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Which State Jurisdiction is Your Divorce In?
Each state has different divorce laws & available resources.
There are many considerations in divorce, and correct steps to take to get a divorce within each state. Find your state for a comprehensive outline about what you’ll encounter during your divorce. Some of the items that are most important include details on residency requirements, fault or no-fault divorce and more.
Are you the breadwinner or the stay-at-home spouse?(back to find a divorce expert)
Equitable Distribution LawIf you are the breadwinner in the marriage, states that observe the equitable distribution law will protect you. Notably, 41 states follow this law. Assets under an individual spouse’s name are not automatically split on a 50/50 basis. Instead, the judge will use his/her discretion to divide the marital property fairly. The judge makes a decision based on each spouse’s personal assets, contribution, financial needs, income, or earning potential.
Community property lawA breadwinner may not be too lucky in Wisconsin, Washington, Texas, New Mexico, Nevada, Louisiana, Idaho, California, Arizona, and Alaska. These states observe community property law, where marital property is split between the spouses 50/50. Separate property owned before marriage, inheritance, and gifts are the only assets exempted from the 50/50 split. Everything else acquired during the marriage is considered marital or joint property and must be shared equally upon divorce.
The BreadwinnerSo, have you been earning way more than your spouse during the marriage? You will be better off post-divorce if you reside in the 41 states that go by the equitable distribution law. Well, the judge can decide on 50/50 distribution of marital property, but it is not given. The chances are that you might get to keep most of the riches you acquired.
The stay-at-home spouseAre you the stay-at-home mum or dad that sacrificed his/her career to take care of the children? You will be better off post-divorce if you meet the residency requirements of the ten states that abide by the community property law. That is because you will be guaranteed of half the wealth that the other spouse acquired during the marriage. An experienced divorce lawyer will tell you if your state observes the community property law or the equitable distribution law.
Best States to File For a Divorce(back to find a divorce expert)
The best place to file a divorce will depend on what you want in terms of fees, residency requirements, separation periods, and waiting time.
- In New Hampshire, you can attempt a ‘dare’ marriage today and get divorced tomorrow. There is no minimum residency requirement in this state, and you can simply cross the border and establish your residency that way. Additionally, there is no minimum processing time, and you only pay $180 in filing fees. And interestingly, the state has among the lowest divorce cases.
- Nevada has among the fastest processing time for a divorce, but the fee is a little high, which is $289
- Missouri can grant you divorce in a month, if you have lived in the state for three months, at a fee of $180
FaultFault divorces are rare but can be necessary when you have an essential point to prove. For instance, they can show that your spouse is a terrible provider or cruel.
- If you are married to an addict, you can file a fault divorce on the grounds of “habitual intemperance” in Idaho. However, the grounds will not impact alimony or the split of assets.
- If you want to divorce a cheating spouse, you may not have to pay alimony in Georgia
- If your spouse deserted you and you don’t know where to find him/her, Maine can grant you divorce after three years. And you’ll only pay $120 in processing fees.
- If your spouse has made murderous attempts, consider filing a divorce in Tennessee.
- If your partner has persistently said no to matrimonial intercourse, a divorce is easily granted in North Dakota.
- If your spouse has suffered from incurable insanity for two years during the marriage, you can file for a divorce in Indiana.
- If your partner became an “idiot” after you got married, you could divorce him/her in Mississippi.
- Wyoming is cheaper to get divorced, but you have to wait for at least 80 days.
- Alaska is among the states with the highest divorce rates, possibly because of its low fee of $150 and a short waiting period of 30 days.
- In South Dakota, the fee is as low as $50
- The waiting time in Utah is 30 days, and in some circumstances, the waiting time can be waved. On the contrary, the minimum waiting time in California is six months.