Tuesday, December 24, 2013

YouTube, Divorce, and Mediation

I am always curious how different media handles Divorce and Mediation.  People now obtain information many different ways.   A search of YouTube comes up with more than you can count but one of my favorites is numerous renditions by Tammy Wynette of D.I.V.O.R.C.E.  The first hit for divorce is Cyanide & Happiness – Divorce with 1,499,271 views.  The first hit for Divorce Mediation is Divorce Mediation versus Litigation What the Attorneys Won’t Tell You with 3,456 views.  The fact that Divorce gets so many more views than Divorce Mediation may tell you something about the popularity of Mediation.  I find this unfortunate. I am of course partial to the DivorceTV channel with over 10,000 total views.
As always, you can post any comment about this blog or Divorce Mediation, or just Mediation by following the directions at the right in the green column or at the bottom of this website. Learn more about mediation at http://www.center-divorce-mediation.com/ CDM (281) 12/24/13

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


I realize that a lot of my material for this blog comes from the New York Times or Google. What can I say, I am addicted to both. The latest article that caught my eye is “The Hail-Mary-Moon” by Carrie Seim and published on July 31, 2013. See entire article at http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/01/fashion/the-hail-mary-moon.html?pagewanted=allCatchy title! It is a variation on the Hail Mary Pass. A Hail Mary Pass is a very long forward pass in American football, made in desperation with only a small chance of success, especially at or near the end of a half. According to Wikipedia, “the expression goes back at least to the 1930s, being used publicly in that decade by two former members of Notre Dame's Four Horsemen, Elmer Layden and Jim Crowley. Originally meaning any sort of desperation play, a "Hail Mary" gradually came to denote a long, low-probability pass attempted at the end of a half when a team is too far from the end zone to execute a more conventional play. For more than forty years use of the term was largely confined to Notre Dame and other Catholic universities. The term Hail Mary Pass has become generalized to refer to any last-ditch effort with little chance of success.” As the subtitle of the article states, the Hail-Mary-Moon is for some couples an 11th hour trip together can save the relationship –or not. Call it a save-cation. Another catchy title! We never came across this approach to a save a marriage. We did see destination weddings. I have also thought a couple might do a divor-cation. It only seemed to work when the couple was motivated. A couple can be motivated without a trip. I did like the line, “Shortly after returning to shore, they called off the divorce mediator.”

As always, you can post any comment about this blog or Divorce Mediation, or just Mediation by following the directions at the right in the green column or at the bottom of this website. Learn more about mediation at http://www.center-divorce-mediation.com/ CDM (280) 10/1/13

Monday, September 16, 2013

Marriage, Mediation and Business Divorce

Very often we have mediated cases where not only the parties are partners in marriage, they are also business partners.   More often than not, one party retains the business and one party leaves.  This is usually creates problems for both parties.  I was intrigued by the December 6, 2012 article in the New York Times by Bryan Borzykowski entitled, “When Couples Divorce But Still Run A Business Together.”  See the entire article at
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/06/business/smallbusiness/when-couples-divorce-but-still-run-the-business-together.html?smid=pl-share  This was even more the case because one the businesses in the article was a law firm.    These are ideal cases for mediation.  The advice given in the article is the same advice we give in every mediation.  The importance of respect.  Open communications. Keep anger in check.  Have a written agreement.  Time makes things better.  I found the comparison of employees to children and how they should be handled the same way, as a touch amusing.
As always, you can post any comment about this blog or Divorce Mediation, or just Mediation by following the directions at the right in the green column or at the bottom of this website. Learn more about mediation at http://www.center-divorce-mediation.com/ CDM (279) 9/15/13

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Interfaith Marriages, Divorce and Mediation

