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Grounds for Divorce in Minnesota

Divorce laws have changed significantly over time. Whereas spouses once needed a legally acceptable reason for divorce, things have changed. Today, Minnesota spouses can divorce by showing the marriage is broken beyond repair.

Grounds for divorce in a no-fault state

Before no-fault divorce became available, spouses could only divorce if they showed the other had acted in bad faith. This includes adultery, abandonment and similar issues.

Today, Minnesota is a no-fault divorce state. Either spouse can file for divorce, and neither spouse can prevent the divorce from happening (except by agreement). While that doesn’t mean you can get divorced on demand, the process is significantly easier.

Spouses must demonstrate that their marriage is broken beyond repair, and there’s no chance of getting back together. This includes:

  • Living separate and apart for at least 180 days (six months), or
  • There is marital discord affecting either or both spouse’s attitudes toward the marriage, and
  • There is no reasonable chance you’ll get back together.

As you can see, that’s a relatively easy bar to clear. In some cases, the facts might matter: one spouse committed adultery or the marriage is abusive. However, living separate and apart for six months also conveys the “we cannot reconcile” message.

Typically, your testimony alone should be enough to convince a judge that the marriage will no longer work.

Property division

In at-fault divorces, the wronged spouse could ask for a more favorable division of assets. Unfortunately, the no-fault divorce process doesn’t consider wrongdoing when dividing property—with one significant exception. If one spouse squandered marital property or otherwise created a situation where the other spouse could not support themselves after divorce, a judge may take that into consideration.

Working with trustworthy divorce attorneys in Minnesota can help the process go smoothly and favorably. Reach out to Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A. today.

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Client testimonials
  • "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.


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