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How many months must a woman wait to remarry after a divorce?

Quick Answer

The number of months a woman must wait before remarrying after a divorce varies by state. In most states there is no mandatory waiting period, meaning a woman can remarry immediately after her divorce is finalized. However, some states do impose waiting periods, which can range from 30 days to up to 1 year.

Waiting Periods by State

Here is an overview of divorce waiting periods by state:

State Waiting Period
Alabama 60 days
Alaska None
Arizona None
Arkansas 60 days
California None
Colorado 91 days
Connecticut None
Delaware None
Florida None
Georgia None
Hawaii None
Idaho None
Illinois None
Indiana 60 days
Iowa 90 days
Kansas None
Kentucky 60 days
Louisiana None
Maine 60 days
Maryland None
Massachusetts None
Michigan None
Minnesota 6 months
Mississippi 60 days
Missouri None
Montana None
Nebraska None
Nevada None
New Hampshire None
New Jersey None
New Mexico None
New York None
North Carolina 60 days
North Dakota None
Ohio None
Oklahoma 6 months
Oregon None
Pennsylvania None
Rhode Island None
South Carolina None
South Dakota None
Tennessee 60 days
Texas 30 days
Utah None
Vermont None
Virginia 6 months
Washington None
West Virginia None
Wisconsin None
Wyoming None

As the table shows, the majority of states do not impose a mandatory waiting period before remarriage after a divorce. However, a handful of states require former spouses to wait 30 days to 1 year before tying the knot again.

Purpose of Waiting Periods

States that do require waiting periods before remarriage generally have two main goals:

1. Prevent Bigamy

By mandating a waiting period, states aim to prevent situations where one or both former spouses are still legally married when they attempt to wed new partners. This helps avoid charges of bigamy, which involves being married to more than one person at the same time.

2. Discourage Hasty Marriages

Some policymakers believe that requiring divorced individuals to wait several months before remarrying gives them time to seriously contemplate the decision rather than rushing into another marriage. This may promote more stable and successful long-term relationships.

Getting Around Waiting Periods

In states that do impose waiting periods, there are sometimes exceptions or options to get around the mandated delay:

  • Pregnancy exception – Some states waive the waiting period if the woman is pregnant, to legitimate a child.
  • Court waiver – Judges may be willing to waive the waiting period if there are extenuating circumstances.
  • Marry in another state – Couples can travel to and marry in a state with no waiting period, then have that marriage recognized back home.

Other Factors That Delay Remarriage

Aside from legal waiting periods, there are other factors that can prevent a prompt remarriage after divorce:

  • Finalizing divorce proceedings – In contested divorces, finalizing the divorce decree and settlement can take over a year. Remarriage must wait until the divorce is complete.
  • Religious annulment – Some religious faiths require an annulment before church members can remarry. This process can take several months.
  • Personal readiness – It often takes time for divorced individuals to recover, emotionally and financially, from the separation. Even without legal barriers, personal factors may delay remarriage.

Key Takeaways

  • Most states do not require a waiting period before remarriage after a divorce.
  • In states with waiting periods, the duration ranges from 30 days to 1 year.
  • Waiting periods are intended to prevent bigamy and encourage contemplation before remarriage.
  • There are sometimes exceptions or options to get around mandated waiting periods.
  • Aside from legal requirements, personal and religious factors often delay remarriages as well.


In summary, the majority of states permit divorced individuals to remarry as soon as their divorce is finalized. But a small number impose 30-day to 1-year waiting periods, with the goals of preventing bigamy and encouraging thoughtful decision-making before entering a new marriage. There are exceptions in some cases, but even without legal barriers, personal factors like unfinished divorce proceedings or religious requirements often slow down the path to remarriage after a divorce.