Your Minneapolis Divorce: The Basics

When he invited you for a spin in his little red Corvette, you said, “Let’s go crazy.” You even shared a kiss under the cherry moon. Unfortunately, your Prince only sowed controversy and now you need emancipation. You’re hoping to navigate your divorce more like the Skyway System and less like the old Mississippi River Bridge, and here is a good place to start. This article contains some introductory information to Minneapolis divorce law.

What Is a Divorce?

Learning the basics of your Minneapolis divorce can be crucial to achieving the best possible outcome. A divorce, also known as "dissolution of marriage," applies to spouses living in Minnesota for at least 180 days and legally ends your marriage or domestic partnership. Both partners will be legally single following a divorce, and allowed to re-marry or begin another domestic partnership. A court can also issue orders regarding division of property, restraining orders, child custody and visitation orders, child support, or spousal or partner support as part of divorce proceedings. Under Minnesota law, the divorce process and paperwork is currently the same for same-sex couples.

Minneapolis also has proceedings called annulments and legal separations. An annulment has the same legal effect as a divorce, but declares that your marriage was never legal in the first place. This could be because you were too young to legally marry, or were tricked into the marriage, among other reasons. A legal separation allows you to make some of the same decisions as a divorce regarding property, support, and child custody. However, a legal separation does not end your marriage, therefore you would not be able to re-marry. Be sure to know which process applies to you before beginning divorce proceedings.

Do I Need a Reason For a Divorce in Minneapolis?

Minnesota is what’s known as a “no fault” divorce state, meaning the court doesn’t consider the reasons why you want a divorce when granting a divorce. You also do not need the consent of your spouse to obtain a divorce. The court may enter a divorce decree based upon showing that the marriage is “irretrievably broken.”

How Do I File for Divorce?

If you can’t or prefer not to hire an attorney to help you with your divorce, the 4th District Courts of Hennepin County have a Family Law Facilitator’s Office that can assist you with divorce proceedings. Minnesota residents should be aware that the County Court requires all Family Court motions prepared by people who are not represented by a lawyer to be reviewed by a Family Law Facilitator before a hearing date can be set. The court also provides a helpful video introduction to the divorce process.

You can file your action for divorce alone, or, if you and your spouse agree on the divorce conditions, you can file together in a joint petition with your spouse. If you don’t agree, the divorce action is started when your spouse receives your Summons and Petition. Your spouse has to be legally “served” before the court can make any orders or judgments in your divorce. After filing and service, you may have to attend mediation or a trial to settle any contested issues. If you have shared children with your spouse, Minnesota offers an Early Neutral Evaluation (ENE) program that can connect you with judges and evaluators early in the court process to give you an opportunity to settle your legal issues. A court will generally accept your agreement If you and your spouse can come to one on your own.

You have a few options in filing your divorce paperwork in Minneapolis, depending on how you would like to file:

  • In person at the Family Justice Center
    110 South Fourth Street
    1st Floor - Filing Counter
    Minneapolis, MN 55401
  • By mail at the 4th District Family Court
    110 South Fourth Street, Suite 600
    Minneapolis, MN 55401-2279
  • By fax at (612) 596-9309

Or you can search for other courthouses in Minneapolis.

I Filed For Divorce – Now What?

Unlike some cities, Minneapolis does not have a waiting period for divorces. If a judge signs your final divorce decree, the divorce is considered final and the court will send a notice to both spouses. If you have an uncontested divorce, it could take four to six weeks to complete the divorce proceedings. However, it is important to know that the District Court requires that parents of minor children who get a divorce in Hennepin County must attend a divorce education class. Also, courts will generally settle all child support, child custody, and property division questions before a divorce will be granted.

Get a Free Divorce Case Review

Getting divorced can be difficult, no matter the circumstances. You may find that consulting with an experienced divorce attorney for a free case review could help. A Minneapolis divorce attorney can you research the law, explain difficult legal concepts, and even represent you in court.

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

Contact a qualified attorney.