Divorce

Divorce Attorney in St. Paul, MN

A divorce is never a desirable outcome. Divorce is an emotional and trying time in anyone’s life and never an event you want to happen. I’ve seen couples divorce for any number of reasons. However, one thing is constant and it’s that none of them are pleased by this turn of events. However, with even a basic understanding of divorce law in Minnesota the entire process can go a bit smoother. Here are some of the more common divorce questions I’ve been asked. Note that these are general questions and are meant to provide a brief overview.

What are the grounds for divorce?

First off Minnesota is a no fault state in matters of divorce. This means that your spouse’s actions (i.e. adultery) can’t be used as the basis for a divorce. In this respect most divorces are based on ‘irreconcilable differences’ in which the marriage is utterly beyond repair. Note that this no fault law also extends to alimony. Alimony is based on several factors but fault is not taken into consideration, the main factors are related to financial aspects.

How long do I have to live in Minnesota to get a divorce?

While not a question that comes up often it is one I’ve been asked. To divorce in Minnesota one of the two married parties has to be a resident of the state for at least 180 days before divorce proceedings can be filed.

How will the property be divided?

Minnesota is an ‘equitable distribution’ state. That means that property acquired during the marriage is divided among both spouses in a way that is considered fair. Now know that fair doesn’t mean 50/50 and the courts take several factors into consideration to decide a fair way to divide up property. These include how long the marriage was, earnings of each spouse, taxes, who took care of the children more, taxes, who brought what to the marriage, and debt. Property division is very complex and involves an in depth discovery processes before it is decided upon.

Will I be able to see my kids?

The state does recognize the rights of both parents. As a general rule the state wants children to have contact with both their parents. Because of this the state tends to favor joint custody when possible so the children can spend time with both parents. Do note that the nature of joint custody as it relates to time and domicile will be based on the child’s best interests.

Do I have to pay child support?

In general the answer to this is yes. The state feels that both parents should support their children. When deciding on support judges consider factors such as the income each parent earns, who spends more time with the children, and the resources each parent has available to them.

Can I file for divorce on my own?

Yes. The state of Minnesota has divorce forms available online and at local court houses. The forms come with detailed directions so you can fill them out correctly. However, while you can file for divorce on your own remember you’ll need an attorney for the divorce proceedings. It is a highly complex and involved process.

Closing Thoughts

As I wrote above divorce can be a messy and undesirable turn of events. But with a little bit of knowledge beforehand you won’t be completely without direction. As always I advise hiring an attorney as soon as possible to not only serve as a legal consultant but to help you through the process.