Divorce is often viewed as a drawn-out, daunting process, but in some cases, it doesn’t have to be. If you and your spouse qualify for a simplified divorce process, you could be divorced in as few as 30 days. This process is called a Summary Dissolution of Marriage.
If you’re interested in learning more about summary dissolution in Minnesota, talk to a divorce lawyer.
What Is a Summary Dissolution of Marriage?
Divorce, also referred to as a “dissolution of marriage,” does not always have to be as contentious and challenging as you may think.
Summary dissolution is a process allowing couples to finalize their divorce within just 30 days after filing the petition without ever having to appear in court. However, spouses must first meet the strict requirements for this type of divorce, as this simpler divorce process is not available for everyone.
Benefits of Summary Dissolution
When couples qualify for summary dissolution, it is usually a sought-after route to divorce. Summary dissolution provides several benefits as opposed to traditional divorce, including the following:
- You can get divorced much quicker
- It saves plenty of time and money
- It is less stressful and frustrating than a regular divorce
- You don’t need to attend court proceedings
Summary dissolution can benefit many couples. To find out whether summary dissolution is right for you, speak to a divorce lawyer.
Determining Whether You Qualify for Summary Dissolution
There are several eligibility requirements for summary dissolution in Minnesota. To be eligible to use the simplified divorce process, you must meet all of the following requirements:
- You’ve been married for less than eight years
- You and your spouse do not have any children who were adopted or born during the marriage
- Neither you nor your spouse is pregnant
- Neither spouse has ownership of any real estate
- Neither you nor your spouse has more than $8,000 in debt
- The marital or individual assets don’t total more than $25,000
- There is no history of domestic abuse
Because these qualifications are strict, not every couple qualifies for summary dissolution. However, if you believe you’re eligible to file for this divorce process, a divorce lawyer can review the details of your marriage to help you make that determination.
The Summary Dissolution Process
To get the summary dissolution process started, you’ll need to fill out the required court forms. These forms contain multiple questions and ask for details, including:
- A checklist to ensure you qualify to file for summary dissolution
- A list of property and debts
- An explanation of how you and your spouse plan to divide debts and assets
After successfully completing the necessary forms, you’ll need to file them with the court in the county where either spouse resides and pay the filing fee.
The court reviews the forms to determine you’ve met all requirements. If everything is correct, they proceed to finalize your divorce by entering the decree of dissolution. This is usually accomplished within 30 days of filing your paperwork without the need to appear before a judge.
What If You and Your Spouse Don’t Meet All of the Requirements?
If you still wish to simplify the divorce process but don’t meet all the requirements, because, for example, you have more significant assets, you may have the option of filing for dissolution by joint petition.
For a dissolution by joint petition, you and your spouse make determinations and fill out the required paperwork together. You’ll come up with a settlement agreement that includes these financial details:
- A list of your assets and debts
- Your plan for dividing assets and debts
- Details regarding spousal maintenance, if applicable
If you have children, you’ll also include separate information regarding the children and agreements on child-related matters, like custody and support.
Once you submit the petition to the court, you may get a court date, specifically if there are children involved. A hearing may not be needed if you don’t have children and you’re represented by legal counsel.
Do You Need an Attorney for a Summary Dissolution?
While having a divorce lawyer is not a legal requirement, it is truly in your best interests to have representation.
Even if you and your spouse are able to agree and create an agreement together, at the very least, it’s important to have a lawyer review the agreement. By having a trained eye look over your agreement, you’re helping ensure that your rights and interests are fully protected.
If you file your petition and agreement with the court and they approve it and finalize your divorce, there’s no going back. Therefore, try to do it right the first time to save yourself headaches or disappointment in the future.
Allow a Qualified Divorce Lawyer to Assist You
Whether you’re just thinking about taking the summary dissolution route or you’re in the process of getting it done, speak to a divorce lawyer at Johnson Turner Legal. Our team is ready to guide you through the process and work toward a fair and favorable outcome.
Contact us today to book a quick guidance call.