Couples across Minnesota are finding it may take longer to get divorced through litigation than they might have expected, due largely to backlogs in the court system. As a result, self-help services throughout the state have become more common in recent years.
District courts are working hard to meet the demand for these services, as many divorcees are seeking do-it-yourself divorces in an effort to save money. This has involved opening more legal clinics and district courts collaborating more closely with law libraries and state and local bar associations.
In the 10th Judicial District of Minnesota, which covers eight counties (Anoka, Chisago, Isanti, Kanabec, Pine, Sherburne, Washington and Wright), attorneys rotate among the various self-help centers that have opened up since 2015. The hope is that people seeking DIY divorces will be able to get in-person assistance.
One of the problems, however, with DIY divorces is that mistakes are often made in the paperwork that gets filed with the court. These mistakes can be costly to fix down the road and in some situations, are unable to be fixed once discovered. Even if utilizing the DIY divorce paperwork available through the Minnesota courts system, it may be in your interests to hire an attorney to review the paperwork with you before it is filed with the court.
The DIY divorce has become increasingly common, especially here in Minnesota. According to state data, about 80 percent of all civil cases that occurred in the state in 2015 (divorce and otherwise) involved people representing themselves. This blows away any other state in America — the second-highest was Indiana, at 14 percent.
In 2016, staff attorneys at these DIY law centers assisted individuals with a total of 4,391 legal matters. Family law issues made up a significant percentage of these cases.
While it is possible to move through the divorce process on your own, there is no replacement for the skill and experience a divorce attorney delivers to you. To help ensure you get the best possible outcome in your case, work with a dedicated Minnesota family law attorney right away.
"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.