Waiting Period To Get a Divorce
How Long Does it Take to Get a Divorce?
Ending your marriage usually comes after a lot of agonizing and realizing that it is time to move on. The laws in your state will determine how long it takes to finalize a divorce. The basic requirements for each state include:
- Meeting the minimum residency requirements for divorce for your state
- Is there a waiting time required before you can file for divorce?
- Do you have to live apart from your spouse for a specific amount of time prior to getting divorced?
What does the waiting period mean?
Also called a ‘cooling off period’, a mandatory waiting period is the required amount of time that has to elapse before you can file for a divorce. Again, this varies from state to state. Hiring an experienced divorce attorney to answer your questions and best navigate you through the process is important. Your lawyer will be your best advocate and work to obtain the best and fairest settlement.
The waiting period starts once the divorce papers are filed or as soon as your spouse is service the divorce documents.
Is a separation requirement different from a waiting period?
This is the amount of time you have to be separated before you can even file for divorce. This time frame is different from state to state. The purpose of the separation and the waiting or cooling off period is to give couples a chance to possibly work out the issues with their marriage before following through with a divorce.
Is it okay to live together while in the middle of the divorce proceedings?
In most states, the answer is yes. In the states where there is a separation requirement, the date used to begin the separation is usually the date when one of you made the decision that the marriage was not going to work and you stopped living as a married couple, but stayed living in the same home. There are some states, however, that require you to live apart before you can even file for divorce. You cannot have sex with your spouse during that period. In addition, if you have minor children, the length of time required for separation may b extended — to up to a year. The reasoning behind this requirement is the court believes it is more beneficial for children to grow up in a two-parent home and lengthening the separation requirement gives the parents a chance to more thoroughly evaluate the decision to separate.
How to survive living together during a divorce
- Keep the lines of communication open with your children. Use age-appropriate language to explain your situation
- Make a schedule to plan time for only one spouse to be home at a time. This will lessen the opportunity to argue — especially in front of your children.
- Work out your finances together
- Communicate with each other respectfully. Use texts or emails when necessary. Try not to read ‘a tone’ into written communication. Keep communication brief and to the point.
Consult with an experienced divorce lawyer offers to answer your questions and understand the requirements for divorce in your state.