Does Your Spouse Have to Agree to a MN Divorce?

Divorce is a process that is rooted in conflict. It’s rare for two parties to agree on everything during the divorce process.

In some situations, one spouse may not even want a divorce at all while the other spouse very much does. When that happens, can you still get a divorce? In other words, does your spouse have to agree to a divorce in Minnesota?

The dissolution of a marriage is complicated, but if you have found you want a divorce, but your partner does not, what are your options? Read on to find out more.

Divorce in Minnesota

In the state of Minnesota, divorce law is no-fault. That simply means that it’s not required for one party to show that the other did anything wrong in order to get a divorce. You only need to say that there has been a breakdown in the relationship between the two of you that is irretrievable. In other words, there is no hope of fixing things, and you no longer want to be together.

Due to the fact that Minnesota is a no-fault divorce state, if you want a divorce but your spouse does not, a divorce can still be granted. However, if the other spouse doesn’t want the divorce, then the entire process can be a lot more complicated. This can be the difference between a contested and uncontested divorce.

What is an Uncontested Divorce?

An uncontested divorce signifies that both partners come to an agreement on not only getting the divorce but also how to split their assets and possessions. These types of divorces are the easiest and the least expensive.

And, if there are children involved, then uncontested divorces will also help to meet their needs with each parent and keep them safe. The division of property, child support, child visitation, child custody, and spousal support can all be worked out between the parties with the help of experienced divorce attorneys.

What is an Uncontested Divorce?

What is a Contested Divorce

If one spouse doesn’t want a divorce, then they may set out to be very difficult during the divorce process, and you could end up in a situation of a contested divorce.

A contested divorce means that the two parties cannot agree on the matters of the divorce. The division of property, child custody, and other issues must be resolved in order for the divorce to proceed, so you will need intervention and help from your attorney and the court to help settle things. This can be a long and expensive process. You may have to go through mediation or go to court and let the judge decide for you.

How Do You Start the Process of Divorce?

If you’re ready to divorce your spouse, and you want to get the ball rolling, then work with an attorney to complete what is called the Summons and Petition for the Dissolution of Marriage. This petition contains important information, such as property that is owed, your income, children you may have together, and any debts left standing. When you have completed this petition, it is served to your spouse.

Minnesota Requirements to File for Divorce

There are a few requirements the state has established to file for divorce. At a minimum, one person in the couple must have lived in Minnesota for 180 days or longer before you begin the divorce process. You also have to file any forms in the district court of the county where you currently reside.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Divorce?

There’s no set amount of time for the proceedings of a divorce since every situation is as different as each couple. If you and your spouse can reach an outcome on your own regarding your property and children, then it is likely to go quite fast, resolving in just a few months.

On the other hand, contested divorces can take years to resolve. If you want the process to go quickly, then you should aim for an uncontested divorce.

Getting Help with Your Minnesota Divorce

Some people try to go through the divorce process on their own to save money. However, if you’re facing a situation where your spouse doesn’t want a divorce, then it’s in your best interest to secure an attorney with experience in divorce law.

They can help to guide you through the process and perhaps even help to make the process go more smoothly, taking less time in the long run.

You have probably not gotten a divorce before, but attorneys who deal with divorce have dealt with many. They know what to do to help. They have likely seen many situations, including contested divorces. This experience can help you get through the painful process.


About the Author:

Andrew T. Poole is a Minnesota native who has served in the Army for more than 18 years and is currently a JAG lawyer in the Army Reserves in addition to serving as a partner at LaCourse, Poole & Envall. He has handled thousands of criminal and family law cases over the course of his career and has a firm belief that all hardworking Minnesotans should be entitled to the best possible legal counsel. Mr. Poole boasts a 10/10 Superb rating on Avvo, is Lead Counsel rated, and has been recognized multiple times by SuperLawyers, National Trial Lawyers, and others for his work.