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The ins and outs of dissolution of marriage in MN

The formal name for divorce in Minnesota is "dissolution of marriage." Below are some of the common questions people have about obtaining a dissolution of marriage.

Who can file for divorce in Minnesota?
The general rule is that at least one of the spouses must have lived in Minnesota for roughly six months (180 days) in order to file for a Minnesota divorce.

How much does it cost to divorce?
The cost of your divorce will depend on a number of factors. Are you and your spouse able to cooperate or will you need to go to court? How complex is your divorce? Aside from attorneys' fees, there are also court fees and additional costs, including copying and service of process costs.

What do I need to do to start my divorce?
You must write a Summons and Petition and serve it on your spouse to begin a divorce. If you and your spouse both agree on all of the issues of your divorce, you may instead file a Joint Petition for divorce.

Will I need to go to court?
The answer to this question depends entirely on your divorce. Some spouses are able to come to an agreement through settlement conferences, mediation and/or the collaborative law process. In fact, many divorces do not end up in court. If, however, spouses cannot come to an agreement outside of court, it may be necessary to attend hearings in court (the number of hearings will depend on the number and extent of unresolved issues).

When is a divorce final?
Your divorce is considered final when a judge signs, and the court administration enters, the final divorce decree, which is called the "Findings of Fact, Conclusion of Law, Order for Judgment and Judgment and Decree."

These are only a few of the many questions you will likely have going into your divorce. This information is not legal advice. To learn more, speak with an experienced Minnesota divorce lawyer.

Source: Minnesota Judicial Branch, "Divorce Basics," 2012.

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