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Divorce Waiting Periods

Thank you for this fun graphic from Part as Friends!

Many parties do not consider the waiting periods for divorce when they are contemplating getting a divorce but the state laws vary greatly from state to state in the United States. Although each state is different, many states start the clock to finalization from the date the Defendant is served with the action, not the date the Plaintiff files the action. However, as this fluctuates greatly, it is important to check with your state.

For example, in Georgia you have to wait 30 days from the date of service whereas in California, the wait is 6 months. Some states like Maine, Alaska and New York, have no waiting period at all. Why does it matter? Many parties need to get divorced by the end of the year for tax purposes. Currently the IRS looks at your tax status, married or single, based on your marital status on December 31st. So if you are waiting to not file as married in a given year, you may have to plan way ahead to meet your goal.

Not sure about the laws in your state? Check our database of Network Members to find someone in your state to answer your questions.