An April 2013 piece in the New York Times Opinionator by Stanley Fish titled “Marrying Out of the Faith” caught my eye.  See full article at http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/04/01/marrying-out-of-the-faith/?smid=pl-share  He discusses his own experiences and Naomi Schaefer Riley’s new book, “Til Faith Do Us Part:  How Interfaith Marriage is Transforming America.”  I realized that we have done divorce mediation for close to 30 years and I can’t remember one case that a divorce was caused by an interfaith marriage.  Even though it has not come up directly, it may aggravate the situation.  Also, I have found that religion is often more an emotional than a spiritual issue.  Many people who are not religious seem to become more so when they get married.  This is not to say the issue of religion did not come up.   Ironically, the issue usually comes up in a positive way.  In determining a parenting plan for holidays, it was easier.  If it was a Jewish and Christian marriage, there was no fight over who parented the children on Christmas, Chanukah, Easter, Passover, Yom Kippur, and other religious holidays.  We once were special masters in case where the Jewish Father suggested parenting his children on the Jewish Holiday but when the Mother agreed he argued against his original suggestion.  I have some funny anecdotal stories on this issue.  In college a girl refused to date me because she thought I was not Jewish but never asked if I was.  I am.  I knew good friends of ours were an interfaith couple.  When I met them, I thought the Husband was Jewish and the wife was Christian.  It turned out that it was the other way around.  I am not a big fan of conversion for the sake of marriage.  If there is a conversion it should be because the person believes.   One may be able to convert but I don’t think one can convert the emotional and cultural experiences of a child.   I have seen many conversions.  Often I have been surprised that the person was not born Jewish.  Others seems like it was purely cosmetic.   Often the person who converted is more religious than their spouse.   I found his discussions of inter political marriages also very interesting.  He indicates that people worry more about an inter political marriage than an inter faith marriage.  I have noticed that most couples agree politically.  I think it is more an unconscious compatibility issue. 
As always, you can post any comment about this blog or Divorce Mediation, or just Mediation by following the directions at the right in the green column or at the bottom of this website. Learn more about mediation at http://www.center-divorce-mediation.com/ CDM (278) 8/31/13

Thursday, August 15, 2013

NFL Concussion Case to Mediation

I was of course pleased that the Judge Brody ordered the case brought by thousands of former NFL players concerning concussions to mediation.  See full article at http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/09/sports/football/judge-orders-nfl-concussion-case-to-mediation.html?smid=pl-share   the article indicates many of the benefits of mediation.  However, once again it does not distinguish between evaluative and facilitative mediation and makes it seem that all mediation is evaluative.  In particular the last paragraph says, “Presumably, the judge is experienced and can give both sides an appraisal of the case from the perspective of someone who’s sat on the bench.”  As a mediator for almost 30 years, I prefer the approach of starting with facilitative mediation and only moving to evaluative as a last resort.   Facilitative mediations have more lasting results.  One must question in evaluative mediation who is doing the evaluation.  The Supreme Court consistently has 5 to 4 ruling.  If a Supreme Court Justice was doing evaluative mediation are you getting one of the 5 or one of the 4?  Is this really evaluation or directed negotiations?   I think it is impossible to predict what a court will do.  When clients have indicated to me that his or her attorney will predict what the court will do, I suggest they get a written guarantee that the attorney will pay if the court does not rule the way the attorney predicted.  Needless to say, no attorney has ever agreed!  The Judge gave the mediator two months.  I will be interested to see the results.
As always, you can post any comment about this blog or Divorce Mediation, or just Mediation by following the directions at the right in the green column or at the bottom of this website. Learn more about mediation at http://www.center-divorce-mediation.com/ CDM (277) 8/15/13

Monday, July 29, 2013

Navajo Peacemaking and Mediation


   We are always looking at ways we can improve out mediating skills and look to other method of alternative dispute resolution.  Living in the Southern Arizona it was only a matter of time before we investigated Navajo Peacemaking.  Among other material, I have read Navajo Peacemaking Guide (A Guide to the Peacemaking Program of the Navajo Nation), Judicial Branch of the Navajo Nation, September 2004
http://navajodigest.com/images/30._Peacemaking_Guide.pdf , Navajo Nation Peacemaking – Living Traditional Justice by Marianne O. Nielsen and James W.  Zion.  We may actually know James W. Zion from when we both in Connecticut.  In the introduction to Navajo Nation Peacemaking, the authors say, “Peacemaking is a form of conflict resolution that is rooted in Navajo culture and practices but has been modified to take into account present-day issues and resources.  Depending on the individual, it can be practiced as a way of life or simply as an alternative to the court process.  It is not mediation, and it is not alternative dispute resolution.  It has been called “reparative justice and “participatory justice.”  I do not totally agree with this analysis.  They may be thinking more of court mediation or evaluative mediation.  The steps of Peacemaking are very similar to what we do in mediation. 

