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Divorce in Minnesota

If you have come to the decision to get a divorce, you have probably already experienced plenty of stress and difficulties. Now that you have arrived at this decision, you want to move forward as quickly, cheaply and painlessly as possible.

Getting a divorce in Minnesota can be fairly straightforward or complicated, depending on your circumstances. Whether your divorce will be easy or difficult depends primarily on the ability of you and your spouse to reach agreements on all practical matters of the divorce. If you can both agree on the need to divorce, how your property will be divided and on matters related to your children (if you have children), your divorce may be simple and could likely proceed without a lawyer. In this case you only need to fill out the appropriate Minnesota divorce papers, submit them to your county court and wait.

If you and your spouse are not in agreement about issues related to the divorce, things can become complicated. The state will only allow the marriage to be dissolved after these things have been decided. If you and your spouse cannot decide, then the court will be forced to do it for you. A practical option in this situation is divorce mediation. If mediation is not effective option, a divorce attorney may be your best course.

We’ve gathered the the following information to help you understand the basics of Minnesota divorce, as well as how you can start moving forward with your own divorce.

Minnesota Divorce Facts

Information provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC),indicates that the divorce rate in Minnesota was only available up to 2004, At that time the divorce recorded rate was 2.8 for every 1,000 residents – lower than most other in the United States.

Minnesota requires that you or your spouse be a resident of the state for at least 180 days before you are allowed to file for divorce. You are required to file for divorce in the county where either you or your spouse resides.

Minnesota is a no-fault divorce state. In a no-fault divorce, you do not need to place the blame for the divorce on your spouse. You only need to state that the marriage is broken beyond repair, and that you do not see this changing in the future. Many people prefer no-fault divorce because it limits how much embarrassing personal information is brought up in court. However, issues like adultery and abuse can still be used to influence court decisions on issues like child support and spousal maintenance.

Minnesota Divorce Papers and Forms

The divorce process in Minnesota begins with a Summons and a Petition, two documents that you will fill out and submit to your county court. As the party filing for divorce – also referred to as dissolution of marriage – you will referred to as the petitioner. Your spouse will be the respondent, as he or she will need to respond to your demand for divorce.

If you and your spouse are in agreement on all issues related to divorce, you also have the option of filing a “Joint Divorce Petition”. This is actually the easiest way to file for divorce in Minnesota, as you and your spouse both sign the same papers and do not have to go through the summons process.

The Minnesota Judicial Branch offers a Self Help Center where you can learn all about divorce in the state. It is a good idea to review this site thoroughly, as it is always best to be informed while conducting legal matters. The better educated you are about your rights and the correct way of working through the courts, the better you can look out for your interests.

When you begin reviewing all of the possible options and divorce forms that you may or may not fill out, it is normal to feel a little overwhelmed. The legal system can be complex and confusing, and making a mistake can cost you time and money. For many people, the easiest option is to use the online service avaiable from CompleteCase.com for their Minnesota divorce papers. At CompleteCase.com you will be guided through the form selection process and the completion of the appropriate forms to ensure that you get everything right the first time.

How to File Divorce Papers in Minnesota

When you have completed all of your divorce papers online or elsewhere it is time to print out your forms and submit them to your local county clerk. You have the option of filing in the county you  or your spouse resides. You can identify which court you should file at on the Minnesota Judicial Branch's website under Courthouses and Locations Directory. It is always a good idea to contact your local county courthouse before you go down to file your divorce forms. The county clerk can help you verify that you have all the necessary forms, and that you bring a form of payment that the court accepts to pay the state filing fee. Also, avoid signing any of the forms until you visit a notary or you arrive at the courthouse, which should have a notary available.

How to Serve Divorce Papers in Minnesota

If you and your spouse did not fill out a joint petition, you will need to serve him or her the divorce papers after you file. You can mail copies of the divorce documents along with an Acknowledgment of Service form, as long as your spouse will cooperate by completing the acknowledgment form and return it to you. If you are unsure about his or her cooperation, you can hire a sheriff's deputy or private process server to serve the papers.

Do you qualify for an online divorce?

Do you know the location of your spouse?
Is your spouse in agreement regarding this divorce and willing to sign the divorce papers with you?
Do you and your spouse have any children under the age of 18 from this marriage?