A divorce is the legal means to end a marriage. Once the divorce is finalized, both parties are legally single and free to remarry. During the divorce process, the couple will decide on matters such as division of property, child support, child custody, and alimony.
If you’re thinking about getting a divorce in Minnesota, it’s important to know what the process entails so you can be prepared. Talking with a divorce attorney is the first step. Contact our law office to schedule a consultation today.
What Is a Legal Separation?
A legal separation is a way to legally separate assets and finances, and deal with matters of child custody, without having to actually dissolve the marriage. The parties are still legally married, but there are court orders in place for how finances and property are to be used. There are also often court orders for child visitation. Some couples choose legal separation so that they can live separate lives without having to end their marriage for personal or religious reasons.
What Are the Requirements for a Legal Separation?
A legal separation is very different from a married couple just living as separate. This latter case is an informal separation and is not recognized in the family courts. This means that any property acquired during this time of informal separation would still be considered marital property if the case were to go forward for a legal separation or divorce. There are no specific requirements to file for a legal separation in Minnesota. As long as at least one party has lived in the state for 6 months, you can file for the separation. To get a legal separation, you must file the petition, serve the other party, and go through the full legal process in the courts.
What Happens If I Want to File for Divorce Later?
If you go through with a legal separation and then decide later that you want to get a divorce, you will need to start the divorce process from the beginning. This includes filing for divorce and filling out all of the financial affidavits. However, many couples find that they are more prepared to handle these steps because their finances, property, and lifestyles are more likely to be separate and easily distinguishable after they’ve been living as legally separated.
Deciding whether to move forward with a legal separation or a divorce is a big decision, and it’s one that should include experienced legal counsel. Contact our law office at 651-571-8547 to talk with an attorney today and schedule your consultation.