What to Know Before Filing for Divorce in Minnesota

Are you getting ready to file for divorce in Minnesota? There are a few things you should know about the procedures and rules associated with divorce and child custody in the state before you fill out the paperwork. These include the following:

  • Fault: Minnesota is a pure no-fault divorce state. You cannot allege wrongdoing on the part of your spouse for causing the divorce. Instead, it is assumed there were “irreconcilable differences” in the marriage.
  • Residency: At least one of the spouses must have been a resident of Minnesota for six months or more before the couple can file for divorce in the state.
  • Property division: Minnesota is an equitable division state, meaning judges are obligated to divide marital property by what they deem to be equitable, which is not always necessarily equal.
  • Custody: Minnesota, like all other states, operates with a presumption that it is in the child’s best interests to maintain relationships with both parents. However, this does not mean custody and parenting time will be equal. Again, the judges will create and approve time-sharing and custody arrangements based on the child’s best interests.
  • Do it yourself: You may go through the entire divorce process without legal representation by filling out several forms at your local courthouse. However, we recommend that you secure legal counsel to avoid common pitfalls that could negatively impact you in the future.

For further guidance on various family law issues in Minnesota, contact a knowledgeable divorce lawyer with Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A.

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