What's In This Article
Most couples are always eager to proclaim their commitment to love each other until death during their wedding. However, how soon after marriage can you get a divorce if the union does not work out?
This is a question many couples ask when they are tired of their marriage and want to live separately. Most people have different views about getting a divorce, but the reality is that the court considers various factors before finalizing a divorce.
Keep reading to learn these factors and dispel all your misconceptions about getting a divorce.
How Soon After Marriage Can You Get a Divorce?
One is eligible for a divorce as soon as they get married, but they must follow various legal requirements, which delays the process. On average, it may take three to twelve months to get a divorce, but this period is not definitive.
Each state has different legal requirements for getting a divorce. For instance, some states have a cooling-off period, while others have residency requirements. So, you must consult a divorce attorney to understand the applicable laws.
Ultimately, do not expect everything to be finalized in a short time because getting a divorce takes time.
Read More: What Is The Hardest Part Of Divorce?
Factors That Determine How Long a Divorce Takes
Several factors determine how long a divorce will take. These factors are usually the legal requirements you must follow to ensure the divorce is legally binding.
Let’s discuss these factors in detail.
The Cooling-Off Period
The cooling-off period is the time you should take before getting a divorce. However, not all states have this legal requirement. The main aim of a cooling-off period is to give couples a chance to work out their issues.
Some states consider whether the couples have children when implementing the cooling-off period. For example, in Tennessee, the cooling-off period is 90 days if you have children.
So, how is the cooling-off period executed?
The cooling-off period commences after the divorce filing, so if you live in Virginia and meet all the legal requirements, you can get a divorce as soon as after 15 days, which is faster than in Colorado.
The state’s residency requirements affect how soon you can get a divorce. These requirements illustrate the minimum amount of time you must live in a state before filing for a divorce.
The residency requirements are usually three to six months, but they depend on each state’s laws. For example, California’s residency requirement is usually 180 days, while Kansas's is 60 days. However, in some states, such as Alaska, you do not require a minimum residency period.
The Basis of the Divorce
You can either file a no-fault or an at-fault divorce. No-fault divorce is where no one is to blame for the failed marriage, meaning you fell out of love with your partner. Such divorces take less time since both parties are willing to end the marriage amicably.
At-fault divorce is where one party is to blame for the failed marriage. For instance, in cases of domestic violence or adultery. Such divorce proceedings may take longer because such cases end up in trial.
The Court’s Workload
Your divorce will take longer if the court has many cases to trial. It implies that even if you meet the cooling-off period and the residency requirements, your divorce will still take time to be finalized.
The Process of Filing a Divorce
You should file for a divorce after meeting all the legal requirements and consulting an attorney. Here are the steps you should follow.
Initiate the Divorce Process
File the divorce petition to initiate the divorce process. In the petition, you must mention that you have met the cooling-off and residency requirements. One must also indicate their reason for filing the divorce.
Ask the Court for Temporary Orders
You can request the court for temporary orders on issues like child custody and spousal support before the divorce is finalized.
Present Proof of Service
You must notify your partner after filing for a divorce by giving them a copy of the paperwork. You must present evidence of service to the court, depicting that you have notified your partner about the divorce petition.
Negotiate a Settlement
Negotiate a settlement with your partner on various matters, such as child custody and property division. Having such an amicable settlement with your partner will fasten the divorce process.
Go to Trial
If you cannot agree on a fair settlement with your partner, go to trial. However, the divorce process will take longer because the court must take its time to evaluate the case and follow the required procedure.
Finalizing the Judgment
A judge will sign the divorce petition to complete it. A lawyer will draft the final judgment for the judge to sign if you negotiated a fair settlement with your spouse.
Read More: How Can I Divorce My Husband Easily?
What Happens if One Party Refuses To Sign the Divorce Papers?
If one party refuses to sign the divorce papers, it can derail the entire divorce process. This is because it forces both parties to go to court, meaning that the divorce will take longer than expected.
However, if the court grants the divorce, it will force the refusing partner to sign the divorce papers or face hefty penalties.
Can the Court Deny the Divorce?
Yes, the court can deny the divorce temporarily, but in certain circumstances. They include:
- Not meeting the residency requirements in your initial petition.
- Not providing sufficient evidence if you have filed an at-fault divorce.
- Having unresolved child support issues.
- Not notifying your partner about the divorce petition.
It takes time to finalize a divorce, especially if one of the partners does not want to comply with the process. However, if both parties are compliant, the process is usually smooth.
How soon after marriage you can get a divorce depends on the various legal requirements that determine how long the divorce takes. For instance, you must meet the residency requirements and the cooling-off period.
Consult an attorney when filing for a divorce to ensure you do not miss your state requirements since it may derail the divorce process.
Lauren Cook-McKay is the Vice President of Marketing at DivorceAnswers.com. She holds a Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) from the University of San Diego and applies her training in private practice to helping couples struggling in their marriage. She believes there is hope in all marriages and strives to provide therapy to couples that will lead them back towards a loving marriage, or an amicable divorce that brings peace and closure.