The Divorce Process
How to File For Divorce in Minnesota
To be able to get a divorce, or “dissolution of marriage,” you must have been a resident of Minnesota for 180 days or longer prior to starting your divorce. Your spouse doesn’t have to live in the state. You will file with the court of the county you live in, and you will need to confirm that you currently reside there.
There are documents you will need to draft throughout the divorce process, starting with a petition. At Dwire Law Offices, P.A., in Lakeville, Minnesota, we give you all the help you need. Our attorney will guide you through the complexity and intricacies of these documents and help you gather the necessary information.
Your spouse will have to be served with a summons and petition. This is typically done by a friend, relative or professional processor, and he or she will have to fill out a form verifying that the petition was handed directly to your spouse. We will help you ensure that the petition is served properly so it is valid and you can get things moving forward.
If you are served a petition, our lawyer can help you determine how to move forward with your response. The respondent has 30 days to respond to the petition.
Once a response is received, we will file your case with the county. Within seven to 10 days, you will receive a notice to appear for an initial case management conference (ICMC). The primary purpose is to determine if you and your spouse are interested in participating in mediation or the early neutral evaluation program (ENE). If so, you will schedule a date and exchange required information. We will help you with this as well.
Mediation and ENE are opportunities for you and your spouse to work with a mediator or neutral evaluator to come to an agreement on how you will separate your lives. These processes give the two of you control over the outcome of your case. The goal is for the two of you to reach a settlement that allows us to create a judgment and decree to submit to the courts. We will attend these sessions with you to advise and represent you. Depending on which county you file in, once that judgment is filed, you can be divorced in as little as a week or up to a few months, depending on the family court’s schedule.
If your divorce case goes to court, it will probably take longer and cost considerably more than if you had reached a settlement. Our goal is to get you through this process as quickly and efficiently as possible while protecting your interests and helping you get what you need to go forward with your life. However, we are not afraid to take your case to trial if necessary.