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Divorce When Your Spouse is Absent

The divorce process is challenging enough when you are living with your spouse. But what happens when your spouse lives in another city, state or country? How do you file for divorce in this situation?

The good news is that you may still file for a divorce even if you are the only one participating in the process. However, there are two key rules you will need to follow:

  • Residency: You must file your divorce action in the county in which you live and you must have lived in Minnesota for at least 180 days before filing for divorce.
  • Notice: Even if your spouse lives halfway across the world, you must still provide that person with notice of your divorce action. The best method of notification is personal service, where a local law enforcement officer or other authorized individual delivers divorce papers. However, there are other options if you are unsure of your spouse’s location. Keep in mind that if you fail to provide your former partner with notice of the divorce, the divorce is invalid.

If you follow these rules, the divorce will move ahead as normal, even if your spouse is not be present during the proceedings.

For more information on filing for divorce when your spouse is absent, speak with a trusted Minneapolis attorney at the law firm of Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A.

Our Attorneys
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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