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Separation & Divorce FAQs

In October 13, 2016

In a perfect world, everyone lives happily ever after. Unfortunately we all don’t end up in relationships that last forever. Whether you’re just not meant to be with someone for eternity or serious unplanned changes happen, sometimes you find yourself on the unexpected path to separation or divorce. Sometimes things are amicable, sometimes the situation can get unpleasant. Either way, knowing how to navigate around processes like marital separation and divorce is important in order to ensure a fair outcome.

Sometimes the hardest part in divorce or separation is figuring out where to start. When you’re stressed and worried about the outcome of your arrangement, it can be difficult to find divorce information on your own. We have a list of frequently asked questions about divorce to help you navigate these sometimes muddy waters.

Divorce and Separation FAQ:

Q: Are there legal requirements to get a divorce?

A: The answer in most cases is yes. You’ll want to check with your state, but most states and counties have a minimum residency requirement before you’re allowed to file for divorce. You must also have legal grounds; irreconcilable differences or just separation. Make sure you file in the correct court or county office, which is generally the county where you currently reside, or in which your residency requirements fall.

Q: How long after divorce papers are signed is it final?

A: Depending on where you reside, any stipulations or negotiations, and what your state laws are, the answer is on average anywhere from 6 weeks to 12 months. An uncontested divorce will generally take much less time, and usually those proceedings are only held up by mandated waiting periods.

Q: How long can you be separated before you are legally divorced?

A: In the U.S., being separated for an extended period of time does not mean automatic divorce. You will still be required to involve the courts, but having been separated for a lengthy period of time will help streamline the divorce process. You’ll have to check with your state’s requirements for legal separation.

Q: What is a divorce decree?

A: A divorce decree is an enforceable order based on the authority of a legal representative of your county or state. The decree is a court order regarding a divorce, an action which makes the divorce in question final.

Because each state is different in their mandates regarding separation and divorce, it’s important you contact the offices where you reside to gather further information. They offer resources for potential divorcees, as well. If you are filing for divorce or separation, make sure you have the proper vital records on hand to help complete the process. You may need copies of marriage certificates, and if you’ll be closing accounts or opening new ones, a certified copy of your birth certificate would be helpful to have.


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