How Hard Is Getting A Divorce?

Posted on: 8 September 2020

The question of how hard getting a divorce is depends on what you mean by something being difficult. In the sense that American divorce law makes it impossible to avoid divorce if even one party insists there are irreconcilable differences, it's fairly easy. On the other hand, there are other factors that can delay the process and make it harder to sort out. Here's a breakdown of what may cause a divorce to be more or less difficult.

State Laws

Each state has its own view about how long a couple should wait before they part ways. A few have no limits and are willing to grant divorces without a delay. Some states require exes to wait several months.

It's also common for a state to have different rules depending on whether there's a kid in the picture. A couple that has a child in Tennessee, for example, has to wait 90 days, but a childless couple in the state only has to wait for 60 days.

Determining Jurisdiction

There are rare cases where it can be challenging to determine which state a divorce proceeding should take place in. Most cases of this type usually involve one partner who is either a member of the military or has business out of state. The relative uniformity of divorce law in the U.S., though, means there isn't much of an advantage to shopping for a specific jurisdiction.

The Court's Schedule

Sometimes the delay is for a much more mundane reason: the court can't get things scheduled quickly. Generally, the judge appoints a family court officer, usually someone with a background in family services, to handle the basic stuff. The officer will schedule a conference, sit the two parties down, and try to hash out what the conflicts might be. Court officers usually try to get conferences done with a couple of weeks to a couple of months.

You do have the right to insist upon a hearing. This is where the court's schedule can become a challenge. Bear in mind courts are subject to the same problems everyone faces. Scheduling can be limited by courthouse renovations, local disasters, caseloads, and even national emergencies.


A divorce lawyer will rarely encourage a client to ask for a hearing. However, some disputes may need to be heard by a judge. If hearings don't solve the problem, the judge will schedule a trial. That all takes time.

For more information, contact a divorce lawyer.