Nobody gets married with the intention of later divorcing, but as we all know, that is exactly what happens to around 50% of us. The problem is, divorce is a lengthy, complicated process in virtually every state, requiring at least a full year of separation before it can be finalized. So, what do you do if you’re in a hurry?
Whether you are itching to hook up with someone else or simply desperate to get away from the selfish jerk you married, faster options exist. When a divorce is uncontested (i.e. you and your spouse are in agreement that the marriage is doomed and you both want to end it a.s.a.p.) you can take advantage of places where divorce laws make it quick and easy to legally end a marriage. Once called “divorce mills,” some of these places have tightened up their laws a bit, but you can still get a relatively fast and easy divorce in any of these four locations.
Nevada is an impulsive person’s playground, and the state where you can both marry and divorce without thinking about it forever. Although Nevada law requires one of the two parties to be a resident of the state for 6 weeks, the court accepts as proof the signed affidavit of a Nevada resident over 18 stating that he or she has seen you living there. Although no one would ever encourage someone to commit perjury by lying about residency, the proof of residency seems like it would be pretty easy to come by.
Not only is a Nevada divorce incredibly quick—taking less than a week if uncontested—but it’s cheap, too. One law firm quotes a price of $350 for an uncontested divorce, plus $295 filing fees. At that price, you’d likely have money left over to try your luck in Vegas.
If you can’t work out the residency requirement in Nevada, Guam offers a 7-day divorce to non-residents for around $1500, not counting hotel, airfare, and fruity rum drinks by the pool. Assuming your divorce is uncontested, you OR your soon-to-be ex can enjoy a getaway in sunny Guam, then return home a week later unmarried. That’s right, only one of you is required to be present, so fighting over who gets the vacation could be your last blowout as a married couple. In addition, Guam allows you to end the marriage, then battle over property and kids later, in your home state.
Haiti offers the cheapest divorce, running $75 or less, depending on whether the divorce is contested. Haiti grants non-resident, uncontested divorces in as little as 24 hours, and only the plaintiff must be present. If the plaintiff is asking for a divorce without the consent of his or her spouse, it can take up to 20 days. If the missing defendant doesn’t respond within that time, Haiti will call the marriage over. The down side to a Haitian divorce is that a few states may not recognize it as legal, so check before running off to Port Au Prince with that $75 burning a hole in your pocket.
The Dominican Republic
If you are the kind of person who likes to follow the lead of celebrities, you might want to consider a jaunt to Santo Domingo in The Dominican Republic for your divorce. It’ll cost you close to $2,000, but you can join the ranks of Lisa Marie Presley, Elizabeth Taylor, and Mariah Carey for divorce location choice. Though more expensive to obtain, divorce law in the Dominican Republic allows you to un-tether yourself from the old ball-and-chain in just a single day. It must be uncontested and one spouse must be present, but if you want to be in and out in 24 hours, this is a good place to do it. As with Haiti, check with your local laws to make certain your state recognizes Dominican divorces. And don’t forget your sunscreen.