Divorce in Minneapolis, MN
Probably one of the scariest decisions you will make in your life is whether to end a marriage. You are sad and anxious. You want to know how long it will take, how much will it cost, will I lose custody of my kids, how will it affect my business or how much will I have to pay my spouse?
A divorce, or dissolution of marriage, in Minnesota, is a legal proceeding in the court that finalizes the end of a marriage. The divorce process ends with a court-ordered distribution of marital assets and debts as well as any needed spousal support, child support, or child custody arrangements. The parties can make all of these arrangements through mediation or another form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) like collaborative divorce or a divorce decree is ordered by the court after hearing testimony, evidence, and argument in a trial.
Minnesota is a “no-fault” state. “No-fault” means the reasons behind a couple’s decision to divorce do not determine whether or not the court will grant the divorce. The only determining factor for the court is that one spouse believes there is “an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.”
“No-fault” also means that the reasons for the divorce do not impact how property is divided and do not impact child support or spousal support. Both heterosexual and same-sex couples can be married and divorced in Minnesota.
Who Can File for Divorce in Minnesota?
In order to file for a divorce in Minnesota, at least one of the spouses needs to have lived in Minnesota for at least 180 days before the start of the case. If there are child custody issues involved, generally the child must have lived with the Minnesota parent, or a person acting as a parent, for at least 180 days prior to the court filing. There are some emergency exceptions.
If one or both of the spouses are in the military and deployed, their residence is where they call home, and a divorce could still be started in Minnesota as long as there is intent to return to the state after deployment.
The process begins by one spouse serving a Summons and Petition on the other spouse. This simply lets your spouse know that you are asking for a divorce and what you will be asking the court to decide regarding custody of the children, division of property and debts, child support, and spousal support.
The Summons also puts some restrictions on the parties, specifically that insurance can’t be changed, that the parties can’t harass each other, and the parties can’t dispose of marital assets except in a few limited cases.
How long the divorce takes depends on each party’s willingness to agree to things and the complexity of the custody or property issues involved. It’s common for what might seem like even a “simple” divorce to take up to a year to complete.
What if There are Minor Children?
There are many things to decide if there are minor children:
- How is parenting time to be shared throughout the school year and summer?
- How much child support should be paid?
- What extra expenses for the children should be considered, such as driver’s education, school dances, sports, summer camps, braces, and a host of other casts that are a part of raising children?
If there are minor children, the parties must agree on legal and physical custody of the children, as well as how parenting time would be shared by the parents. As with property, if child custody and support arrangements cannot be reached by the parties themselves, or with the help of a mediator or some form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), these issues would be decided by the court.
Contact Experienced Minneapolis, Minnesota Divorce Attorneys
Divorce is a very complex issue in Minnesota. You want a firm that concentrates its practice in family law. At Perusse Nixon, family law is all we do. We understand divorce can be an overwhelming and emotional time in your life.
Let us help you develop a plan of action to achieve your best outcome. Move forward with your life. Make an appointment to speak with us today!