For most of us, a divorce is an ugly business, with potential custody battles and complications over the shared property. A $200 fee and 30 day waiting period are usually the last things anyone is worried about.
For the rare individual, however, divorce fees and waiting periods are more than a minor nuisance. Some states require a minimum of 540 days to process a divorce, even if a settlement is reached right away. This is bad news for both Johnny and his mistress in waiting.
We looked at divorce law information from individual state government websites and the American Bar Association for all 50 states, to find the five easiest (and five most difficult) places to file for divorce. Each state is ranked by our Ease of Filing Score, based on a combination of waiting periods and fees, where the shorter the period and the lower the fee, the higher the overall score.
Ease of filing score: 91
A divorce in Washington costs about the same to file as an LG Nexus 4 ($280) and takes a minimum of 90 days to complete.
Ease of filing score: 93
A divorce in Iowa still takes at least 90 days to complete, but with a $185 fee, it’s cheaper to file for than it is in Washington.
Ease of filing score: 95
The minimum processing time in Wyoming falls just short of three months, at 80 days. And with a $70 filing fee, it’s also the cheapest state on this list. One state–Mississippi–is cheaper. It has a $52 filing fee, but with a 240 day processing period, the state only has an ease of filing score of 80.
2. South Dakota
Ease of filing score: 98
The filing fee in South Dakota jumps slightly to $95, but it’s processing time is 20 days lower than that of Wyoming’s. We’re betting that if you want out of a marriage, you’d pay that $25 extra to expedite the process.
Ease of filing score: 100
Topping the list is Alaska, where you can pay $150, wait 30 days, and skip off into the sunset with a state-verified divorce. Appropriately, Alaska also boasts the highest divorce rate, with 14 out of every 1,000 adults filing every year.