When Can I Get a Divorce in Minnesota?


With divorce rates hovering around 50%, it must be pretty easy to get a divorce these days. In fact, divorce, or some practical equivalent, has been available throughout most of history, but the relatively recent invention of the no-fault divorce has made it much simpler to dissolve a marriage.

A no-fault divorce is precisely that-a divorce that does not depend upon the fault of a spouse. Prior to no-fault divorces, one of the spouses had to violate the marriage vows (e.g., adultery, extreme cruelty), and that fact had to be proved in court. When husband and wife did not agree on getting a divorce, this led to rather dramatic trials. When they did agree, they still had to prove that some misconduct took place; this eventually led to husbands contriving fake adulterous affairs so the marriage could be dissolved based on adultery.

With a no-fault divorce, you can get a divorce whether or not your spouse consents, and you do not have to prove that any misconduct took place during the marriage. Instead, you simply have to prove that there has been an "irretrievable breakdown" of the marriage.

You can also to get a divorce even if the other spouse has moved out of the state. Typically, a Minnesota court would not be able to hear a case in which the defendant lived out of the state, but there are special rules for divorces. These rules give the court jurisdiction, or authority, over the marriage itself, so jurisdiction over both of the spouses is unnecessary.

The rules are different, however, in the case of marital property and child custody. The jurisdictional rules for these types of cases are complex, so it is best to discuss your case with an attorney if your spouse lives out of the state. The attorneys at Banas Family Law, P.A., are well-versed in these rules, and they can provide you with the answers you need.

No-fault divorce is somewhat controversial-we've all heard about instances in which celebrities have divorced citing irreconcilable differences or some other vague reason. But the concept is an extension of the fundamental right to marry: if you have a right to marry, surely you have a right not to marry; if you have a right to be married, you have a right not to be married.

No-fault divorces are also criticized because they do not allow the wronged spouse the opportunity to bring the other spouse to justice. While airing the marital dirty laundry may bring some temporary satisfaction, the process can create a negative atmosphere that can be damaging in the long run, especially if children are involved.

Categories: Divorce