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Steven H. Snyder & Associates

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11270 86th Ave N. · Maple Grove, MN 55311

Going Through a Divorce or Considering Divorce?

Retain an Aggressive Minneapolis and St. Paul Family Attorney

Divorce is becoming more common, as almost 50 percent of marriages end in divorce. Minnesota also offers the option of legal separation. Divorce legally terminates a marriage, separating all assets and liabilities and determines child custody. If the parties choose to legally separate, the parties sign a separation agreement determining the distribution of assets and liabilities, child custody and other factors. The parties are not legally divorced. A St. Paul and Minneapolis family lawyer can explain the benefits of divorce and separation and help the parties determine which is best for their situation.

Filing for Divorce

Before the parties file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, they must make sure that the District Court has jurisdiction. A number of factors determines jurisdiction, but the most common factor is the residency requirement. The parties must have been living in the State of Minnesota for no less than 180 days prior to the date of filing of the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. Another way to meet the residency requirement is if one of the parties retains a domicile in the state for no less than 180 days prior to the date of filing.

Grounds for Divorce

Minnesota is a no-fault state. This means that the parties must show irretrievable differences. This is usually shown by the parties living apart for 180 days prior to the filing of the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage or by “serious marital discord affecting the attitude of one or both spouses toward the marriage” (Minnesota Statutes - Chapters: 518.06, 158.13). A St. Paul and Minneapolis family lawyer can explain your rights regarding the no-fault rules.

Property Division

There are two ways to divide property in a Minnesota divorce—via a Marital Termination Agreement or the Decree of Dissolution of Marriage. Minnesota is an equitable distribution state, so it is better for the parties if they can agree on the division of property among themselves. Should the parties not be able to come to an agreement, the Court will order an equitable distribution and will distribute the property in an equitable fashion.

Equitable distribution does not necessarily mean equal distribution. The distribution starts out as 50 percent for each party. The Court uses relevant factors to determine equitable distribution. It is presumed that each spouse substantially contributed to the acquisition of property and income as husband and wife, even if one of the parties stayed at home with the children. A qualified Minneapolis and St. Paul family attorney can help a party in a divorce come up with a settlement agreement, so the parties get the assets and liabilities they would like instead of relying on the Court to distribute the assets and liabilities. If you are facing a divorce or even if you are just thinking about it, contact our Minneapolis and St. Paul family attorneys for a consultation.