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Lawmakers in Wisconsin want to eliminate the waiting period to remarry after a divorce

Published Wednesday, May. 17th, 2023

Photo: Benita Elizabeth John / Unsplash

Lawmakers in Wisconsin are considering legislation that would eliminate the state’s required waiting period between a divorce and a new marriage.


Currently, recently-divorced individuals must wait 6 months after their divorce judgment is granted to get married again.


If the measure passes (Senate Bill 288), however, an individual would be able to apply for a new marriage license immediately after having their divorce granted. 


Why does this matter? Marriage is a spiritual union, but it’s also a practical one. This change could benefit couples who need or want to marry quickly following the end of a previous marriage (such as for access to insurance benefits, child care needs, housing, or other personal reasons). 


Related: Wisconsin Officiant Government Registration Requirements


This change might also make it easier for couples to plan a wedding ceremony and book a wedding officiant, by removing limitations on potential wedding dates. Couples who divorce in the fall or winter will be able to book an off-season wedding right away, instead of having to compete for venues and vendors in the busier spring and summer seasons.


Only a few states have a mandatory waiting period between a divorce and remarriage, including Alabama, Kansas, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Texas, Washington, D.C., and Wisconsin. 


Related: Can you get married without a marriage license? What if you lost it? Or forgot it?


Of these, Wisconsin’s is one of the longest – only two states have equally long waiting periods, Nebraska and Oklahoma. 


Senate Bill 288 was introduced May 15th, 2023, and has been referred to Committee for review. It has four primary sponsors, Senators Joan Ballweg, Mary Felzkowski,  Kelda Roys, and Lena Taylor.


Read the full bill text here: WI SB288 2023





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Jessica Levey
Jessica Levey

Lead Staff Writer & Illustrator

Jessica loves exploring the history and magic of ritual, the connections between people and places, and sharing true stories about love and commitment. She's an advocate for marriage equality, LGBTQ+ rights, and individuality, and is an ordained Minister with AMM. When she’s not writing or illustrating for AMM, she enjoys city hikes, fantasy novels, comics, and traveling.

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