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Where in the U.S. can I get a quickie divorce?

If you haven’t learned by now, it is much quicker (and cheaper) to get married than it is to get divorced. To get a divorce, each state has its own timing requirements, usually a residency requirement and a waiting period.

Assuming your divorce will be uncontested, the shortest time period that it could take is about a month, and the longest (again, assuming no disputes, is two years).

California: I start with California since I live here and I expect some of you do too. California is about average in its timing requirements.

There is a 6-month residency requirement (meaning you had to have lived in California for 6 months prior to filing for divorce) and then there is a 6 month waiting period (meaning that the Court cannot enter a divorce judgment until 6 months after it has heard from your soon to be ex.)

So, assuming you already live here and your ex will agree to file an appearance, you could be divorced in as quick as 6 months and one day.

Not quick enough? Here are some states that have shorter time requirements:

Alaska: 30 days (1 month)

Alaska has no residency requirement but you must attest, under penalty of perjury, that you were in Alaska when you filed and you intend to stay there as a resident.

Alaska does, however, have a waiting period, which is generally 30 days. If the Court’s are backed up, the process can take longer.

Nevada: 6 weeks

In the 1950s and 60s, Reno was considered the divorce capital of the U.S., especially for high society from N.Y. That was because the N.Y. courts had certain fault requirements (you had to prove adultery or other offense) and a long waiting period.

Women used to travel to Reno and stay at “divorce ranches” for six weeks and after that time, the proprietor would go down with the divorcee to the Courthouse and attest that she had indeed, lived on the ranch for 6 weeks, often with the “spare” (new husband) staying at a nearby hotel waiting to get married once the divorce was over.

Alas, gone are those days of romance. But Nevada still has some very lenient timing requirements; 6 weeks residency requirement and no waiting period.

South Dakota: 2 months (no residency requirement and a 60-day waiting period.)

THE WINNER, if you are already a resident is New Hampshire: 1-year residency for filing but no waiting period. So, theoretically, if you have lived in New Hampshire for at least a year, you could get divorced in one day.

WHAT ABOUT MEXICO? ( I know, it's not the U.S.) NOT SO GOOD ANYMORE.

On May 7, 1971, an Amendment to the Mexican Nationality and Naturalization Law which took effect, that requires that an alien be a legal resident of Mexico before he or she may apply for a Mexican divorce. The applicant must obtain a certificate from the Secretaria de Gobernacion (Interior Department) stating that they have legal residence in Mexico and are therefore entitled to institute divorce proceedings. Becoming a legal resident (immigrante) is a rather complicated, time-consuming process.

So, unless you are a legal resident of Mexico, chances are that any “quickie divorce” you get in Mexico will not be honored in California.