Facing Divorce? See what steps you can take to protect what's yours.
Divorce Home » Filing for Divorce » Requirements

Divorce Waiting Periods

How Soon Can You File for Divorce?

Some states have divorce waiting periods when filing for divorce to make sure that couples are absolutely certain about ending their marriages. These range from a month to six months to even a year or more, if certain divorce issues haven't been resolved.

Some states have considered extending divorce waiting periods, especially for couples with children. Such divorce legislation has been based on observations that shorter divorce waiting periods lead to higher divorce rates. A local divorce lawyer can further explain the divorce waiting periods in your state.

Fill out our divorce case review form or call 877-349-1310 to connect with a local divorce lawyer. Get answers to your questions about the divorce process.

What's the Waiting Period to File for Divorce in Your State?

While many states require a period of separation before divorce when fault is alleged, most states have no requirement about spouses being separated for any period of time prior to filing for a no fault divorce. Some states require a period of separation before filing for divorce, while others require a separation prior to issuing a divorce decree.

Do you have to wait a certain amount of time to even file for divorce in your state? If you have more questions about how long you must wait to file for divorce or proceed in the divorce process, including a remarriage waiting period after divorce, speak to a divorce lawyer in your area.

Waiting Period to File for Divorce

The following are the divorce waiting periods to file for divorce in each state as of April, 2009:

Divorce Waiting Period
Waiting Period before Filing for Divorce
Alabama No statutory requirement
Alaska No statutory requirement
Arizona No statutory requirement
Arkansas 18 months prior to decree
California No statutory requirement
Colorado No statutory requirement
Connecticut 18 months before filing
Delaware 6 months prior to decree
District of Columbia 6 months before filing
Florida No statutory requirement
Georgia No statutory requirement
Hawaii No statutory requirement
Idaho No statutory requirement
Illinois 6 months prior to decree
Indiana No statutory requirement
Iowa No statutory requirement
Kansas No statutory requirement
Kentucky 60 days prior to decree
Louisiana 180 days before filing
Maine No statutory requirement
Maryland 12 months before filing
Massachusetts No statutory requirement
Michigan No statutory requirement
Minnesota No statutory requirement
Mississippi No statutory requirement
Missouri No statutory requirement
Montana 180 days before filing
Nebraska No statutory requirement
Nevada 1 year before filing
New Hampshire No statutory requirement
New Jersey 18 months prior to decree
New Mexico No statutory requirement
New York No statutory requirement
North Carolina 1 year of separation before filing
North Dakota No statutory requirement
Ohio 1 year prior to decree
Oklahoma No statutory requirement
Oregon No statutory requirement
Pennsylvania No statutory requirement
Rhode Island No statutory requirement
South Carolina 1 year prior to decree
South Dakota No statutory requirement
Tennessee No statutory requirement
Texas No statutory requirement
Utah No statutory requirement
Vermont 6 months prior to decree
Virginia 6 months prior to decree
Washington No statutory requirement
West Virginia 1 year prior to decree
Wisconsin No statutory requirement
Wyoming No statutory requirement

The divorce waiting periods before filing for divorce may vary depending on the circumstances of the case and the above summary is not intended to serve as legal advice. Laws may have changed since our last update. For the latest information on waiting periods before filing for divorce, speak to a local divorce lawyer in your state.