State Divorce Requirements
A cooling off period or waiting period is the time that has to pass before a divorce can be field or in some state, the time before a divorce can be finalized. Not every state has these but it normally commences when the divorce has been filed or when the other party has been served the divorce papers. A separation period is the elapsed time spouses must have been separated before a divorce can be filed. However, in some states it just has to be satisfied by the time the divorce becomes final.
This depends on the state. In some states it can just be the date you decided to stop living together, though you may reside together, in other states there has to be a physical separation for a certain time period from six to eighteen months. Some states also say there can be no sexual relations between the couple and some states extend this time period when children are involved.
Mandatory Waiting Periods
30 to 90 days is the typical time period for states that have mandatory waiting periods. However, even when states do not have this mandatory time, it may take longer than that for the divorce to be process through the court system. Your state may insist on a divorce hearing to further slow things down and of course all the paperwork has to be present and correct. When children are involved, this period may be extended some months to address any outstanding issues. This is not the same as the time it takes a spouse who has been served papers to respond. Usually, the spouse who receives the papers has between 20-60 days to file a response. Sometimes, the waiting period can be reduced if the spouse who has received the papers agrees and files the appropriate papers with their response.
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