   The Peacemaker opens with introductions of the parties and states the canons of conduct which will govern the session. The session should then follow the steps below:
1.  The peacemaker may allow an opening prayer if the parties do not disagree.
2.  Each party should be permitted to make opening remarks which should include his or her statement of the controversy, and what he or she desires as relief.
3. The peacemaker should make certain that the participants understand the exact nature of the controversy and the desired relief. The peacemaker accomplishes this by asking questions to clarify points of discussion. To help resolve issues, the peacemaker should ask questions to determine what the problem is and what is the cause of the problem. If they know what the problem is and what the cause is, then, they can choose a plan of action, or choose ways to resolve the issues.
4.  Once the Peacemaker is satisfied that the nature of the controversy and desired relief has been adequately stated, the Peacemaker allows open discussion of the subject matter. At this point, the Peacemaker may allow other persons to join in the discussion, keeping in mind the canons of conduct.
5. During the discussions, the Peacemaker ensures that the principal parties are permitted full opportunity to address comments presented by the other party or by other interested persons.
6. Discussions continue until all parties have had an opportunity to speak to the subject matter.
7. Once the discussions are completed, the Peacemaker then points the discussions toward a resolution and allows the discussions of remedies in the same manner as indicated above.
8.  Once the discussions on the controversy and the desired relief have been completed, the peacemaker then points the parties toward a specific resolution, allowing full opportunity for discussion and input.
9.  Should the parties reach an agreement, the Peacemaker provides a final summary of the agreement and immediately reduces it to writing. The Peacemaker may defer the written resolution for a period not to exceed 10 days after the session. The written resolution should be acknowledged and executed by the principal parties.
10. The session should close with a prayer.

    The sessions should be conducted in an informal manner with the Peacemaker maintaining proper decorum and control. The Peacemaker should conduct the peacemaking session in a harmonious and respectful manner. The Peacemaker will ensure the following:
1.  The sessions are conducted free of adversity and hostility.
2.  All participants display courtesy and respect toward one another.
3.  The Peacemaker may expel any person from the peacemaking session if such person's conduct violates the spirit of Navajo peacemaking.
4.  The Peacemaker should ensure that all sides to the controversy are heard, allowing all parties and other interested persons the opportunity to speak to the issue(s) at hand.

    We don’t use a prayer in our mediation but I am thinking seriously of using a poem by Ofelia Zepeda, a Tohono O’dham Nation poet and author of "A Tohono O'odham Grammar."  One possibility is:
An unusually cold December day right around Christmas;
clouds, mist find solace in the canyons of the Santa Catalina Mountains.
White moisture quietly moving amid the cactus.
Truly, clouds, wind, and rain are the few elements
that can touch the saguaro from head to foot. 
Oblivious of spines, needles.
Rubbery hide surrounded, soothed by elements.
Contact triggers stored heat of remembered summers.
Moisture beads roll forward, unstoppable.
From the city below
we see mist rising, mist rising
   The following Navajo words used in Peacemaking are illustrative of the process.
Hóz==hjí K’é Náhooleeh[íi - A person who helps restore harmony using positive techniques
Hózh= Náhóodlee[ - To become good or position again
Hóz==hjí nahat’á - Good or positive way planning
K’é Bee í[ni da’anish - Working together through kinship or good relationships
Hane’ - Dine Journey Narrative or story

