How Long is the Divorce Process in Minnesota?

How Long is the Divorce Process in Minnesota?

January 24, 2023

By Johnson/Turner Legal

How Long is the Divorce Process in Minnesota?

January 24, 2023

By Johnson/Turner Legal

If you’re considering a divorce in the state of Minnesota, it’s important to understand the legal process and how long it can take. The length of a divorce can vary depending on a number of factors, but in Minnesota, the process is relatively straightforward and can typically be completed within a year.

In Minnesota, the first step in the divorce process is to file a Summons and Petition for Dissolution of Marriage with the court. This document initiates the divorce process and serves as a formal notice to your spouse that you are seeking a divorce. Once the Summons and Petition are filed, your spouse has 30 days to respond. If they do not respond, the court can proceed with the divorce as a default.

After the initial paperwork is filed, the next step is to attend a mandatory Early Neutral Evaluation (ENE) conference. This conference is typically held within 60 days of the initial filing and is designed to help couples reach a settlement agreement without going to trial. The ENE conference is held with a neutral third-party evaluator who helps the couple identify the issues that need to be resolved and assists them in finding common ground. If a settlement agreement is reached, the divorce process can be completed relatively quickly.

If a settlement agreement is not reached at the ENE conference, the divorce process will continue through the court system. Minnesota has a mandatory waiting period of 180 days before a divorce can be finalized. This waiting period is in place to give the couple time to reconcile and consider their decision before the divorce is made final.

Once the waiting period has passed, the couple can either continue to negotiate a settlement agreement or proceed to trial. If a settlement agreement is reached, the divorce can be finalized relatively quickly. However, if the case goes to trial, the process can take several months or even years to complete, depending on the complexity of the case and the court’s schedule.

In addition to the traditional divorce process, Minnesota also offers an expedited divorce process called summary dissolution, which is intended for couples with relatively simple cases and limited assets. To qualify for summary dissolution, both parties must agree to the divorce, have no children together, and have limited assets and debts. If the couple qualifies and reaches an agreement, the divorce can be finalized in as little as 30 days.

In summary, the length of a legal divorce in Minnesota can vary depending on a number of factors, but the process is generally straightforward and can typically be completed within a year. The mandatory waiting period of 180 days before a divorce can be finalized is in place to give the couple time to reconcile and consider their decision before the divorce is made final. Minnesota also offers an expedited divorce process called summary dissolution which can be finalized in as little as 30 days.

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