In Louisiana and Virginia, for example, the separation requirement doubles - from six months to one year - when the parties have minor children together.
What's the difference between a waiting period and a separation requirement?
In the states that have one, the mandatory waiting period usually ranges from days, although even in states that don't have a mandatory waiting period, it may still take that long to finalize the divorce because the judge's schedule controls how quickly your case proceeds. Among other things, your state may require a divorce hearing, and even if it doesn't, your case likely has many others in front of it waiting to be finalized.
Generally though, courts administer uncontested divorce cases quickly when the proper paperwork is filed in a timely manner. In some states, mandatory waiting periods are longer when the parties have minor children together, the theory being that there are benefits when children are able to grow up in a household with both parents and for that reason, additional time should be given to the decision to end the marriage. When a state does increase the waiting period in divorces with minor children, the difference tends to only be a month or two.
Michigan, which enhances the waiting period from two months to six months when the parties have minor children, is a noteworthy exception to this. A mandatory waiting period should not be confused with the time allotted for the non-filing spouse to respond to, or "answer" the divorce papers. While the mandatory waiting period cannot generally be waived in most states, the non-filing spouse can usually shorten or even eliminate the answer period by filing the right documents.
However, some states do allow people to seek a waiver of the cooling off period. Some waivers are granted when both spouses to agree while others generally must be for "good cause.
However, the judge generally only grants a waiver for good cause, which generally means that the waiver is necessary to protect the rights or interests of one or both spouses or the minor children. If you file for divorce using documents you prepared online with DivorceWriter, you will receive any forms available to reduce the length of time to finalize your divorce in your state.
DivorceWriter also includes step-by-step filing procedures with state-specific tips for completing your divorce as quickly as possible.
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However, this site does not provide legal advice and use of this site is not a substitute for hiring an attorney licensed to practice in your state. About Us.
Start the Process. Help Center. Also, neither spouse is allowed to remarry except to each other until 60 days after the divorce is finalized. The day waiting period begins to run on the day the papers are returned, also known as the "return date. With children: You must wait 60 days from the date of filing even if the separation requirement is already met. Thirty days after the hearing, a Rule Nisi Divorce Judgment is entered, but the Final Judgment is not signed by the Judge until 90 days after that.
In the case of divorce for other cause, neither party shall be permitted to marry again during the lifetime of the other; and violation of this law shall be punished by expulsion from the church Matt.
In the carrying out of these principles, guilt shall be established in accordance with judicial procedures set forth in The Discipline. Jewish views of divorce differ, with Reform Judaism considering civil divorces adequate; Conservative and Orthodox Judaism, on the other hand, require that the husband grant his wife a divorce in the form of a get.
Several countries use sharia Islamic law to administrate marriages and divorces for Muslims. Thus, Marriage in Israel is administered separately by each religious community Jews, Christians, Muslims, and Druze , and there is no provision for interfaith marriages other than marrying in another country. For Jews, marriage and divorce are administered by Orthodox rabbis. Partners can file for divorce either in rabbinical court or Israeli civil court.
According to a study published in the American Law and Economics Review, women have filed slightly more than two-thirds of divorce cases in the United States. These findings also correlate with the Office for National Statistics publication "Divorces in England and Wales  which reported that divorce petitions from women outnumber those from men by 2 to 1. The report concluded that the percentage of shared residence orders would need to increase in order for more equitable financial divisions to become the norm. Some jurisdictions give unequal rights to men and women when filing for divorce.
For couples to Conservative or Orthodox Jewish law which by Israeli civil law includes all Jews in Israel , the husband must grant his wife a divorce through a document called a get. If the man refuses, and agreeing on condition he won't have to pay the money is still called refusing , the woman can appeal to a court or the community to pressure the husband. A woman whose husband refuses to grant the get or a woman whose husband is missing without sufficient knowledge that he died, is called an agunah , is still married, and therefore cannot remarry. Under Orthodox law, children of an extramarital affair involving a married Jewish woman are considered mamzerim illegitimate and cannot marry non- mamzerim.
The ancient Athenians liberally allowed divorce, but the person requesting divorce had to submit the request to a magistrate , and the magistrate could determine whether the reasons given were sufficient. Divorce was rare in early Roman culture but as their empire grew in power and authority Roman civil law embraced the maxim, " matrimonia debent esse libera " "marriages ought to be free" , and either husband or wife could renounce the marriage at will.
The Christian emperors Constantine and Theodosius restricted the grounds for divorce to grave cause, but this was relaxed by Justinian in the 6th century. After the fall of the Roman Empire, familial life was regulated more by ecclesiastical authority than civil authority. The Catholic and Orthodox Church had, among others, a differing view of divorce. The Orthodox Church recognized that there are rare occasions when it is better that couples do separate.
For the Orthodox, to say that marriage is indissoluble means that it should not be broken, the violation of such a union, perceived as holy, being an offense resulting from either adultery or the prolonged absence of one of the partners. Thus, permitting remarriage is an act of compassion of the Church towards sinful man.
Under the influence of the Catholic Church the divorce rate had been greatly reduced by the 9th or 10th century,  which considered marriage a sacrament instituted by Jesus Christ and indissoluble by mere human action.