     Although Navajo Peacemaking was not as different from what we do as I thought it would be, it reinforces that our mediation is an excellent process and it gives us some ideas on how to improve it.
    As always, you can post any comment about this blog or Divorce Mediation, or just Mediation by following the directions at the right in the green column or at the bottom of this website. Learn more about mediation at http://www.center-divorce-mediation.com/ CDM (276) 7/29/13


Sunday, April 14, 2013

Lincoln's Glasses, Divorce, and Mediation

In 1958, when I was in sixth grade my parents took our family to Washington, DC.  I remember the trip well.  My parent could not afford to take us on many trips.  We saw all the sites including Ford Theater and the house where Lincoln died.  In those days there were not the sophisticated exhibits we have today. In some ways Ford Theater probably looked about the same as it did in 1865.  I remember see artifacts of the assassination and thought it included contents of his pockets but I did not remember correctly. Out of curiosity, I Googled “contents of Lincoln’s pockets” and that they are now in the Library of Congress and found the following posting by Lisa Waller Rogers.  Full posting at  http://lisawallerrogers.wordpress.com/2009/03/16/what-they-found-in-lincolns-pockets/

“On the morning of April 15, 1865, the day Abraham Lincoln died, someone emptied his pockets. These contents were put in a box which was then wrapped in brown paper and tied with a string. The box was then handed to Abraham’s oldest son Robert Lincoln who was at his father’s deathbed. Robert Lincoln then passed the box on to his daughter, Mary Lincoln Isham, who donated the box to the Library of Congress in 1937. Labeled “Do Not Open,” the mystery box was tucked away in a vault in the Librarian’s office and forgotten for almost four decades.

Finally, in 1975, then Librarian of Congress Daniel J. Boorstin decided to open the box. With staff looking on in eager anticipation, Boorstin untied the string, tore off the brown paper, and opened the box.

Lincoln assassination artifacts: contents of Lincoln's pockets the night he was murdered (left) and copy of a newspaper announcing the assassination (right)

The night Lincoln was murdered at Ford’s Theatre, he was carrying:

*  a pair of small spectacles folded into a silver case,

*  a pair of reading glasses,

*  a small velvet eyeglass cleaner (I can’t find above),

*  an ivory pocketknife trimmed with silver,

*  a large linen handkerchief with “A. Lincoln” stitched in red,

*  a tiny pencil ( I can’t find above),

*  a brass sleeve button,

*  a fancy watch fob, and

*  a brown leather wallet lined with purple silk. It contained a Confederate five-dollar bill bearing the likeness of Confederate President Jefferson Davis and eight newspaper clippings Lincoln had cut out and saved. All of the clippings praised him. (2)

These artifacts were put on display at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C, in 1976, the year of our nation’s 200th birthday and are still on view today. Though only everyday items, the contents of Lincoln’s pockets are among the items visitors to the Library most often ask to see.

Here’s a close-up of Lincoln’s reading glasses, broken at the left hinge and mended with a bit of string. Frugal Abe wore rickety reading glasses while, in contrast, extravagant Mary had a collection of 300 pairs of gloves.”

By this time you are probably asking what does this have to do with divorce or mediation.  It is Lincoln’s glasses mended with string.  I can relate to the problem.  I am constantly losing the screw to the hinge of my glasses and fixing it with a kit they sell at drug store checkout counters.  Before that I would stick in a paper clip.  I never thought to use string.  The string tells us a lot about Lincoln.  Frugal perhaps but also not caught up in appearances or caring a great deal about minor inconveniences.  Can you imagine any recent President fixing and wearing glasses held together with string.  My point is that people getting a divorce should put things in perspective.  They need to mend their marriage or divorce with string and not worry about it.

