The Best and Worst States for Getting Divorced

By Joel Stonington and Alex McIntyre - 2011-11-14T16:21:49Z

Photograph by iStockphoto/Getty Images

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Methodology

The ranking applies to no-fault divorces of couples with no minor children. All numbers are statutory minimums and do not reflect waivers or exceptions granted by the courts. The 50 states and District of Columbia accrue points based on the following variables:

Court filing fees (10 points).

Minimum separation period (20 points): This includes whether or not the state requires separation before divorce (5 points), the length of separation required (10 points) and the strictness of the terms of separation (5 points).

Minimum length of residency (20 points).

Minimum waiting period after filing for divorce (20 points).

Minimum number of days required for entire process, from start to finish (30 points).

Final score: For each variable, the state with the lowest value received zero points, while the state with the highest value received the maximum number of points. Remaining states were then awarded points on a percentile basis. States were ranked on total points, with a higher score indicating a more onerous divorce process.

Data providers: Bloomberg, U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, state bar associations, legislatures and judiciaries for each state and the District of Columbia

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