In Minnesota, divorces can be contested or uncontested. Divorces can be amicable or heated and frustrating. Everyone’s divorce is different and deserves individual attention by someone looking out for your best interests. You are the one who can determine what you want and what you are seeking from your divorce. A lawyer can help you best achieve those things in your divorce.
Lawyers can help you through your contested divorce case by listening to your story, analyzing your evidence, which includes financial information and documents relating to property, filing and serving the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage or representing your interests if your spouse has filed or served such a petition, initiating and completing the discovery process learning the information and evidence held by your spouse, and predicting your spouse’s strategy. Attorneys can help you through settlement or represent you during the trial. Sometimes during the process temporary orders relating to child custody or child support are necessary.
Uncontested divorces are obviously less contentious. Often times the parties can agree on how things should be – for example, who should have the children and when, how to divide the property, whether one side should pay child support or spousal maintenance. Sometimes that means a person doesn’t need a lawyer, but not always. Often times one side hires an attorney to draft the divorce petition, marital termination agreement, and divorce decree. The other side may, however, want his or her own attorney to review these documents to make sure there isn’t anything harmful, confusing, misleading, or hidden in the documents. Regardless of which side you may be on, attorneys can be necessary in uncontested divorces, but they will also be less expensive than they would be in a contested divorce.
A Summons and Petition is the paperwork that begins the process of divorce. It can be written by one part and served on the other, or both parties can use a Joint Petition for divorce if they both agree on the divorce. It is important to speak with an attorney as soon as possible to start the proceedings once you have decided to get a divorce.
Divorces can be very easy to resolve or they can be nearly impossible. If there are a significant number of problems that are prevent the divorce from being settled, mediation may be necessary to reconcile the issues.
A uncontested divorce provides a much easier process for both sides than a contested divorce. By settling all or most of the issues and coming to an agreement, both sides can save a considerable amount of time and money.
A divorce can take many routes. If the divorce is not agreed on by both parties, it is contested and it is the responsibility of the party who wishes to get divorced to start the process and have the paperwork served on the other party.
It is often thought that a separation and legal separation are the same. However, a separation simply means living apart and you do not need to file any papers with the court. To become legally separated you must serve and file a petition in District Court in the county where you or your spouse lives.
An annulment is similar to a divorce in that it ends a marriage. However, an annulment treats the marriage as if it never happened. This is done by making the case that the marriage was never legitimate in the first place.