What state is it easiest to get a divorce in? This question has been repeatedly asked by spouses planning to get a divorce. And no one can blame them. Divorce, after all, is an unpleasant phase in anyone’s life that brings psychological impacts not only to the spouses but to the people around them as well. Instead of prolonging the anguish and making life harder, anybody would gladly choose an easier and shorter route.
The general connotation among people is that divorce is costly and takes ages to be concluded. However, the problem is not really on the divorce itself but on the divorce laws in different states. Numerous studies have sought to identify the place where it is easiest to get a divorce. Not surprisingly, the findings of these studies vary since they utilized different criteria.
There are various factors used in determining the best state to get a quick divorce.
The cost of filing a divorce is an important factor deliberated by spouses. A study conducted by Go Banking Rates reports that California has the highest filing fee in the US at $435 as of February 2016 while Wyoming has the cheapest at $70 only. A reasonable filing fee is significant since there are other expenses involved in the divorce such as attorneys’ fees.
Another factor to consider is the processing period. This factor is very telling of where it is easiest to get a divorce. In Arkansas, which was identified by Inside Gov’s study as the toughest state for divorce, the minimum processing time can take up to 540 days or a year and a half. In view of the processing time, it is easiest to get a divorce in New Hampshire with zero processing time and no minimum period of residency required.
Spouses must also consider property division. In States that follow the law on community property, spouses are considered equal owners of all marital properties, income, and assets. As such, all the assets are divided into half after divorce. On the other hand, some states follow equitable distribution laws, where the assets are fairly divided based on the earning potential and value of contribution of each spouse. In an equitable distribution, a spouse may acquire up to two thirds of the total marital assets.
Spouses with children who are filing for a divorce must also consider the custody, child support, and alimony laws existing in states. These laws will greatly affect their life after divorce. For instance, getting alimony is difficult under Texas Family Law, and in Georgia, evidence of infidelity by the other spouse will negate payment of alimony.
For some people, an easy divorce means not being required to prove the wrongdoing of the other spouse. This means that regardless of your reasons, without having to prove your spouse’s fault, you will be allowed to proceed with the divorce. These people must choose states that offer no-fault divorce such as California, Florida, Kentucky, Nevada, Wisconsin, and Washington, among others.
A lot of studies have been conducted trying to identify the state where it is easiest to get a divorce. The study conducted by Inside Gov in 2014 found that Alaska, with a 100 ease of filing score, is the top divorce state. However, in Go Banking Rate’s research, Wyoming ranked first with Alaska falling behind in sixth place. Yet in another compilation made by Bloomberg News, it ascertained that New Hampshire is the place for quickest divorce.
Clearly, there is no absolute answer to the question. The state where it is easiest to get a divorce would ultimately depend on the factors considered and most valued by the spouses involved.