Contact us for a Free Initial Consultation 414-253-8500

Minnesota Divorce FAQ

Minnesota Divorce FAQ

Whether your divorce is contentious or not, whether you have children or not, whether you have a lot of assets or not, whether just about anything, there is one common theme among all divorce: it is emotionally taxing. Under those circumstances, it can be easy to overlook an important matter or to compromise to something to your detriment. A divorce lawyer in Minnesota will make sure nothing is missing and that the divorce is fair and considers your rights and interests.

At Heritage Law Office, our divorce lawyer in Minnesota helps clients understand what's at stake. Some of the most common questions asked are answered here for you. We know that informed clients make better decisions for themselves and their families. If you want specific answers that relate to your unique situation, contact us through our online form or at 414-253-8500 to schedule a free consultation.

How much will my divorce in Minnesota cost?

The cost of your divorce will depend on multiple factors, but mainly it depends on whether the divorce is contested or not. Quite naturally, an uncontested divorce will not cost as much simply because the process is much more straightforward. In an uncontested divorce, you may not even see a day inside the courtroom. But in contested divorces, the costs depend on factors like:

  • The extent of the disputes or disagreements between the spouses
  • The potential for custody battles
  • The number of assets, including the allegations of hidden assets
  • The attorney you hire––and that does not only mean the attorney fees but the lawyer's legal competency and negotiating skills

Giving a precise prediction of how much your divorce will cost is impossible because of the various factors that go into it. The starting point in terms of costs is the filing fee associated with the divorce complaint, and then from there, it depends on the circumstances.

What if my spouse does not want a divorce?

You can still file for divorce even if your spouse does not want the divorce. Some states require a period of separation, and that could be metaphorically or physically, and other states do not require it. Regardless of any separation requirement, all states allow no-fault divorces. No fault simply means the marriage has irretrievably broken down or the spouses have irreconcilable differences.  

Can I sue for divorce in Minnesota on the grounds of adultery?

Now that all states allow no-fault divorces, you do not have to have a ground for divorce except in rare cases. For example, if you entered a covenant marriage, then you may be required to provide a ground for divorce, like adultery. Further, you may want to file a fault-based divorce if your spouse cheated on you and during the affair, they wasted marital property (e.g., cash) on it. In this situation, a judge would make up for the waste via asset distribution to the spouse who did not cheat.

How is Minnesota child custody or support determined?

Child custody, visitation, and child support are determined case-by-case with each state having their specific, respective guidelines. These matters, however, are always determined by considering the "best interests of the child" standard. In general, though, courts want both parents to build strong relationships with their children. Courts also recognize that both parents are financially responsible for the child. Child custody, visitation, and child support will reflect those beliefs as the basis of the determination.

How is Minnesota alimony determined?

Alimony, also referred to as spousal support or spousal maintenance, is determined on a case-by-case basis with each state having their specific, respective guidelines. Most states consider the present earning ability and future earning opportunities of the spouses. If one spouse was dependent on the other spouse through the marriage, that factor will weigh heavily on any court's decision on alimony.

How are assets and debt divided in Minnesota?

Assets and debt are divided according to your state's approach to the division of property. There are two approaches: community property and equitable distribution. In the first approach, property and debts are divided equally. In the second approach, a 50/50 isn't necessarily––what matters is what's fair.

My spouse is abusive. How do I protect myself during the divorce?

Spouses who have abusive spouses are in most danger when they seek divorce. You should protect yourself by getting as much help and support you can. You can file a restraining order, the process of which varies state to state. You should also consider state and local programs aimed at helping survivors of domestic abuse. You also want to build a network of support using friends and family as well as a supportive family law attorney.

How do I start my divorce in Minnesota?

To start any divorce in any state, you have to file a petition to dissolve the marriage with the court clerk. The court where you must file the petition varies state to state or county to county. Once the petition is filed, the other spouse has a certain number of days to answer the petition unless the divorce is a mutual one, making an answer unnecessary. The most efficient way to start a divorce is to contact a divorce attorney to handle it for you. This way the petition is properly filed and/or timely answered. 

Contact a Divorce Lawyer in Minnesota Today

If you are thinking of a divorce or have been served divorce papers, contact Heritage Law Office either by using the online contact form or calling us at 414-253-8500. We will schedule a free consultation so that you can get your most immediate questions answered more specifically.

Picture Banner of Frequently Asked Questions About Article Topic: Minnesota Divorce FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What Factors Affect the Cost of a Divorce in Minnesota?

The cost of divorce in Minnesota can vary significantly depending on several factors. The most significant factor is whether the divorce is contested or uncontested. In uncontested divorces, the spouses agree on all terms, reducing the time spent in court and legal fees. Other factors include the extent of asset division, potential child custody battles, and legal fees. Additionally, hidden assets and the quality of the divorce lawyer can also affect the overall cost.

2. How Does Minnesota Law Handle No-Fault Divorces?

Minnesota is a no-fault divorce state, which means neither spouse needs to prove that the other did something wrong to get a divorce. In this type of divorce, one spouse must merely assert that there are "irreconcilable differences" or that the marriage has "irretrievably broken down." This allows for the divorce process to proceed without the need for proving misconduct, like adultery or abuse, although those factors can still affect asset division and custody arrangements.

3. What is the "Best Interests of the Child" Standard in Minnesota?

When determining child custody, Minnesota courts primarily focus on what is in the "best interests of the child." Various factors contribute to this, including the child's emotional needs, the stability each parent can provide, and any history of domestic violence. Courts also look at which parent has been the primary caregiver, the child's education, and even the child's own wishes, depending on their age and maturity.

4. How is Alimony Determined in Minnesota?

In Minnesota, alimony, often referred to as spousal maintenance, is not guaranteed. Courts evaluate various factors to determine whether alimony is appropriate and, if so, how much should be awarded. These factors can include the duration of the marriage, the financial resources of both parties, and their standard of living during the marriage. Other considerations may include the receiving spouse's needs and the ability of the paying spouse to provide support.

5. How Do Minnesota Courts Approach Property Division?

Minnesota follows the "equitable distribution" model for dividing marital property in a divorce. This means the court divides the couple's assets and debts in a way that is fair but not necessarily equal. Factors considered include the length of the marriage, the contributions of each spouse to marital assets, and each spouse's financial circumstances. Unlike community property states, the court has significant discretion in determining what is equitable.

If you have more specific questions or are facing unique circumstances, the best course of action is to consult an experienced divorce lawyer in Minnesota. Heritage Law Office can assist you in navigating the complexities of divorce. Contact us through our online form or at 414-253-8500 to schedule a free consultation.

Contact Us Today

For a comprehensive plan that will meet your needs or the needs of a loved one, contact us today. Located in Downtown Milwaukee, we serve Milwaukee County, surrounding communities, and to clients across Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, and California.