Waiting Period for a Divorce in Minnesota

By Alisa Stevens

State law governs divorce proceedings, including any waiting periods. Some states impose mandatory waiting periods related to residency requirements and petition filings. In Minnesota, while the law requires a residency period before filing, the state does not require a waiting period once the petitioner files. As a pure no-fault state, Minnesota does not require evidence of wrongdoing. A spouse must file on grounds the marriage is “irretrievably broken.”

State law governs divorce proceedings, including any waiting periods. Some states impose mandatory waiting periods related to residency requirements and petition filings. In Minnesota, while the law requires a residency period before filing, the state does not require a waiting period once the petitioner files. As a pure no-fault state, Minnesota does not require evidence of wrongdoing. A spouse must file on grounds the marriage is “irretrievably broken.”

Residency Requirement

Minnesota law does not require a waiting or mandatory separation period before filing for divorce. However, like most states, Minnesota requires residency in order to file a divorce petition. To file for divorce in Minnesota, at least one spouse must be a resident for 180 days. If neither spouse can claim residency, the petitioner -- that is, the spouse filing for divorce -- must wait to file for divorce until this residency requirement is met.

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Divorce Filing

After satisfying residency, the petitioner can fill out the appropriate forms and file for divorce. The petitioner then files the divorce materials with the court, pays the fee and arranges for document service to her spouse. The spouse has 30 days from date of receipt to respond to the summons and petition and file an answer with the court. Minnesota courts usually don't grant divorces until the answer period is complete.

Length of Time

In an uncontested divorce, where the parties agree to the divorce terms or a spouse does not respond to the divorce petition, the process generally takes a few months. In contested divorces, where the parties cannot agree to terms, a trial is scheduled and the divorce can take six months to two years. The wait time for a court date depends on the filing county. It takes longer to get a court date in Minnesota counties with larger populations.

Trial

If a trial is necessary, the judge will hear from the parties, witnesses, professionals and, in some cases, the children. If custody and visitation are at issue, the court may appoint a guardian ad litem to investigate and make a recommendation. If parties cannot agree on financial issues, bank officials, appraisers, pension plan evaluators and other financial experts may testify. After trial, the judge will review the evidence and testimony and issue a decision within 90 days.

Divorce Decree

Once the judge signs the divorce decree and any related orders, the court clerk files the documents to officially end the marriage. This is the same for contested and uncontested divorces. Once the clerk files, the parties are divorced. There is no waiting period before the divorce action takes effect.

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Is a Divorce Decree Supposed to Be Signed by the Petitioner & the Respondent?

References

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Divorce Procedures & Documents

Divorce law varies by state, but the general procedures are similar throughout the country. Should you decide to proceed on your own, referred to as acting "pro se," both state forms and information on divorce procedures are commonly available from local family law attorneys or online legal document providers. A simple divorce, one in which both parties agree, can often be handled without an attorney. However, if one party contests the divorce or property or custody disputes exist, you should consider consulting an attorney.

What Forms Are Required to File for Divorce in Michigan?

Michigan has afforded spouses the opportunity to obtain a no-fault divorce since its divorce laws were revised in 1972. Since that time, divorces have been relatively easy to obtain, especially if both spouses agree on all the terms of their divorce, starting with the no-fault ground of breakdown of the marital relationship. The timetable for divorce in Michigan can vary, depending on the complexity of issues and cooperation of the parties.

How to Get Divorced in Texas

If you and your spouse can agree on the issues, a divorce can be completed fairly quickly and inexpensively in Texas. If you wish, a neutral party called a mediator can help you talk through the issues. If no agreement is possible, the judge can listen to the evidence and make the decision for you, although that option takes longer and is more expensive. The Texas Family Code applies to all divorces filed in the state but you must also become familiar with the local rules as policies and procedures vary from county to county.

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