In a rush to get divorced? Then don’t file for divorce in Maryland or South Carolina, which both require a year of residency plus a year of separation before you can even start the process. Instead, look for places with short or non-existent residency requirements and waiting periods. Assuming you’re after an uncontested divorce, the process could take just a few short weeks.
Top 7 places to get a fast divorce
Potential time to divorce: 30 days (1 month)
Alaska, like South Dakota and Washington State, has no residency requirement for divorce or dissolution. According to the state’s website, a divorce can move forward as long as “you are in Alaska when you file and intend to stay as a resident.”
Alaska does, however, have a waiting period, which is generally 30 days.
Potential time to divorce: 42 days (6 weeks)
Nevada is probably the most famous state for divorce, having gained its “quickie divorce” reputation in the early- and mid-20th century. There are a few reasons for this. First off, you could do a lot worse than spend time in Vegas or Reno while establishing residency. More importantly, Nevada has a short residency requirement of 6 weeks, and there’s no waiting period after filing.
3) South Dakota
Potential time to divorce: 60 days (2 months)
South Dakota has no residency requirement and a relatively short 60-day waiting period.
Potential time to divorce: 62 days (just under 9 weeks)
Like Nevada, Idaho is one of a handful of community property states, where spouses
equally own all assets and debts acquired during a marriage. In an uncontested, no-fault divorce, those assets and debts will generally be split evenly between the spouses. So, bickering over who gets what won’t be an issue if you get divorced in Idaho or Nevada. Also, Idaho has a 6-week residency requirement and a short divorce processing time of 20 days.
Potential time to divorce: 80 days (just over 11 weeks)
You have to live in Wyoming for 60 days before filing for divorce. If you’ve lived in Wyoming less than 60 days but, during that period, were married in the state and have been living there ever since, then you can skip the 60-day residency requirement and go straight to the divorce. Wyoming has a 20-day waiting period, making it possible to get a divorce in just under 3 months if all goes smoothly.
6) New Hampshire
Potential time to divorce: 1 year for non-residents, 0 for residents
New Hampshire has a 1-year residency requirement but no mandatory waiting period or processing time. Theoretically, you could get divorced in one day.
Potential time to divorce: 5 to 6 weeks
Before 2006, you could divorce your spouse in Guam without either party setting foot on the small island in the Pacific Ocean. But times have changed, and the law now requires one spouse to spend at least 7 days in Guam before filing. Processing time generally takes an additional 4 to 5 weeks.
A note about international divorces: Since Guam is a territory of the United States, divorces processed there are recognized in all fifty states. That’s not necessarily true in other formerly popular divorce locations—sometimes called “divorce mills”—like the Dominican Republic and Haiti. You may get a fast, cheap divorce in those places only to find your state doesn’t consider it legitimate. Be sure to check with your state first before spending time and money on an unrecognized divorce.
And if you have a question about divorce, you can always talk to an attorney directly to get your questions answered.
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