Divorce is rarely an easy thing. Whether you are a couple dissolving a relationship in West Virginia or Ohio, chances are that the process is going to present legal challenges at times. That’s one reason why working with an experienced attorney is always advised.
There is the likelihood of an emotional toll, of course. And in situations where child custody and support issues need to be decided, the effects clearly extend far beyond the divorcing adults. But another factor that can negatively color the divorce process can be the financial cost. One way many couples choose to address this issue is by pursing a negotiated settlement that delivers optimal outcomes without the expense of courtroom litigation.
Some states make it harder than others to settle matters in an effective way, and one family law attorney has come up with a list of the seven worst in this regard. On the bright side, Ohio and West Virginia don’t make the cut. Those that do make the list are: Vermont, Rhode Island, South Carolina, New York, California, Nebraska and Arkansas.
To draft his list, the attorney says he sifted through U.S. Census Bureau information, websites for state legislatures, state bar associations and data pulled together by Bloomberg. In the end, he says the seven states above proved to have the most expensive fees for filing and the longest waiting periods before a divorce is granted. He says the states also have particularly tough separation periods and residency requirements.
Each state has its own shortcomings in this attorney’s opinion, but he says Arkansas earns its ranking for having the longest time to process a filing — a minimum of 540 days for no-fault divorce. He says the state also requires 18 months of separation with penalties for any co-habitation by either party.
Vermont gets top billing, though, for being at the bottom. That’s based on requirements that a divorcing couple live completely apart for six months. A full year’s worth of residency is mandated for a decree to be granted, and then there is a further three-month delay from the date a judge signs the papers.
Source: ABC News, “Top 7 Worst States for Divorce,” Aug. 6, 2014