Uncontested Divorce in Minnesota: How Fast Can You Separate From a Spouse?
Are you considering getting a divorce in Minnesota? If you and your spouse can agree on all the terms of your separation, including property division, child custody, and support, you may be able to file for an uncontested divorce.
But how fast can you separate from a spouse in Minnesota through an uncontested divorce?
We’ll discuss everything you need to know about an uncontested divorce in Minnesota, including the process, requirements, timeline, and costs.
If you need help navigating the complexities of divorce in Minnesota, enlist the help of an experienced Minneapolis family law attorney today.
What Is an Uncontested Divorce?
An uncontested divorce is a type of divorce where both parties agree to all the terms of their separation without having to go to court. In other words, the parties have reached a settlement on all issues, such as property division and spousal maintenance.
While the aid and legal divorce advice is still recommended for these simpler divorce proceedings, an uncontested divorce is often faster, less expensive, and less stressful than a contested divorce. A contested divorce occurs when the parties cannot agree and must go to court to have a judge decide on the issues.
Types of Uncontested Divorce in Minnesota
Minnesota has two types of uncontested divorce: summary dissolution and joint petition.
Summary dissolution is a simplified uncontested divorce process for couples without children and limited assets. It’s a faster and less expensive option than traditional divorce, but certain requirements must be met. For example, the couple must have been married for less than eight years.
Joint petition is another type of uncontested divorce where both spouses agree on all terms, including property division, spousal support, and child custody. However, couples can use the joint petition method if they have children or larger amounts of assets.
Both types of uncontested divorce are generally faster and less expensive than a contested divorce.
Requirements for an Uncontested Divorce in Minnesota
To file for an uncontested divorce in Minnesota, you and your spouse must meet certain requirements:
- Residency — At least one spouse must have lived in Minnesota for at least 180 days before filing for divorce.
- Agreement between parties — Both spouses must agree to all the terms of their separation, including the splitting of marital assets and property and terms for spousal maintenance. Child support and child custody must also be agreed upon if the divorce is not a joint petition type of uncontested divorce.
- No minor children — The couple cannot have any minor children from the marriage if filing for a summary dissolution, and the wife cannot be pregnant if the couple is seeking a joint petition for divorce.
- No domestic violence — If seeking an uncontested divorce, there cannot be any domestic violence issues between the parties.
The Uncontested Divorce Process in Minnesota
The uncontested divorce process in Minnesota is relatively simple and straightforward.
Here are the steps.
- Preparation — Both spouses must gather all the necessary documents, such as the marriage certificate, financial records, and any agreements they have reached.
- Filing — One spouse (the petitioner) must file a Summons and Petition for Dissolution of Marriage with the court and serve it on the other spouse (the respondent) along with the necessary documents.
- Response — The respondent must file an Answer and Counter-Petition with the court within 30 days of being served.
- Agreement — Both spouses must sign a Marital Termination Agreement (MTA) that outlines all the terms of their separation, including property division, spousal maintenance, child support, and child custody.
- Final hearing — Both spouses must attend a final hearing, where a judge will review the MTA and grant the divorce.
Timeline for an Uncontested Divorce in Minnesota
The timeline for an uncontested divorce in Minnesota varies depending on the court’s schedule, the parties’ availability, and how quickly they can reach an agreement.
Generally, the process follows the below timeline:
- Filing — The petitioner must wait at least 30 days after filing the Summons and Petition before scheduling a final hearing.
- Agreement — Once both spouses have signed the MTA, they must file it with the court and wait at least 30 days before scheduling a final hearing.
- Final hearing — The final hearing usually takes place within two to three months of filing the MTA.
Costs of an Uncontested Divorce in Minnesota
The costs of an uncontested divorce in Minnesota include court fees, attorney fees, and any other expenses related to the divorce. These expenses often include appraisal fees, parenting classes, and mediation fees.
The total cost depends on the complexity of the case, the number of issues that need to be resolved, and the attorney’s hourly rate.
However, an uncontested divorce is usually less expensive than a contested divorce since the parties do not have to go to court to resolve their issues. In Minnesota, the court filing fee for a divorce is $365. If the parties have children, they may have to pay additional fees for a parenting class and a child support hearing.
Get Advice From an Experienced Minneapolis Divorce Lawyer
An uncontested divorce can be a quick, affordable, and low-stress way to separate from a spouse in Minnesota if both parties can agree on all the terms of their separation. The uncontested divorce process in Minnesota is relatively simple and straightforward, and it can take as little as two to three months from filing to final hearing.
At Martine Law in Minneapolis we’ll review your case and help you determine whether an uncontested divorce is the right choice for you. Contact us today to get started.