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What Legal Requirements Must Be Fulfilled Before a Divorce?

Before a couple is able to file a divorce action in court and actually go through the divorce process, there are certain legal requirements that they must fulfill. These requirements include: 

  • Residency. A spouse that chooses to file for a divorce must have resided within the state they are filing for a certain period of time. This time period is often at least six months before filing for divorce, and often at least three months in the county, but this varies from location to location.
  • Waiting period. In most cases there will be a waiting period from the time a divorce is finalized until the actual day that each party is free to remarry. This averages around six months plus one day from the date that the papers get filed in court. Each party is required to agree to this waiting period for the divorce to be allowed.
  • Legal grounds for divorce. When filing for divorce, there are usually two different legal grounds for submitting the papers: irreconcilable differences and incurable insanity. “Irreconcilable differences” refers to marital problems, such as unresolvable disputes or the presence of adultery. “Incurable insanity” is a less common option that refers to the emotional medical state of one of the partners.
  • Jurisdiction. Divorces must be filed within the proper court for the paperwork to be considered valid. This court is within the county where either the husband or wife lived within the three months before filing for divorce.


If you have further questions about the requirements you must meet to file for a divorce, consult the experienced family law attorneys with Jakubowski, Robertson, Maffei, Goldsmith and Tartaglia, LLP today.

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