As always, you can post any comment about this blog or Divorce Mediation, or just Mediation by following the directions at the right in the green column or at the bottom of this website. Learn more about mediation at http://www.center-divorce-mediation.com/ CDM (275) 4/14/13 (Date Lincoln was shot)


Thursday, April 4, 2013

Cuban Divorce

I wrote a blog about Mediation in Cuba on May                 2, 2008.  See it at http://centerfordivorcemediation.blogspot.com/search/label/Mediation%20in%20Cuba   I said that Divorce in Cuba is not as complicated as here. There are no issues dealing with health care or housing and there is a strong presumption that the Mother retains custody of the children.  It is worth discussing more.  See December 31, 2007 article in New York Times by the Associated Press entitled, “Divorce Is Easy in Cuba, but a Housing Shortage Makes Breaking Up Hard.”  The problem is housing.  You can get divorced but will have no place to live.  Will the gradual changes in the Cuban government change the housing shortage and will there be a corresponding increase in divorce?  Time will tell.
As always, you can post any comment about this blog or Divorce Mediation, or just Mediation by following the directions at the right in the green column or at the bottom of this website. Learn more about mediation at http://www.center-divorce-mediation.com/ CDM (274) 4/4/13

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Blog about Blog

I have been doing this blog since May of 2008.  This is my 273 blog.  We have had a total of 15,439 hits.
The five most popular blogs in order of number of hits and the date of the blog are:
1.       Divorce Proverbs and Aphorisms Mar 21, 2008, 1410
2.       Divorce and Marriage Acronyms Jan 20, 2011, 515
3.       New Arizona Child Support Guidelines  Jul 17, 2010,  263
4.       If Things Fall Apart, Who Gets the Ring? Oct 20, 2008, 211
5.       Dementia and Divorce Jul 10, 2010, 205
6.       Humor in Mediation and Divorce Feb  5, 2008, 163
7.       Divorce Haiku Sept 4, 2010, 159
8.       Dinosaurs Divorce Jan 9, 2012, 86
9.       Divorce, Mediation and Broadcast Call Letters Feb 8, 2012
10.   Divorce Games Part 2 Sep 11, 2010 74
When writing a blog you never know if it will be popular or not.  I was surprised and don’t know why the Divorce Proverbs and Aphorisms has been so popular and the same with Acronyms.  I can only assume that people search for a Proverb or Acronym and the blog comes up. I did a Google search for QDRO and the blog did not come up but when I searched QDRO "center for divorce mediation" it came up on the first page.  I think that was just a little forced.  Parents are very concerned about child support so I can understand by Child Support is 3.  I was amused that Who Gets the Ring was 4.  Dementia and Divorce being 5th, may indicate a problem which is not getting enough attention.    I wanted to check the least popular but could not get that statistic.  Also note that none of my recent blogs made the list. Most recent and most popular was Divorce Mediation and Call Letters on February 8, 2012 and that had only 83 hits.  I guess this is also a function of age.  The longer the blog is up, the more hits it gets.  I was pleased that Dinosaurs Divorce which was in January 2012 had 86 hits.   
I found it interesting how many hits we got from outside the United States. See below. Why was Russia second?
United States-8481
United Kingdom-545
South Korea-180
The hits have some correlation with the list in order of most divorces in a country. See below.
1. United States
2. Puerto Rico   
3. Russia
4. United Kingdom
5. Denmark
6. New Zealand
7. Australia
8. Canada
9. Finland
10. Barbados
As always, you can post any comment about this blog or Divorce Mediation, or just Mediation by following the directions at the right in the green column or at the bottom of this website. Learn more about mediation at http://www.center-divorce-mediation.com/ CDM (273) 3/27/13

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

China Marriage and Divorce

China has been in the Marriage and Divorce news lately.  Once on March 9, 2013 article in the New York Times by Brook Larmer article entitled “The Price of Marriage in China.”  See entire article at http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/10/business           /in-a-changing-china-new-matchmaking-markets.html

Larmer says, “Three decades of combustive economic growth have reshaped the landscape of marriage in China. A generation ago, China was one of the world’s most equal nations, in both gender and wealth. Most people were poor, and tight controls over housing, employment, travel and family life simplified the search for a suitable match — what the Chinese call mendang hudui, meaning roughly “family doors of equal size.”  ….

China’s transition to a market economy has swept away many restrictions in people’s lives. But of all the new freedoms the Chinese enjoy today — making money, owning a house, choosing a career — there is one that has become an unexpected burden: seeking a spouse. This may be a time of sexual and romantic liberation in China, but the solemn task of finding a husband or wife is proving to be a vexing proposition for rich and poor alike.

