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GN 00305

GN 00305.165 Summary of State Laws on Divorce and Remarriage

A. INTRODUCTION SUMMARY OF STATE LAWS ON DIVORCE AND REMARRIAGE

The following exhibit is a summary of State laws regarding divorce and remarriage.

B. EXHIBIT SUMMARY OF STATE LAWS ON DIVORCE AND REMARRIAGE

Alabama

A final decree of divorce ends the marriage relationship as of the date of the decree. The remarriage of either party to the divorce to a third person is prohibited for 60 days following the decree. A divorce decree may also indicate whether the guilty party may ever remarry. However, if there is no such prohibition in the decree against the defendant's remarriage, any marriage of the defendant after 60 days following the decree is valid. A marriage contracted in Alabama before the end of the 60-day prohibited period or in violation of the prohibition against remarriage would be held to be void in Alabama. However, Alabama would hold to be valid a marriage entered into in another State within the 60-day period or contrary to the prohibition against the remarriage of the guilty party if the marriage met all statutory requirements of that second State and if the parties had not gone outside Alabama for the marriage in order to evade its prohibitions against remarriage. A marriage entered into in another State in contravention of the restrictions imposed by Alabama would be recognized as valid in other States, since such restrictions have no extraterritorial effect.

Alaska

There are no restrictions against remarriage following a divorce decree.

American Samoa

A divorce decree is final on rendition and there are no restrictions on remarriage.

Arizona

Prior to 7/23/66, divorced persons were prohibited from remarrying within 1 year of the decree of divorce. However, a marriage contracted during the prohibited period is not void. Such a marriage contracted in Arizona is voidable. However, a remarriage entered into in another State during the prohibited period would be recognized as valid in Arizona and in other States.

After 7/22/66, there are no restrictions against remarriage following a divorce decree.

Arkansas

Prior to 7/1/79, a divorce decree was effective from the date it was announced in "open court".

After 6/30/79, a divorce decree is final only after both a docket entry and a final decree have been entered. A divorce decree rendered during vacation of court does not become effective until entered on record.

There are no restrictions against remarriage following a divorce decree.

California

Prior to 9/17/65, an interlocutory decree was first entered and at the expiration of 1 year (if there had been no appeal motion for the new trial or reversal of the interlocutory decree) a final decree could be entered.

From 9/17/65, through 12/31/69, (and for actions in which judgment was entered or a new trial granted between these dates) a final decree could be entered immediately after the interlocutory decree if 1 year had expired from the date of service of summons and complaint on the defendant spouse. A final decree of divorce severed the marital relationship and permitted either party to remarry. There was no waiting period after the entry of the final decree.

A marriage contracted with a third party after the interlocutory decree but before the final decree is void whether contracted in California or in another jurisdiction because the parties are not divorced until the entry of the final decree.

Since 1/1/70, (and for actions filed before that date with respect to issues as to which no interlocutory decree or judgment had been entered by that date) a final judgment dissolving the marriage may be entered, upon the motion of either party or the court, 6 months after the date of service of summons and complaint or appearance of the respondent. Such final judgment restores each party to the status of a single person and after its entry either may marry.

Colorado

Prior to 7/58, an interlocutory decree was first entered followed by a final decree after a lapse of 6 months. An interlocutory decree automatically became final 6 months after the entry of the interlocutory decree. During this 6-month period the parties were not capable of contracting a valid marriage in Colorado or in any other State, and no jurisdiction would recognize a marriage contracted within such period.

After 6/58, a decree of divorce rendered pursuant to suit filed after 6/58 is final when entered, and there is no restriction against remarriage to the parties thereafter.

Connecticut

A divorce decree is final immediately and there is no restriction against remarriage.

Delaware

Prior to 6/8/49, a statute provided for the entry of a decree nisi which became absolute at the expiration of 1 year, unless appealed from, or unless proceedings for review were pending, or unless the court before the expiration of the period otherwise ordered. The divorce did not become final until the entry of the final decree at the expiration of the 1-year period upon the plaintiff's application to the court. A remarriage entered into in Delaware or in any other State before the entry of the final decree would be held to be void by the courts of Delaware and of all other States.

From 6/8/49 through 7/4/74, a decree nisi became final after the expiration of 3 months from the date of entry upon application of the plaintiff for a decree absolute. During the 3-month period a remarriage contracted in Delaware or in any other State would be held to be void in Delaware and in all other jurisdictions.

After 7/4/74, a decree granting a petition for divorce is final when entered, subject to the right of appeal. However, an appeal, which must be filed within 30 days of judgment from a decree granting a divorce that does not challenge the finding that the marriage is irretrievably broken, does not delay the finality of the decree, and thus allows





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