Contact Us
Make My Homepage

Did You Know Sioux Falls Was Once The ‘Quickie Divorce’ Capital

Divorce Image
Google Images

At one time, divorce was big business in Sioux Falls.

I bring up this up because I recently ran across a story about the Washington state legislature considering extending the “waiting period” for getting a divorce in that state from 90 days to a year.

Here’s where Sioux Falls enters the picture.

During the early 1900’s, Sioux Falls made big money by catering to those seeking a quick divorce.

Because of a six month residency requirement, which at that time was considered short, men and women, some from as far away as England and France, came to Sioux Falls for a quickie divorce.

The lenient laws were originally enacted by the Territorial Legislature in an effort to help populate the territory.

Even after South Dakota established statehood, Sioux Falls didn’t discourage the quickie divorces.  The reason was these “unhappy couples” left an estimated $100,000 a year in the community.

And with at least 70 percent of all petitioners coming from outside the state, six months of accommodations was a large part of the expense of obtaining a divorce in Sioux Falls.

Some stayed in hotels, while others rented furnished houses in an area nicknamed “Divorce Row,” where rental rates were $75 to $100 a month. (By comparison an apartment in New York City rented for $35 to $50 a month.)

The Sioux Falls economy was also boosted in part by quickie remarriages, many of which occurred on the same day the divorce was granted.

The Sioux Falls divorce business eventually dried up after a 1907 state law extended the residency requirement from six months to one year. The measure was referred to a public vote, and passed by a count of 60,211 to 3,894.



Best of KSOO

Recommended for You

Best of the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to using your original account information.

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Sign up for KSOO VIP Club quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!

Sign up to have exclusive KSOO VIP Club contests, events, coupons, presales, and much more delivered to you for FREE.