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Facing divorce in Minnesota? A roadmap to navigate the process

On Behalf of | Jun 30, 2024 | Family Law

Divorce is a life-altering experience, and navigating the legal aspects can feel overwhelming, especially in a new situation. If you’re facing divorce in Rochester, you’re not alone. Many couples find themselves needing legal guidance to ensure a fair and efficient outcome.

Here’s what you should know about navigating divorce in Rochester.

Understanding the different types of divorce in Minnesota

Minnesota offers two main types of divorce: contested and uncontested. Choosing the right path depends on your situation.

  • Uncontested divorce: This faster and typically less expensive option is suitable if you and your spouse agree on all aspects of your split, including property division, child custody (if applicable) and spousal support. An attorney can assist with paperwork and filing procedures.
  • Contested divorce: If you and your spouse cannot reach agreements on any or all aspects of your divorce, you’ll be facing a contested divorce. This process involves litigation, and legal representation is crucial. Discovery, mediation and potentially a trial are all steps you may encounter in a contested divorce.

Important considerations: Property Division and Child Custody

Two of the most significant aspects of divorce are property division and child custody (if children are involved).

Minnesota is an equitable distribution state. This means marital property and debts acquired during the marriage are divided fairly, though not necessarily equally. A judge will consider factors like the length of the marriage, the value of assets and debts and each spouse’s contribution to the marital estate.

Minnesota courts prioritize the “best interests of the child” when determining custody arrangements. Physical custody refers to where the child primarily resides, while legal custody refers to decision-making authority regarding the child’s upbringing. Custody arrangements can range from sole custody for one parent to joint legal and physical custody shared by both parents.