The notion of a drawn-out, years' long divorce battle is not only expensive, emotionally painful and exhausting — it is also unnecessary.
The vast, vast majority of divorcing couples can split quickly, cheaply and with little conflict.
Here are 5 tips for divorcing quickly:
Quick divorce tip 1. Agree to settle out of court, without lawyers
Here are the basics of divorce, that apply the vast majority of couples:
- Divide any assets like real estate, retirement accounts accumulated during the marriage and other investments and debts 50/50.
- Share parenting time equally—and with no child support
- Find a way to share kids' expenses equally or equitably
Outside of those issues, there is little or nothing to discuss. Commit to moving on from the marriage as quickly and amicably as possible — do not threaten court, and let go of small sums of money or hurt feelings or your very natural inclination to take revenge.
Your goal is a quick divorce.
Very few divorces require long, drawn-out negotiations, despite what an attorney may tell you. Is there severe abuse? Very large sums of money? A very complicated business the couple must untangle?
No? Fast and simple, move on.
RocketLawyer has a free settlement agreement template that can help you start the conversation, and understand the items you will need to agree on before your divorce is filed.
Quick divorce tip 2. File your own divorce papers
Many divorcing couples can very easily fill out and file their own divorce papers. You may choose to have an attorney look over your final divorce filings to make sure you did not make any errors, or hire a mediator in the event you come to a crossroads in your negotiations that could use a third party.
Otherwise, either get your divorce papers from your local courthouse or use a reputable online divorce paper service. Our No. 1 recommendation is 3 Step Divorce, because of its A+ Better Business Bureau rating, flat fee (no hidden costs like many other services), installment plan that lets you start your divorce for $84, and $50 rebate.
Quick divorce tip 3. Share custody equally
Money and kids are the top things couples fight over in divorce — and keep the divorce process from being quick. Increasingly, couples opt to share parenting time and custody 50/50, and courts and laws are moving that way, too.
There is good reason why: Equal parenting time after divorce has been found to be absolutely best for kids, even when the parents are in high conflict, and even when an equal schedule was not the decision of the mom and dad.
My own research has found a direct correlation between equal parenting time and single moms' earning. A survey of 2,279 single moms found:
- Moms with a 50/50 parenting schedule are 54% more likely to earn at least $100,000 annually than moms whose kids are with them most of the time (with “visits” with the dad).
- Moms with a 50/50 parenting schedule are more than three times (325%) more likely to earn $100,000 than single moms with 100% time with their kids.
- Moms with 50/50 parenting time are 34% more likely (23% vs. 15%) to say they feel “awesome and proud” of being a mom compared with moms who care for their kids 100% of the time.
Quick divorce tip 4. Go to divorce / co-parenting counseling
Even in the best of situations, divorce and breakups are hard for men, women, children and families. Take care of yourself. Take care of your kids. And set your new family arrangement up for success.
Co-parenting and divorce counseling have been found by studies to help moms and dads work together to support their kids through divorce, heal themselves, and work together as parents after the separation, long-term.
In the short-term, a good family therapist near you can help defuse the inevitable anger and pain, which are the real culprits of long and drawn-out divorce.
Online therapy can help make counseling more affordable, more convenient and can prevent you from having to be in the same room as your ex! BetterHelp, with weekly rates starting at $65 for video sessions and a therapist match within 24 hours, is our No. 1 recommendation.
Another tool is parenting classes focused on helping you through divorce. These online co-parenting classes are affordable and sometimes recognized by courts. Free and court-accepted parenting classes.
Quick divorce tip 5. Do not fight over child support
Your state has a child support calculator, and typically, if you qualify, you can get child support.
Child support calculators are not always fair, or reasonable, and if you are sharing parenting time equally, it may not make sense for either parent to pay child support, outside of splitting out-of-pocket expenses like insurance, medical, extracurriculars and daycare.
If you want a fast uncontested divorce that remains friendly long-term for the sake of healthy co-parenting, each parent should focus on financial independence, and keeping the exchange of money and money discussions to a minimum.
How to get a divorce divorce in your state:
Frequently asked questions about quick divorces
What is the quickest divorce? How quick can you get a divorce if both parties agree?
First, the quickest divorced is an amicable divorce, in which both of you agree to all the terms of the divorce, file your own divorce agreement properly. Nothing worse than attorneys and judges to make a breakup expensive and long. Other culprits: States with mandatory residency or wait-period / separation period requirements. Both Maryland and South Carolina require a year of residency plus a year of separation before you can even start the divorce process.
Keep in mind that both attorneys and courthouses are backed up and taking more time than usual for all kinds of cases, thanks to the pandemic lockdown. So, these guidelines may not be 100% accurate at this time.
Can you get divorced in one day?
One-day divorces are not possible anywhere in the United States — sorry! In California, for example, expect at least six months from filing to finalizing your divorce.
Start with Rocket Lawyer’s divorce worksheet, which is 100% free.
What state has the quickest divorce time?
Both Nevada and New Hampshire have no wait period, so you could get divorced the same day you file, in theory (though there is no such thing as a same-day divorce). However, New Hampshire requires a 1-year residency and Nevada has a short residency requirement of 6 weeks — in case you are thinking of relocating for a quickie divorce.
Idaho has a 6-week residency requirement and a divorce processing time Idaho and Wyoming each have wait periods of 20 days.
Alaska has a 30-day minimum processing time.
Meanwhile, California is notoriously slow thanks to a six-month ‘cooling-off’ period, while Vermont also requires couples to be separated for six months, plus an additional three-month processing period. Arkansas’s mandated separation period is 18 months.
Can I get a quick divorce in Mexico?
Before no-fault divorce was adopted by all states in the 1970s, many people went to Mexico to end their marriages, since it could be done quickly there. However, many states did not recognize these divorces, and Mexico has since imposed restrictive residency requirements, so quick Mexican divorces are no longer a thing.
Dominican Republic grants visitors divorces with no residency or waiting periods waiting periods, making the DR an option for quick divorces, though at least one party must attend the divorce hearing in Santo Domingo. However, New York is one of the few states to recognize a divorce from the DR.