If you’re planning to say “I do” again after getting divorced, you probably have a lot of details on your mind from finding the right dress to settling on the type of wedding you want.
Wedding planning aside, getting divorced and remarried comes with a lot of paperwork and red tape and knowing what the laws in your state are is essential if you wish to legally remarry as soon as possible.
Unless you’re a divorce attorney or have been divorced and remarried before, you’re probably not familiar with state requirements. So, how long do you have to be divorced to remarry?
That’s where we come in. We’ve researched and curated a list of the wait times required by each state so you can embark on this new chapter of your life with as little stress and worry as possible.
How Long Do You Have to Be Divorced to Remarry? A State-By-State List
Although most states no longer have a waiting period before you can remarry after a divorce, laws do vary from state to state.
If you live in a state where there is no mandatory waiting period, as long as you have your divorce finalized by a judge and the final decree of divorce has been signed, you can legally remarry whenever you like.
Once you have your new marriage license in hand, you will still need to wait 24 hours before the wedding ceremony can take place, however. The only exception to the one-day waiting period is if you and your new spouse-to-be are granted a judicial waiver.
Here’s a list of all 50 U.S. states and the waiting period you must adhere to after your divorce.
- Alabama — 60 days if you wish to remarry (anyone except each other).
- Alaska — No mandatory waiting period.
- Arizona — No mandatory waiting period.
- Arkansas — No mandatory waiting period.
- California — No mandatory waiting period.
- Colorado — No mandatory waiting period.
- Connecticut — No mandatory waiting period.
- Delaware — No mandatory waiting period.
- District of Columbia — 30 days, if you marry prior to waiting period, marriage is voidable.
- Florida — No mandatory waiting period.
- Georgia — No mandatory waiting period.
- Hawaii — No mandatory waiting period.
- Idaho — No mandatory waiting period.
- Illinois — No mandatory waiting period.
- Indiana — No mandatory waiting period.
- Iowa — No mandatory waiting period.
- Kansas — 30 days unless waived in decree.
- Kentucky — No mandatory waiting period.
- Louisiana — No mandatory waiting period.
- Maine — No mandatory waiting period.
- Maryland — No mandatory waiting period.
- Massachusetts — 3 months, if you marry prior to waiting period marriage is voidable.
- Michigan — No mandatory waiting period.
- Minnesota — No mandatory waiting period.
- Mississippi — No mandatory waiting period.
- Missouri — No mandatory waiting period.
- Montana — No mandatory waiting period.
- Nebraska — 6 months unless it’s to the same spouse, then it’s 30 days.
- Nevada — No mandatory waiting period.
- New Hampshire — No mandatory waiting period.
- New Jersey — No mandatory waiting period.
- New Mexico — No mandatory waiting period.
- New York — No mandatory waiting period.
- North Carolina — No mandatory waiting period.
- North Dakota — No mandatory waiting period as long as stated in decree.
- Ohio — No mandatory waiting period.
- Oklahoma — 6 months, if you marry prior to waiting period marriage is voidable.
- Oregon — No mandatory waiting period.
- Pennsylvania — No mandatory waiting period.
- Rhode Island — 3 months, if you marry prior to waiting period marriage is voidable.
- South Carolina — No mandatory waiting period.
- South Dakota — No mandatory waiting period except in cases of adultery.
- Tennessee — No mandatory waiting period.
- Texas — 30 days, if you marry prior to the waiting period, marriage is voidable.
- Utah — No mandatory waiting period.
- Vermont — No mandatory waiting period.
- Virginia — No mandatory waiting period.
- Washington — No mandatory waiting period.
- West Virginia — No mandatory waiting period.
- Wisconsin — 6 months, if you marry prior to waiting period marriage is voidable.
- Wyoming — No mandatory waiting period.
Waiting Periods and What They Mean
While most states have done away with mandatory waiting periods, not all states have. Here’s a quick rundown of states that have enforced waiting periods and what they mean.
In both Texas and Washington D.C., marriage to a new partner is void if it takes place within the 30-day appeal period. While Kansas and North Dakota both have 30-day waiting periods, these can be waived in the divorce decree.
