How Long Do I Have to Wait to Actually Be Divorced?

The first thing that must be understood is that there is a difference between a marriage being dissolved and a divorce being final.  Many states, Kentucky included, recognize a concept called a "divisible divorce." (Illinois will in certain extreme circumstances do this as well, but in my experience most judges refuse.)  A divisible divorce is when a judge enters a decree dissolving the marriage and reserving all of the other issues in the divorce (child custody, maintenance, property and debt division, etc.) for a later determination.  This is called an "interlocutory decree."

Once an interlocutory decree is entered, the parties are officially divorced and can actually get married to someone else if they want.  It is generally not recommended for a few different reasons.  The first is because "interlocutory" means that the decree is an interim order, not actually final.  If for some reason the case gets dismissed, the interlocutory would theoretically be voided as well.  Second, as a practical matter, in my experience it is usually best for a person to wait approximately six months after a divorce before entering into another serious relationship, especially a marriage.

Most judges upon entering an interlocutory decree, will schedule some manner of follow up hearing such as a case management or pretrial conference.  These hearings will help resolve outstanding discovery disputes and help to move the case along to final conclusion.

There are various reasons to request or not to request an interlocutory decree in your divorce case.  A skilled family law attorney will be able to help you evaluate what is best for your case.  For more information, please visit the Alford Law Office.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,