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Although divorce, as known today, was generally prohibited in Catholic lands after the 10th century, separation of husband and wife and the annulment of marriage were well-known. What is today referred to as " separate maintenance " or " legal separation " was termed "divorce a mensa et thoro" "divorce from bed-and-board". The husband and wife physically separated and were forbidden to live or cohabit together; but their marital relationship did not fully terminate.
The grounds for annulment were determined by a Catholic church authority and applied in ecclesiastical courts. Annulment was for canonical causes of impediment existing at the time of the marriage. After the Reformation , marriage came to be considered a contract in the newly Protestant regions of Europe, and on that basis civil authorities gradually asserted their power to decree a "divortium a vinculo matrimonii", or "divorce from all the bonds of marriage".
Since no precedents existed defining the circumstances under which marriage could be dissolved, civil courts heavily relied on the previous determinations of the ecclesiastic courts and freely adopted the requirements set down by those courts. As the civil courts assumed the power to dissolve marriages, courts still strictly construed the circumstances under which they would grant a divorce,  and considered divorce to be contrary to public policy. Because divorce was considered to be against the public interest, civil courts refused to grant a divorce if evidence revealed any hint of complicity between the husband and wife to divorce, or if they attempted to manufacture grounds for a divorce.
Divorce was granted only because one party to the marriage had violated a sacred vow to the "innocent spouse". If both husband and wife were guilty, "neither would be allowed to escape the bonds of marriage". Eventually, the idea that a marriage could be dissolved in cases in which one of the parties violated the sacred vow gradually allowed expansion of the grounds upon which divorce could be granted from those grounds which existed at the time of the marriage to grounds which occurred after the marriage, but which exemplified violation of that vow, such as abandonment , adultery , or "extreme cruelty".
During the English Civil War , the Puritans briefly passed a law that divested marriage of all sacrament, leaving it as a secular contract that could be broken. John Milton wrote four divorce tracts in — that argued for the legitimacy of divorce on grounds of spousal incompatibility.
His ideas were ahead of their time; arguing for divorce at all, let alone a version of no-fault divorce , was extremely controversial and religious figures sought to ban his tracts. The move towards secularisation and liberalisation was reinforced by the individualistic and secular ideals of the Enlightenment. The Enlightened absolutist , King Frederick II "the Great" of Prussia decreed a new divorce law in , in which marriage was declared to be a purely private concern, allowing divorce to be granted on the basis of mutual consent.
This new attitude heavily influenced the law in neighbouring Austria under Emperor Joseph II , where it was applied to all non-Catholic Imperial subjects. The trend in Europe throughout the 19th century, was one of increased liberalisation; by the midth century divorce was generally granted by civil courts in the case of adultery. In Britain before wives were regarded as under the economic and legal protection of their husbands, and divorce was almost impossible. It was very difficult to secure divorce on the grounds of adultery, desertion, or cruelty. The first key legislative victory came with the Matrimonial Causes Act , which passed over the strenuous opposition of the highly traditional Church of England.
The new law made divorce a civil affair of the courts, rather than a Church matter, with a new civil court in London handling all cases. A woman who obtained a judicial separation took the status of a feme sole, with full control of her own civil rights. Additional amendments came in , which allowed for separations handled by local justices of the peace.
The Church of England blocked further reforms until the final breakthrough came with the Matrimonial Causes Act In Spain , the Constitution of the Second Spanish Republic for the first time recognised a right to divorce. The first law to regulated divorce was the Divorce Act of , that passed the Republican Parliament despite the opposition of the Catholic Church and a coalition of the Agrarian Minority and Minority Basque-Navarre Catholic parties.
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The dictatorship of General Franco abolished the law. After the restoration of democracy, a new divorce law was passed in , again over the opposition of the Catholic Church and part of the Christian Democrat party, then a part of the ruling Union of Democratic Center. In Italy , the first divorce law was introduced on 1 December , despite the opposition of the Christian Democrats ,  and entered into force on 18 December In the following years, the Christian Democrats, supported also by parties opposed to the law, promoted a recall referendum.
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In , in a referendum the majority of the population voted against a repeal of the divorce law. A feature of the divorce law was the long period of marital separation of five years required. This period was reduced to three in and to a year in , in the case of judicial separation, and six months in the case of separation by mutual agreement. Ireland and Malta approved divorce at referenda in and respectively. Divorce rates increased markedly during the 20th century in developed countries, as social attitudes towards family and sex changed dramatically.
In the Edo Period — husbands could divorce their wives by writing letters of divorce. Frequently, their relatives or marriage arrangers kept these letters and tried to restore the marriages.
Wives could not divorce their husbands. Some wives were able to gain sanctuary in certain Shinto "divorce temples". After a wife had spent three years in a temple, her husband was required to divorce her. There are four types of divorce in Japan: divorce by agreement in which the divorce is mutual; divorce by mediation, which happens in family court; divorce by decision of family court that takes place when a couple cannot complete a divorce through mediation; and divorce by judgment of a district court.
On an all-India level, the Special Marriage Act was passed in , is an inter-religious marriage law permitting Indian nationals to marry and divorce irrespective of their religion or faith.