While divorce is an agonizing life-event, there are some states where the emotional and financial toll is greater than others. There is a list containing states in which filing and legal paperwork are the most expensive and/or require the longest waiting periods and residency requirements.
Nebraska tops the list for those going through the trauma of divorce and has been called the “worst state” in which to dissolve a marriage. The filing fee for a divorce is $157, and the waiting period to process the paperwork is 420 days.
A residency of a year is required, and the state enforces a two-month extension in the event the couple changes their mind. The average age of the person entering marriage is 26 years old, and the typical Nebraskan union lasts around 23 years.
The Empire State of New York is listed as number two, requiring a $335 filing fee and around 360 days minimum to process the papers.
In 1970, the first state to acquire the initial no-fault status was California. It takes 360 days and $395 to obtain dissolution of marriage in the Golden State. It is one of the few states that require a “cooling-off” period after filing the initial paperwork.
The last four states to round out the top seven are Arkansas, South Carolina, Rhode Island and Vermont. The filing fee for Arkansas is $165, with 540 days minimum processing time. There is a required period of separation of 180 days and this excludes cohabitation.
South Carolina mandates at least one year of separation with three months of residency. If a person lives out of state, the residency is a year. Rhode Island demands $120 filing fee with 510-day waiting period. It is the only state that still has a cool down period of an additional five months, making it the state with the highest waiting period.
Rounding out the list of seven is Vermont. Couples must live in separate residences during the required six-month separation period, and they must establish a residency of a year. This is followed by a three-month period before the decree is absolutely final.
Going through a divorce can be horrific. If you live in Nebraska and are planning on getting unhitched, it would be wise to talk to a person who can help you understand dissolution law, and how to navigate the legal process in your behalf.
Source: WGOW News, “The seven worst states for divorce” Aug. 07, 2014