In Alabama, marriage to a new partner within 60 days of your divorce is considered void, but there is a loophole if you don’t want to wait. If you legally marry in another state with no waiting period, Alabama will recognize that marriage. If you wish to remarry your previous spouse, there is no waiting period at all.
In Massachusetts and Rhode Island, any new marriage that occurs within the three-month window is considered void. And, unlike the loophole Alabama offers, there is no such workaround in either of these states. Any marriage during the 90-day period is considered void in all states.
If, however, a marriage ceremony took place in good faith, that marriage will be considered valid once the three-month stipulation expires.
If you live in a state with a six-month waiting period, legally, you must wait until that time has elapsed before getting married. If you marry during the six-month waiting period, your marriage will be voidable. In most cases, as long as no one contests the marriage, it will be considered valid once the legal waiting period is over.
Divorce on the grounds of adultery
South Dakota is the only state that has different rules for divorce and remarriage when adultery is involved. While the state has no waiting period for a no-fault divorce, it’s a whole different story when adultery plays a role in the split.
Under state law, the adulterous spouse cannot remarry anyone except their former spouse as long as he or she is living. The at-fault spouse can legally marry in a different state, however, and the marriage will be recognized in South Dakota.
Do You Need Divorce Papers to Remarry?
If you’ve previously been married, you cannot remarry until your first marriage has been terminated by a court. Once the divorce has been finalized, and your waiting period (if any) is over, you can apply for a marriage license.
At minimum you will need to supply the date your divorce was finalized, but you will also likely need to provide the written decree as proof that your previous marriage has been legally terminated.
Along with your divorce decree(s), you and your new soon-to-be-spouse will both need to present a government-issued photo ID such as a valid driver’s license or passport as well as your birth certificates and Social Security numbers. If your future spouse is a widow, they will need to present a death decree to prove they are, in fact, widowed.
Divorce and Remarriage FAQ
If you’re in the process of divorce and are thinking about remarrying, you’re not alone. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about getting remarried after your first marriage has ended.
What is the average time to remarry after divorce?
Divorcees aren’t waiting a long time to get remarried. On average, the time between divorce and remarriage is around three years. To be precise, it’s 3.3 years for men and 3.1 years for women.
Are second marriages more successful?
While many believe their second marriage will be more successful than their first — after all, they know what mistakes not to make this time, right? — that is not always the case. In fact, the divorce rate for second marriages in the U.S. is more than 60%. Roughly 50% of first marriages end in divorce.
The average length of first marriages that end in divorce is just under eight years for both men and women (7.8 years for men, 7.9 for women). Second marriages tend to be even shorter. The average length is 7.3 years for men and 6.8 years for women.
Why do second marriages fail?
Not surprisingly, the same issues that arise in first marriages will still be present the second time around. Two of the biggest issues are finances and family dynamics.
Money tends to be the biggest stressor, especially in second marriages because along with routine bills and debts, you may also need to deal with child support and spousal maintenance payments.
Family issues can also arise, especially when children are involved. Step-children can cause division as the couple tries to figure out how to parent their own and the other’s children together. Factor in your exes and their opinions on child rearing and things can get pretty complicated.
Who is more likely to remarry after divorce; men or women?
When it comes to remarriage after a divorce, women are definitely much more cautious than men, especially women over the age of 55. In fact, men who have been divorced are 12% more likely to remarry than women.
As of 2019, the remarriage rate for males was 31.5 per 1,000 eligible men while for females it was only 19.4 per 1,000 eligible women.
Why are men more likely to remarry?
While 65% of currently divorced or widowed men are interested in marrying again, only 43 percent of women in the same circumstances share those sentiments. Why? A report in Marie Claire contends that a woman’s quality of life drops 45 percent after divorce — and that can make her gun-shy on pulling the trigger again.
Marie Claire is not the only magazine to make such claims. Women’s Health Magazine also says divorce is often harder on women. When a marriage ends, women are more likely to be impacted both financially and emotionally.
Also, when children are involved, women often remain the primary caregiver. This gives them less time to socialize and re-enter the world of dating.