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Ask Steven K. Your Own Question

Steven  K.
Steven K., Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1670
Experience:  I have practiced family law since 1996, focusing on child custody and domestic violence
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What is the state that you can get a divorce in the shortest

Resolved Question:

What is the state that you can get a divorce in the shortest amount of time; what are the requirements?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Steven K. replied 3 years ago.

Steven Kincaid :

Thank you for allowing me to assist you.

Steven Kincaid :

This depends - are you including the "residency" period in which a person must live in the state before filing for divorce?

Customer:

Yes, please.

Steven Kincaid :

For example, Hawaii has no waiting period. You can divorce in Hawaii as soon as the Court's schedule can accommodate you after filing, however you must be a resident for six months before you can file there, so it is not the quickest divorce unless you are already a resident.

Customer:

Where can you go for residency for the quickest?

Customer:

I think that Hawii is very expensive to live.

Steven Kincaid :

Nevada has a six week residency requirement and can then complete an uncontested divorce within a few weeks.

Steven Kincaid :

Washington State has no time requirement for residency - you can file the day you arrive. There is a minimum 90 day wait before the divorce is final though.

Customer:

That sounds okay...

Customer:

What is the uncontested part of it?

Steven Kincaid :

When I say "uncontested," I mean nobody is arguing about anything. Any disagreements will extend the time it takes to complete the divorce.

Steven Kincaid :

There are also foreign countries that allow you to file quickly without being a resident.

Customer:

Okay...

Customer:

That is even better...then it doesn't matter about contested, or non contested, correct?

Customer:

Do you have a list of those countries?

Steven Kincaid :

Haiti can complete a divorce in a matter of weeks. One spouse does need to show up for the divorce.

Steven Kincaid :

Some places in Mexico can do quick divorces for non-residents as well, but not all of the courts comply.

Steven Kincaid :

You could also move to Guam for seven days and get a divorce without two weeks (approximately).

Steven Kincaid :

(Guam is a territory of the U.S. so it's not actually a foreign country)

Steven Kincaid :

I

Steven Kincaid :

I'm not aware of any other countries that allow for quick divorces, but I'm sure there are some.

Customer:

That sounds fantastic...Guam is sounding good to me; approx how much would it costs?

Steven Kincaid :

You mean not including airfare and lodging?

Customer:

Yes, or either, please?

Steven Kincaid :

Guam will require the divorce to be uncontested, however to move that quickly. Will your situation be agreed?

Customer:

bummer, no.

Steven Kincaid :

OK, Guam is out.

Customer:

So Haiti, huh?

Steven Kincaid :

Haiti does not require you to agree on the terms.

Customer:

Okay...so Haiti then, and any court in the US will honor it, right?

Customer:

Oh, if I can get the person to sign a legal separation, does that count for non-contested?

Steven Kincaid :

Are you sure you want a legal separation? You'll still be married. I do not know if these jurisdictions even have legal separations. (Washington does but I'm not sure about the others).

Customer:

No. I want a divorce, I just wondered if having a legal separation could be used to show non-contested.

Steven Kincaid :

The cost in Haiti of the divorce is about 3000 gourdes which is the approximate equivalent of $600. The cost of an attorney is about 3,000 to 5,000 gourdes (or $600 - $1000)

Customer:

So about $2000 + lodging, food, etc, for how long again?

Customer:

Oh, any US court will honor a Haiti divorce right?

Steven Kincaid :

I'm not sure about the travel costs, honestly. Yes. If the divorce is valid where entered, the U.S. will honor it.

Steven Kincaid :

You may need to get the divorce documents translated if you plan on presenting them for any legal purpose.

Customer:

Yes! Oh, I can find out about the other costs, but about how long does the process take?

Customer:

Okay I review our session, you said a few weeks, so I am thinking about a month to go, get it done, and translated, then return...is that about right?

Steven Kincaid :

Yes, but can you give me a moment - I want to make sure that every state in the U.S. will honor the divorce. This has always been my understanding, but give me just a moment...

Customer:

Sure, take your time...

Steven Kincaid :

My research is actually showing that a Haitian divorce may not necessarily be recognized in every state if neither party was a resident of Haiti and the divorce was not agreed. I apologize for the misinformation before. It is not actually that there is a particular state with a law not recognizing Haitian divorces, but the U.S. Supreme Court said that such divorces need not be recognized by states. I think you are safest staying in the U.S.

