Divorce Process: How to File for Divorce in Minnesota
|1||Determine eligibility for divorce in Minnesota. You or your spouse must have lived in Minnesota for at least 180 days before filing for divorce.|
|2||Fill out the necessary forms, including the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage and the Summons and Temporary Restraining Order.|
|3||File the forms with the county court where you or your spouse lives. You will need to pay a filing fee unless you qualify for a fee waiver.|
|4||Have the forms served on your spouse by a third party who is not involved in the case. This can be done by a process server or a sheriff’s deputy.|
|5||Your spouse has 30 days to respond to the Petition. If they do not respond, you can request a default judgment from the court.|
|6||If your spouse responds to the Petition, you will need to exchange financial information and attend a settlement conference to try to reach an agreement on all issues in the divorce.|
|7||If you and your spouse reach an agreement, you will need to file a written agreement with the court and attend a final hearing to finalize the divorce.|
|8||If you and your spouse cannot reach an agreement, you will need to attend a trial where a judge will make decisions on all issues in the divorce.|
|9||Once the judge signs the final divorce decree, your divorce is final.|
Overview of Divorce Process in Minnesota
The next steps depend on whether or not both parties agree on all issues related to their separation or if they need court intervention. If they reach an agreement outside of court:
- Making Arrangements Outside of Court: Both spouses will work together (or through their lawyers) to come up with mutually acceptable terms related to dividing property and debts; alimony/spousal support payments; child custody arrangements; and any other relevant matters that require resolution as part of their separation.
- Filing Agreement With Court: After both parties sign off on all documents outlining these agreements/arrangements, they must be filed with the county clerk’s office along with any applicable filing fees so that it becomes officially binding legal documentation.
If no agreement can be reached outside of court:
- Court Hearings: When the parties are unable to come to an agreement, a court hearing is scheduled where both parties present evidence and arguments as they try to resolve their differences before a judge. The judge will then make decisions regarding property division, child custody/support, spousal maintenance/alimony payments based on Minnesota law.
- Finalizing Divorce: If the divorce case goes through trial or if both parties reach an agreement outside of court, there will be a final hearing. During this hearing, the judge reviews all of the legal documents that have been filed and grants the divorce decree which legally ends your marriage.
Introduction to Divorce Process in Minnesota
Divorce is a difficult process that can be emotionally draining for all involved. In Minnesota, the legal process of divorce involves resolving issues such as property division, spousal support, and child custody. Understanding how to file for divorce in Minnesota can help you navigate this challenging time.
Here are some important things to know about the divorce process in Minnesota:
- No-fault Divorce: In Minnesota, couples do not need to prove fault or wrongdoing on the part of either spouse to obtain a divorce. Instead, they must state that there has been an irretrievable breakdown of their marriage.
- Residency Requirements: To file for divorce in Minnesota, at least one spouse must have lived in the state for 180 days before starting the legal process.
- Limited Waiver Fee: If you cannot afford filing fees associated with your case due to financial constraints or low income status, you may apply for a limited waiver fee. This waiver reduces the amount owed significantly but does not remove it entirely.
Grounds for Divorce in Minnesota
Minnesota is a no-fault state, which means that couples do not need to prove fault or wrongdoing on the part of either spouse to obtain a divorce. Instead, they must state that there has been an irretrievable breakdown of their marriage.
Here are some important things to know about grounds for divorce in Minnesota:
- Irretrievable Breakdown: The most common ground for divorce in Minnesota is an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. This means that there is no reasonable chance of reconciliation between the spouses.
- Mental Illness: If one spouse has been confined to a mental institution for at least 18 months before filing for divorce and it is unlikely that they will be released within the next 18 months, this can also serve as grounds for divorce.
- Cruelty or Domestic Abuse: If one spouse has been physically or emotionally abusive towards the other, this can also serve as grounds for divorce.