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Can You Get a Divorce in Minnesota Even if Your Spouse Didn’t Cheat?

If you are unhappy in your marriage, you may be wondering whether you are entitled to a divorce even if your spouse hasn’t cheated on you. These concerns are based on old laws that no longer apply in Minnesota. You are free to divorce your spouse, whether they agree or not, as long as you allege and show that there has been an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. This is called no-fault divorce.

Until 1974, Minnesota law required someone seeking a divorce to show that their spouse had done something wrong. These divorces could be based on a variety of grounds, such as:

  • adultery
  • imprisonment
  • desertion
  • habitual drunkenness

These fault-based cases no longer exist in Minnesota. While some states now allow someone seeking a divorce to choose fault or no-fault procedures, those seeking to end a marriage in Minnesota can only choose the no-fault process. This means that a court generally will not listen to allegations of infidelity or impropriety during your divorce proceedings.

In fact, a judge will not even take infidelity into account when determining whether to award alimony. While the law does provide a court with factors to consider when deciding how much spousal support to award and for how long, none of those factors are related to the behavior of either spouse. This is because alimony is intended to help people who need financial support as they leave a marriage — it isn’t meant to be punishment for the person paying it.

If you are considering ending your marriage, consult an experienced Minnesota divorce lawyer at Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A. today.

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