“The old family and social networks that people used to rely on for finding a husband or wife have fallen apart,” said James Farrer, an American sociologist whose book, “Opening Up,” looks at sex, dating and marriage in contemporary China. “There’s a huge sense of dislocation in China, and young people don’t know where to turn.”

… Demographic changes, too, are creating complications. Not only are many more Chinese women postponing marriage to pursue careers, but China’s gender gap — 118 boys are born for every 100 girls — has become one of the world’s widest, fueled in large part by the government’s restrictive one-child policy. By the end of this decade, Chinese researchers estimate, the country will have a surplus of 24 million unmarried men.

Without traditional family or social networks, many men and women have taken their searches online, where thousands of dating and marriage Web sites have sprung up in an industry that analysts predict will soon surpass $300 million annually. These sites cater mainly to China’s millions of white-collar workers. But intense competition, along with mistrust of potential mates’ online claims, has spurred a growing number of singles — rich and poor — to turn to more hands-on matchmaking services.

China’s matchmaking tradition stretches back more than 2,000 years, to the first imperial marriage broker in the late Zhou dynasty. The goal of matchmakers ever since has usually been to pair families of equal stature for the greater social good. Today, however, matchmaking has warped into a commercial free-for-all in which marriage is often viewed as an opportunity to leap up the social ladder or to proclaim one’s arrival at the top.

Single men have a hard time making the list if they don’t own a house or an apartment, which in cities like Beijing are extremely expensive. And despite the gender imbalance, Chinese women face intense pressure to be married before the age of 28, lest they be rejected and stigmatized as “leftover women.”

Dozens of high-end matchmaking services have sprung up in China in the last five years, charging big fees to find and to vet prospective spouses for wealthy clients. Their methods can turn into gaudy spectacle. One firm transported 200 would-be trophy wives to a resort town in southwestern China for the perusal of one powerful magnate. Another organized a caravan of BMWs for rich businessmen to find young wives in Sichuan Province. Diamond Love, among the largest love-hunting services, sponsored a matchmaking event in 2009 where 21 men each paid a $15,000 entrance fee.”
On the other hand, there was an article by David Barboza in the March 8, 2013 New York Times entitled, “In China, Checklist for a Home Seller: First, Get a Divorce.”  See entire article at  http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/09/world/asia/some-chinese-seek-a-divorce-to-avoid-real-estate-tax.html

Barboza says, “Divorce filings shot up here and in other big cities across China this past week after rumors spread that one way to avoid the new 20 percent tax on profits from housing sales was to separate from a spouse, at least on paper.
The surge in divorce filings is the latest indication of how volatile an issue real estate has become in China in the past decade and how resistant people are to additional taxes.”

Perhaps these two trends will cancel each other out or perhaps all the people getting divorced will increase the supply of people to get married!

As always, you can post any comment about this blog or Divorce Mediation, or just Mediation by following the directions at the right in the green column or at the bottom of this website. Learn more about mediation at http://www.center-divorce-mediation.com/ CDM (272) 3/20/13


Thursday, March 7, 2013

Best and Worst States for Getting Divorced

I am aware that the states differ dramatically in the nature of divorces and have wondered which the best and worst states are.  As usual I goggled and found the following: The Best and Worst States for Getting Divorced by Joel Stonington and Alex McIntyre at http://www.bloomberg.com/money-gallery/2011-11-10/best-and-worst-states-for-getting-divorced.html#slide2.
Following are excerpts from the article.
Bloomberg Rankings rated the 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia on the obstacles they pose to obtaining a divorce. These include court filing fees, mandated separation periods, residency requirements, waiting periods, and the minimum time required to complete the divorce process. Read on to see how states rank, from easiest to most difficult.”
New Hampshire (1)
Filing fee: $180*
Minimum processing time: 0 days*
Divorce rate: 9.9**
You can't stay in a hotel for one night and go home single the next, but getting divorced in New Hampshire is almost that easy. There's no minimum processing time or minimum residency. "Say you're both living in Massachusetts," said Cathryn Nunlist, associate professor of law at Vermont Law School. "You both move to New Hampshire. You can file the next day, not a problem. There is a requirement that you are a resident. You can establish residency just by crossing the border and staying there."

