about a 90 day processing time in each state for divorce.
If you are thinking of divorce you should always consult with counsel. There may be a better way around moving the process along.