Minnesota is one of many “no-fault” divorce states. This means that neither party must prove the other was at fault for the breakdown of a marriage. So long as you or your spouse believe the marriage is irretrievably damaged and a judge agrees, your divorce can proceed. The reasons why the marriage failed are essentially irrelevant in a no-fault case.
This differs from fault-based states, in which wrongdoing is often considered when a court decides whether it will grant a divorce. If adultery was an issue in the marriage, it would likely be stated in the divorce papers.
In Minnesota, there are some unique circumstances regarding the issue of adultery as it relates to divorce.
The definition of adultery is clearly outdated in Minnesota. Legally, adultery is considered to happen when a married woman has intercourse with a man who is not her husband. Oddly enough, the definition does not reference married men who have sex with women who are not their wives — and it does not account for same-sex affairs. The common-sense definition of adultery is any legally married person engaging in extramarital sexual relations, but the legal definition is from a different time.
This is largely because Minnesota courts do not consider any fault-based evidence when analyzing divorces, meaning adultery is not a factor with regard to whether the divorce will be allowed to proceed. Thus, there hasn’t been much need to change the actual wording of the law.
That said, marital conduct could have an effect on matters like asset distribution, alimony and child custody. This means that while adultery plays no role in whether the divorce is allowed, it could be a factor in other aspects of your case.
For the guidance and advice you need as you move through the divorce process, consult a skilled family law attorney in Minnesota.
"Tori had a thorough understanding of my situation and made excellent recommendations to resolve my concerns. She was persistent on communication and handled everything in a very timely manner. I would definitely hire her again in the future if needed." - M.K.
"With Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A., it is like having a family physician. They are all knowledgeable, thorough, comforting, and the only call I need to make for all my legal needs for many years to come. No matter what the matter, I totally trust their advice and commitment to me and my family." - J.N.
"Mary from APH Law helped me thru a difficult divorce. She and the entire staff was there for me every step of the way helping me on what to do next. They listened to what I wanted and helped me achieve what matter the most to me in the divorce settlement." - Dana C.
"I chose APH after my initial consultation with Mary. I felt my best interest would be represented. The entire process went excellent, the attorneys and staff communicated effectively and efficiently with me throughout the process as they needed to. Being new to the legal process and verbiage, they walked me and talked me through the next steps and the jargon, I felt completely comfortable and represented. I hope I never have to use legal services again but if I do I will call Mary at APH Law and know that I will be taken care of." - Jeff M.
"Divorce is a time of emotion and stress. Mary Pfeifer , My lawyer was professional and compassionate. She was very informative through the process. Her insight helped me in my decisions. She worked hard to obtain a settlement which was fair to both parties.Though, I hope I won't need her help again. It is reassuring to know a good person that is willing to help." - Rod S.
"I first came to Ms. Jacquelyn Lutz of Appelhof, Pfeifer and Hart in October of 2016. It was definitely the worst time in my life and she compassionately spoke with me about my options. Ms. Lutz thoroughly explained the laws, statutes, process and what to expect going forward. What was supposed to be one case, turned into three intricate cases that took a huge toll on me and my family. Ms. Lutz represented me in court on all three cases with a vast knowledge of the laws and how to proceed accordingly. During all three cases she kept me informed, calm, gave me resources to utilize, and (most important) gave me a realistic view of what may come next. Ms. Lutz knew each case required a great deal of knowledge and creative thinking on how to legally proceed forward with each case. My family and friends are forever grateful for the amazing representation by Ms. Lutz. I highly recommend Ms. Lutz for anyone needing or considering superb representation for any kind of family law. " - M.H.