Disunited States: The Best and Worst States To Get A Divorce

By on September 24, 2013

Whether you’re lying awake at night scheming legal revenge on your cheating spouse and thinking of the divorce technicalities that will give you the most leverage or you’re part of that rare pragmatic couple that is seeking to make divorce easier for both parties involved, there’s a lot to be said about where you file your divorce papers.

Bloomberg Rankings outlined the obstacles to obtaining an easy divorce in all 50 states and

the District of Columbia.

Disunited States: The Best and Worst States To Get A Divorce Image: Shutterstock.com

The resulting rankings can be useful for people considering crossing state lines to get the alimony they deserve of to skip over lengthy waiting periods. Divorce law in the United States varies significantly, and humorously in some cases, based on these factors.

Length of Time

Bloomberg’s list puts New Hampshire at the top of its list in terms of the best state in which to get a divorce. With a very low filing fee and the shortest processing time – none – you can cross the border, without any minimum residency or time requirement, and get your divorced finalized that same day.

Neighboring Vermont, however, requires couples to have lived in the state for at least a year, not to mention a three-month waiting period before the divorce becomes final. The processing time totals 450 day and the filing fee is much higher than in New Hampshire.

Divorce in Nevada is similarly expensive, but quick no-fault divorces are processed much faster. Unlike many other states across the country, Nevada doesn’t resent its notoriety as a destination for quick marriages and

divorces. This means that, what is common elsewhere, judges ruling in a prejudice manner if

they discover that your intent was to relocate just for an easier divorce, is not an issue in Nevada.

Burden of Proof

The family law stipulations regarding grounds for divorce are even more varied across the country. In Mississippi, you can seek divorce on the grounds that your spouse was an ‘idiot’ at the time of marriage. The state of Maine has rather extreme burdens of proof for pointing the blame, three years of desertion before filing are required. In North Dakota, willful desertion is also grounds for divorce even if it is a ‘persistent refusal to have reasonable matrimonial intercourse.’ While determining what is reasonable in the marital bedroom is not something North Dakotan courts shy away from, Tennessee family law is more focused on bodily harm. If one spouse has made an attempt on the others life, and poison is specifically mentioned as a tactic, then a fault divorce is a viable legal option.

Fault versus No Fault

In 1970, California was the first state to offer no-fault divorce and since then the trend to avoid the blame game has grown increasingly popular. Since 2010, such divorces where the neither spouse has to prove that the other spouse did anything wrong are allowed in all states. Only some states allow fault divorces. Ohio is a prime example of a mixed state, where you can seek divorce on either fault or no-fault grounds. Most parties seeking divorce in such states only resort to proving fault grounds when they have contested child custody or alimony matters. As fault cases are inevitably more complicated and require more deliberation, a

law office in Columbus, for example, can better equip divorce seekers in mixed states than

visiting the local law library.

About KateSimmons

Kate Simmons is a freelance writer and occasional blogger. If her article got you interested, feel free to follow or reach out to her via G+ or Twitter.