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Where to File for Divorce in Minnesota

by | Oct 10, 2020 | Divorce, Firm News

Divorce is one of the most common civil cases, not just in Minnesota, but in the entire United States. In 2018, about 780,000 divorces were conducted in the United States.

Divorce or dissolution of marriage is a legal process that allows you to severe your relationship, divide your assets and debts, and determine child custody and alimony. However, it is a complicated process that requires a clear understanding of family law.

It is always better to hire a qualified and experienced divorce lawyer in Minnesota. But you will still need to know a few things about the process, starting with where to file for divorce in Minnesota.

1. Where to File for Divorce in Minnesota

Minnesota is a no-fault state, meaning neither you nor your spouse need to argue who’s at fault to get a divorce. If one of you desires to get a divorce, you can file for it. However, if there is a fault like domestic, substance or child abuse, it will affect related factors such as child custody, alimony, and property division.

You can file for a divorce in the district court where either you or your spouse reside. You do need to meet the residency requirements. The residency requirement states that one of the parties seeking a divorce should be a resident of Minnesota for at least 180 days. You can also file for divorce if you or your spouse is a member of the armed forces and have kept their Minnesota residency.

You will also need to fill out the right set of forms. If you are filing for divorce jointly (both you and your spouse agree on all settlement terms), you can file a joint petition. However, if you have any disagreements, you will have to submit a petition demanding legal separation from your spouse. If you hire an experienced divorce lawyer in Minnesota, they will fill out the paperwork and take care of other legal formalities.

2. Uncontested Divorce in Minnesota

Getting an uncontested divorce is the fastest way to dissolve your marriage. You can file a joint petition if you and your spouse agree on everything. It is, however, useful if you have sizeable assets, investments, debts, children, and real estate.

Another way is to file for summary dissolution of marriage. You can opt for this method if you satisfy the following criteria:

  • You were married no longer than eight years
  • You have no children or are expecting no children
  • The value of your marital estate is less than $25,000
  • The amount of your debt is less than $8,000
  • There was no instance of domestic abuse
  • You are willing to put alimony decision on hold
  • Both you and your spouse have separate retirement funds

3. Motion for Temporary Relief

Divorce is a complicated and time-consuming process. While you can wait for weeks and months to get your marriage dissolution certificate, your daily life must go on. That’s where the “Motion for Temporary Relief” comes in.

Once you have filed for divorce, you can file this motion to get the court issue temporary orders for alimony, child custody and support, and any other assistance in running your home. These orders will expire as soon as the court signs and delivers your marriage dissolution verdict.

If children are involved, and one or both parties disagree on child custody, the issue can drag on for months or even years. The courts are required to prioritize the child’s best interests when making this decision.

After carefully going through the evidence and arguments presented by both parties, the court will determine child custody terms. In most cases, the child will stay with one parent, with the other getting visitation rights. Sometimes, one parent may get primary (full) physical custody, while legal custody is awarded to both parents.

Child custody battles can further intensify if factors like child abuse, substance abuse, or domestic violence are involved. If you or your loved one is facing a child custody-related problem, you need to contact an experienced divorce lawyer in Minnesota. Remember, you do need the right legal advice to secure your children’s future.

4. Distribution of Assets

Another important factor involved in your divorce proceedings is the distribution of your assets and your debt. Usually, you have to divide only the property, assets, or debts that you have acquired after you got married. It is called marital property.

You don’t have to split your non-marital property, which usually involves property acquired before the marriage or as gift or by inheritance, among other things. The court will distribute your assets if you and your spouse fail to do so.

The typical factors involved in asset distribution include the length of your marriage, and your and your spouse’s contribution to acquiring and maintaining the assets. Other factors like sources and size of income, occupation, professional skills, prior marriages, and health of both parties will also be taken into account. You need to disclose all your assets and finances during the divorce.


The divorce process begins by filing a petition in the court. You can file for divorce in Minnesota in the district court in the county where you or your spouse live. However, you also need to understand the various factors involved in a divorce to make informed decisions every step of the way. Hopefully, this brief post will help you in this regard.

Talk to an Experienced Divorce Lawyer in Minnesota Now!

Don’t walk into a divorce without having any knowledge of the process, the law, or the legal system. If you or your loved one is facing a divorce in Minnesota, Carlson and Jones, P.A. can help you. Call us at 855-762-6548 for a free consultation of your case or contact us through our website.