*All state data from state websites
**U.S. Census Bureau, number of persons divorcing annually among 1,000 men and women, aged 15 and over
Home State
Arizona (19)
Filing fee: $321
Minimum processing time: 150 days
Divorce rate: 11.4
In 1998, Arizona followed in Louisiana's footsteps and enacted what is known as covenant marriage, by which couples agree to premarital counseling and accept fewer options for divorce. Those who choose a covenant marriage must prove fault if there is no agreement about dissolving it.
Vermont (51)
Filing fee: $262.50
Minimum processing time: 450 days
Divorce rate: 10.6
It's hard to get divorced in Vermont. "When they come to me and say 'let's get divorced,' I say, 'let's do it in New Hampshire because that's the easier one," said Cathryn Nunlist, a professor at Vermont Law School. Nunlist practices divorce law and lives near the border of Vermont and New Hampshire. Couples must live apart during Vermont's six-month mandated separation time. A year of residency is required before a divorce can be granted, and then a three-month "decree nisi" period must pass before a judge's approval becomes absolute.
Entire list
·         New Hampshire (1)
·         Wyoming (2)
·         Alaska (3)
·         Idaho (4)
·         South Dakota (5)
·         Nevada (6)
·         Maine (7)
·         Tennessee (8)
·         Montana (9)
·         Missouri (10)
·         Iowa (11)
·         Connecticut (12)
·         Kansas (13)
·         North Dakota (14)
·         Washington (15)
·         New Mexico (16)
·         Massachusetts (17)
·         Oklahoma (18)
·         Arizona (19)
·         Alabama (20)
·         Hawaii (21)
·         Ohio (22)
·         Georgia (23)
·         Minnesota (24)
·         Colorado (25)
·         Mississippi (26)
·         Kentucky (27)
·         Delaware (28)
·         Utah (29)
·         Michigan (30)
·         Washington, D.C. (31)
·         Virginia (32)
·         Indiana (33)
·         Illinois (34)
·         Florida (35)
·         Texas (36)
·         West Virginia (37)
·         Louisiana (38)
·         Oregon (39)
·         Pennsylvania (40)
·         Wisconsin (41)
·         Maryland (42)
·         New Jersey (43)
·         North Carolina (44)
·         Nebraska (45)
·         New York (46)
·         California (47)
·         Arkansas (48)
·         South Carolina (49)
·         Rhode Island (50)
·         Vermont (51)
The ranking applies to no-fault divorces of couples with no minor children. All numbers are statutory minimums and do not reflect waivers or exceptions granted by the courts. The 50 states and District of Columbia accrue points based on the following variables:

Court filing fees (10 points).
Minimum separation period (20 points): This includes whether or not the state requires separation before divorce (5 points), the length of separation required (10 points) and the strictness of the terms of separation (5 points).
Minimum length of residency (20 points).
Minimum waiting period after filing for divorce (20 points).
Minimum number of days required for entire process, from start to finish (30 points).
Final score: For each variable, the state with the lowest value received zero points, while the state with the highest value received the maximum number of points. Remaining states were then awarded points on a percentile basis. States were ranked on total points, with a higher score indicating a more onerous divorce process.
Data providers: Bloomberg, U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, state bar associations, legislatures and judiciaries for each state and the District of Columbia
This is more of a procedural analysis.  It is also important to look at results.  For example alimony varies tremendously.  See my Monday, April 7, 2008 blog on Alimony Questions at http://centerfordivorcemediation.blogspot.com/2008/04/alimony-questions.html
As always, you can post any comment about this blog or Divorce Mediation, or just Mediation by following the directions at the right in the green column or at the bottom of this website. Learn more about mediation at http://www.center-divorce-mediation.com/ CDM (271) 3/7/13