What Should You Know Before Getting a Minnesota Divorce?
Every state has different laws regarding the details of a divorce, including property distribution, alimony, child support, and more. When considering a divorce, it is essential to understand your legal rights and responsibilities, so you can prepare yourself for the process and make informed decisions. In this article, we will briefly answer some common questions that individuals have about divorces in Minnesota. However, remember that this is only general information and should not be considered legal advice. If you have questions or concerns about your specific situation, please reach out to our law firm to speak with a knowledgeable Minnesota divorce lawyer.
Is Minnesota a “No-fault” Divorce State?
Minnesota does not require you to provide proof of a specific reason for your divorce, such as adultery or abuse. In fact, it is a pure “no-fault” divorce state and does not provide any options for fault-based divorces. You do not need your spouse’s consent to get a divorce, and the court will grant a dissolution of your marriage as long as you can demonstrate an “irretrievable breakdown” of your marriage that prevents you from continuing the relationship.
In a no-fault state, responsibility for the breakdown of the marriage has no bearing on the court’s decisions regarding the details of the divorce. For example, one party will not receive more alimony or marital property simply because their spouse cheated.
Are There Residency Requirements for Getting Divorced in Minnesota?
At least one spouse must be a resident of Minnesota for at least 180 days before beginning divorce proceedings in the state. Individuals in the US Armed Forces who are stationed elsewhere may choose to file for divorce in Minnesota if they have kept their Minnesota residence.
How Much Does It Cost to Start a Divorce Case?
Each county charges a filing fee of around $400 to begin divorce proceedings. Depending on your needs, there may also be additional court fees. It is difficult to estimate the overall cost of divorce proceedings because it depends on the complexity of your case and whether or not your spouse chooses to contest the divorce.
How Long Does a Divorce Take in Minnesota?
Every divorce is unique, and it is not possible to accurately estimate the length of the divorce proceedings without knowing more about your circumstances. Generally, an uncontested divorce where both parties agree on all aspects of the marriage dissolution will take the least amount of time.
Uncontested divorces can take as little as a month or two to finalize. If you must work out the details of your divorce in court or through mediation, it may take several months or over a year.
Am I Able to Seek Alimony?
Spousal maintenance, otherwise known as alimony, is financial support paid by one spouse to another following a divorce. You may seek alimony in Minnesota, but there is no guarantee that it will be granted. The court makes alimony determinations on a case-by-case basis, and there are no set guidelines for the amount and duration of alimony. Individuals stand a better chance of receiving alimony if they can prove one or more of the following:
- They are unable to support their financial needs through working.
- They must complete substantial education or training to enter the workforce.
- They must provide full-time care for a child, which prevents them from holding a job.
- The other spouse would still have the means to meet their own needs if ordered to pay spousal maintenance.
If you are considering seeking alimony, it is crucial to discuss your situation with an experienced Minnesota alimony lawyer to learn more about cases where spousal support may be deemed appropriate.
How Will Marital Property Be Divided?
The two systems for splitting marital property following a divorce are community property and equitable distribution. Minnesota is an equitable distribution state. While the court has the leeway to make distribution decisions based on many factors, its overall aim is to ensure that marital property is divided fairly and evenly between the former spouses.
It is important to remember that any property and assets accumulated during the marriage will be subject to division, regardless of whose name is on the property. Gifts or inheritances given to one spouse by a third party and property acquired before or after the marriage are not considered marital property. This area of divorce can quickly become complex, but your divorce lawyer can help you understand more about how property distribution will be determined.
How Do Legal Custody and Physical Custody of Children Differ?
Legal custody refers to the right of a parent to make important decisions about their child’s life, such as the healthcare and schooling they receive. Physical custody is the time the child spends living with a parent. Minnesota courts typically favor joint legal custody unless there is a compelling reason to limit one parent’s decision-making powers.
Physical custody arrangements can vary. However, joint physical custody, where the child spends equal time at the homes of both parents, is becoming more common. In all custody arrangements, the court will prioritize the best interests of the child involved when making their determinations.
How Can a Minnesota Divorce Lawyer Help You?
Divorce is an emotional process. It can be difficult to navigate the legal system while trying to find a new place to live, help your family adjust to the upheaval in their lives, and manage your finances. An experienced divorce lawyer can provide the skilled legal counsel you need during this challenging time. Contact TVA Law Office today to schedule a consultation with a knowledgeable and compassionate divorce attorney who is ready to assist you.