Guide to Uncontested Divorce in Minnesota

By Elizabeth Rayne

As compared with a contested divorce, filing an uncontested divorce may save Minnesota residents both time and money. To file an uncontested divorce, the couple must agree that they want to dissolve the marriage and agree on the terms of the divorce. Further, a summary dissolution is an even faster process, but is only available to couples that meet the state's criteria.

As compared with a contested divorce, filing an uncontested divorce may save Minnesota residents both time and money. To file an uncontested divorce, the couple must agree that they want to dissolve the marriage and agree on the terms of the divorce. Further, a summary dissolution is an even faster process, but is only available to couples that meet the state's criteria.

Uncontested Divorce Overview

Minnesota courts allow couples to file for an uncontested divorce when both spouses agree to the divorce as well as the terms of the divorce. Both spouses must sign an agreement that establishes the terms of the divorce, including how property will be divided between the spouses, awards of spousal maintenance and, if applicable, child custody and support.

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Grounds

Minnesota is a pure no-fault state, meaning that couples do not place blame on either spouse in getting a divorce. Instead, the only grounds which couples must provide to get a divorce is that the marital relationship has irretrievably broken down. In other words, the couple must demonstrate that they do not want to continue with the marriage and it is not likely that they will reconcile their differences.

Divorce Process

To initiate a divorce in Minnesota, you must file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. Either you or your spouse must have lived within the state for at least 180 days prior to filing and may file the petition in the county where either of you live. You must also serve the petition and summons on your spouse. The summons explains the rights and responsibilities of the spouses and informs your spouse that he must respond to the petition within 30 days. In order to serve the paperwork, you must have it delivered by the sheriff's office or an adult other than yourself. After the paperwork is filed and served, an uncontested divorce can proceed relatively quickly and the divorce may be finalized in a matter of months.

Summary Dissolution

In certain cases, couples in Minnesota may file for a summary dissolution, which allows the couple to divorce 30 days after the paperwork is filed. In order to qualify for summary dissolution, the couple must not have any children together and the wife must not be pregnant. Additionally, the couple's marriage must have lasted for less than eight years and neither spouse should have a lot of assets or debts. If the couple has real estate, debt more than $8,000 or assets more than $25,000, the couple will not qualify. Further, summary dissolution is not available in cases of domestic violence. In order to obtain a summary dissolution, you must file a Joint Petition for Summary Dissolution of a Marriage with the court.

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Can a Divorce Be Final in Two Months?

References

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Annulment Requirements in California

In California, a court-approved annulment invalidates a marriage as if the two spouses had not married each other. Some couples would like to avoid divorce or legal separation by choosing annulment. While the state does set timing requirements, California law does not impose a minimum or maximum duration for the marriage to determine eligibility for an annulment. State laws establish several steps a spouse must complete before a California superior court may grant an annulment.

Joint Petitions for Dissolution of Marriages

Not all states allow spouses to file joint petitions to end their marriages. Among those that do, different requirements apply. In some states, you can only do so in simplified or summary proceedings – essentially a shortcut to divorce that streamlines and hastens the process if you qualify. In other states, the only requirement is that you and your spouse agree that you're going to end your marriage and how you're going to do so.

Legal Separation Vs. Divorce in California

Most couples receive no real benefit from a legal separation rather than a divorce. It’s generally only suitable when your relationship has deteriorated to the point where you no longer want to be married but, for personal reasons, divorce is not an option. In California, however, there may be one other advantage. If time is of the essence, you can hasten the divorce process by filing for a legal separation first.

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