Steven Kincaid :

When you say your ex will contest, do you mean that your ex will actually file a response and contest, or simply that your ex will not sign anything agreeing to the final outcome?

Customer:

Probably will not anything agreeing to the final outcome; but I am hoping that's all.

Customer:

If I lived in Reno, for the six weeks, and ex filed to contest, about how long would that process take?

Steven Kincaid :

That depends - what are the issues to be contested? The divorce itself? Or are there issues of custody, support or property division?

Customer:

I am willing to give up everything, so there is only me - the divorce itself.

Customer:

Can I live in a hotel/motel and be considered a resident? Do I have to do anything other than get a CA driver's license?

Steven Kincaid :

Then there's nothing to fight over should it should not extend out over a long period of time. However, your ex could prolong the process by conducting "discovery." This is a process by which either party gathers information from the other party. If your ex did this, it could last months and months. If she simply filed a Response saying she did not wish to divorce and she did not do anything else, it might take an extra month or so but not much longer - really you want to see how long it takes the local courthouse to set a court date once one is requested. Sometimes it can take a while in urban areas because the calendars fill up so fast.

Customer:

Okay, so before moving to Reno, call the clerk and find out about when?

Customer:

Once I move, what is required for residency? Do I have to give up my hone in NC?

Steven Kincaid :

Yes, being in a hotel is fine. To prove residency, you can submit a Resident Witness Affidavit that another resident signs stating that he/she has seen you living in Nevada for 6 weeks. The witness must be at least 18 years of age who has lived in Nevada for at least the past six (6) weeks and may be a relative, friend, co-worker or an employee of a Lodging Establishment where you are residing.

Steven Kincaid :

You do not have to give up your NC home.

Steven Kincaid :

find out if they have a backlog - in other words, if you were to ask for your divorce hearing today, would there be a lengthy delay? What is the average time for getting a court date?

Customer:

Okay I will call first thing in the morning...

Customer:

Any other state that you would suggest, after NV, as far as time goes?

Customer:

Oh...we had a separation, but I let her move back when she hurt her self and couldn't care for our chidren.

Customer:

That started me all over, even thoguth we have lived as man and wife, right?

Steven Kincaid :

Washington State. As long as you "intend" to remain in Washington when you establish residency, you can later change your mind and move back to NC while the divorce is pending. However, she contests and argues that you never really intended to remain in WA, you may lose the case.

Steven Kincaid :

How long have you been separated?

Customer:

8 months before she hurt her back, now she's been her for 5 months that was supposed to be one.

Customer:

Okay...better not to Washington. She'd do that just to be spiteful.

Steven Kincaid :

South Dakota has no residency requirement and no waiting period, but you must remain a resident of the state until the case is complete - and you must give her a 30 day opportunity to respond - and she can then extend the process by doing discovery.

Customer:

Okay...so let me see if I understand; I move to SD stay at a hotel/motel extended stay; get an affidavit for residency, file, wait, (hopefully no discovery), then close, and return to NC?

Steven Kincaid :

Yes. That would work.

Customer:

Okay...but not better than the NV option if there is not backlong correct?

Steven Kincaid :

Personally, I like Nevada. As long as you really had residency for six weeks before filing, you could leave and continue your divorce. There is no requirement that you plan on remaining in Nevada.

Customer:

Hum, my girl lives in CA, which is right down the road from NV; but she won't have me unless/until I am divorced...but I could see her, spend time with her...

Steven Kincaid :

There you go! Southern or Northern Cal?

Customer:

Yes, I agreee - I like that six week thing better.

Customer:

She's in the Valley.

Steven Kincaid :

L.A. to Vegas is about four hours. I lived in L.A. and made the trip many times.

Customer:

That's it then! I am almost home free!!

Steven Kincaid :

Good luck!

Customer:

thanks man

Steven Kincaid :

You're welcome!

Steven Kincaid :

If you have no further questions, I'd greatly appreciate if you could click the green ACCEPT button as I do not get credit for my work unless you do so. Have a great divorce!

Steven K., Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1670
Experience: I have practiced family law since 1996, focusing on child custody and domestic violence
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