Divorce Mecca No More
Sunday, July 1, 2012
North Dakota’s infamous “Ten-Minute Divorce” law expired on this date in 1899, making the state’s quickie divorces a thing of the past. Under 1866 Dakota Territorial law, divorce proceedings could begin immediately upon arrival in Dakota. In 1877, the territorial code was amended, requiring three months residency. This code became law once North Dakota achieved statehood in 1889, and the state became a ‘Divorce Mecca,’ as the well-to-do from as far away as Europe flocked to Fargo, checked-in to elegant hotels for 90-day stays to obtain their divorce. It’s reported that one Fargo judge granted as many as 350 divorces in a single year. However, after 1899, a yearlong residency requirement severely decreased the state’s divorce market.
Dakota Datebook written by Jayme Job