If you are planning to get remarried soon after your divorce, they key date is the date that the final divorce orders are entered with the court.
That means that the orders have been signed by a judge or commissioner and filed with the clerk of the court. That is the point at which the divorce itself is final. To be safe, you may want to wait at least until you have a copy of the divorce decree back from your lawyer showing the judge or commissioner’s signature and a court filing stamp.
The final divorce orders cannot be entered with the court until the terms of the divorce have been settled.
The orders need to contain (or reference a separate document containing) all of the specific terms of the divorce, including property and debt division, spousal and child support arrangements, and a parenting plan if applicable. This may be after trial or may be based on a written agreement that both sides came to, often after mediation or a collaborative process.
On the other hand, if you have obtained a decree of legal separation rather than a divorce, you cannot remarry because you are still legally married to your spouse, even though you are no longer a marital community.
In order to be able to remarry, you need to have the legal separation converted to a divorce. Fortunately this is generally easy to do, just requiring a short motion to the court, but it must be at least six months after the legal separation was completed.
If you need help with your divorce or legal separation, or have other questions about getting remarried, give us a call at 206-784-3049, or use the form on our website, to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys. We only charge a minimal fee for the initial consultation and you can get a number of your questions about divorce or legal separation answered at that time to help you decide how best to move ahead.