When entering the matrimonial bond, no one thinks that their union may not be able to stand the test of time. In the real world, not all couples find they are happily ever after. Sometimes, you may have to end your affiliation with a divorce.
Divorce laws vary from one state to another, especially when it comes to wealth distribution, child custody rights, and child support and alimony, among other things. If you are getting divorced in Minnetonka, you will need to understand the Minnesota family law.
The more you know about the law, the better will be the outcome of your divorce case. Although you can consult a lawyer practicing family law in Minnetonka, it is still a good idea to do a little digging of your own.
Here are a few key things that you need to know about family law in Minnetonka.
1. Minnesota Is a “No-Fault” State
Years ago, Minnesota (like most other states) required the party seeking a divorce to prove wrongdoing to be eligible for legal separation. These reasons were usually related to domestic abuse, desertion, and adultery. However, this is no longer the case. If you are filing for divorce as per family law in Minnetonka (and the rest of Minnesota), you don’t need to prove specific grounds.
Regardless of the reason, you will get a divorce if you apply for it. However, you do need to state that there has been an irretrievable breakdown of your marriage. There is also no need for a period of separation before filing for divorce, allowing you to get divorced relatively quickly.
2. You Have to Meet Residency Requirements
The first thing any lawyer practicing family law in Minnetonka will tell you is that residency is a fundamental requirement for legal separation. One of the parties seeking a divorce must have been a resident or domicile of Minnesota for at least 180 days before filing for divorce. There can be exceptions to this rule. You should consult a licensed divorce attorney to see if these exceptions apply to your case.
3. Joint Child Custody Is the Most Likely Outcome
If you are a parent seeking a divorce, your foremost concern will be child custody. The court will determine the child custody on a case-to-case basis. However, family law in Minnetonka requires the court to consider the best interest of the children when awarding child custody.
Usually, courts prefer to award joint legal child custody, where both parents get equal rights to make significant decisions about the kids. These decisions include education, religion, and healthcare, among other things.
In case of joint legal custody, the court will allow the kids to stay with only one parent. Sometimes, however, the court may also award joint physical custody if it is in the best interest of the kids. Several factors, including domestic and child abuse, parent’s criminal record, and financial situation, will also affect the child custody decision.
4. Child Support Calculations Are Complicated
Minnesota has complicated support laws. In 2007, Minnesota switched to the income share model for child support. As per this model, the amount of child support depends on each parent’s income and the time they spend with the kids.
However, as per the child support laws 2018 modifications, the state has retained the income shares model, but the PEA structure is no longer valid. The state now uses a much more complicated formula to calculate child support. You need to consult an attorney with years of experience in practicing family law in Minnetonka to help you calculate yours.
5. Minnesota Is a Marital Property State
Minnesota is not a “community property” state. So, the court will not divide all your marital property in half, although that is the usual outcome. The equitable distribution of marital property will consider the financial standing and source of income of each spouse. For example, if one spouse has a considerably lower income and weaker financial situation, they may get a larger portion of the marital property.
The law also states that any property acquired after marriage and before the valuation date is considered marital property. The court believes both spouses have made equal contributions for earning such properties. So, the court has the right to divide it equitably between you and your soon-to-be-ex.
As a result, the titles are inconsequential. For example, if you own a car, the court may still consider it marital property. The judge may give it to whoever has a greater need for it, which could be your spouse.
In some cases, the court may consider property as both marital and non-marital, making distribution more complicated. That’s why you need a lawyer specializing in family law in Minnetonka. Your lawyer can offer a better solution after a careful analysis of your assets and debts.
Family law in Minnetonka is governed by state laws and legislation mostly. If you are getting divorced, you will need to consult an attorney. However, you must also understand at least a few crucial things about family law for your own good. Hopefully, these five tips will prove helpful in this regard. If you feel confused or are unable to understand something, consult your lawyer immediately.
Call Lawyers with Years of Experience in Practicing Family Law in Minnetonka
If you are getting divorced in Minnetonka, you need an experienced and skilled team of divorce lawyers on your side. Carlson & Jones, P.A. is one of the leading family law firms with offices across Minnesota, including Minnetonka. Call us on 855-762-6548 or contact us online to discuss your case.