Minnesota Family Law on Domestic Violence

Created by FindLaw's team of attorney writers and editors.

When most of us hear the phrase "domestic violence," we tend to imagine a physical altercation between spouses. But domestic violence or domestic abuse under Minnesota law is not confined to a marital fight. Instead, the Domestic Abuse Act prohibits the occurrence of one or more of the following acts committed against a family or household member by a family or household member:

  • Physical harm, bodily injury, or assault;
  • The infliction of fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, or assault; or
  • Terroristic threats, criminal sexual conduct, or interference with an emergency call.

Minnesota Family Law on Domestic Violence: The Basics

In the following table, you can find an overview of the Domestic Abuse Act in Minnesota, as well as links to relevant statutes. Remember, while reading an overview of the law is helpful, it's a good idea to also read the actual text of the statute.

Statute(s)

Minnesota Revised Statutes, Domestic Relations (Ch. 517-519A), Section 518B.01 (Domestic Abuse Act)

Defining "Family" or "Household Member"

"Family" or "household member" for purposes of domestic violence or abuse means:

  • Spouses and former spouses;
  • Parents and children;
  • Persons related by blood;
  • Persons who are presently residing together or who have resided together in the past;
  • Persons who have a child in common regardless of whether they have been married or have lived together at any time;
  • A man and woman if the woman is pregnant and the man is alleged to be the father, regardless of whether they have been married or have lived together at any time; and
  • Persons involved in a significant romantic or sexual relationship.
How to Get Protection from Domestic Abuse

The Minnesota Judicial Branch provides helpful resources and information for those suffering from domestic abuse, including the steps to file an Order for Protection.

Charges and Penalties for Violating an Order for Protection

A first offense is a misdemeanor, punishable by a minimum of 3 days of imprisonment and participation in a counseling program;

A second offense within 10 years is a gross misdemeanor, punishable by a minimum of 10 days of imprisonment and participation in a counseling program;

It's a felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison and/or fines of up to $10,000, in any of the following circumstances:

Related Statute(s)

Minnesota Revised Statutes, Chapter 609, Criminal Code:

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Minnesota Family Law on Domestic Violence: Related Resources

If you'd like additional information or resources related to this topic, please visit the links listed below:

Need Legal Help with Domestic Violence in Minnesota? Talk to a Lawyer

Domestic violence can be a frightening experience and leave you and your loved ones traumatized. If you've been victimized by domestic violence or if you've been accused of domestic violence, there are legal protections available to you. Speak with a Minnesota domestic violence attorney to learn more about your rights under the law.

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

Contact a qualified attorney.