I was discussing with a couple of friends (also Dopers) my divorce, which will be filed some time next week. I’d expressed some frustration over the fact that in California, no matter how eager my ex and I may be to get this process over and done with, and no matter how well everything is lined up, it will be a minimum of six months from the date of the initial filing before our divorce is finalized. My friends told me that in at least one state, you’re required to live in different residences for a full year before you can even make that initial filing. And yet, based on what an in-law told me once, in Nevada, finalizing a divorce takes only a matter of hours if you’re a resident of the state.
I’m bothered by the fact that there’s so much disparity regarding what various states have decided is an “appropriate” amount of time to allow a divorce to go through. I’ll grant that I have known couples who would probably run for a divorce at the drop of a hat any time they had the dumbest of fights, and I’m guessing (although I don’t know this) that state legislatures are trying to prevent people from making decisions with a potentially deep and lasting impact on the spur of the moment.
But is it really the right of any body of government to make that decision for individuals? If so, why? If I had found happiness elsewhere and wanted to get married to someone new next week, why should I be forced to wait because the state says I’m still married to someone else, even though we both have declared that we no longer want to be married to one another? Does this make any sense?