Filing for and resolving a divorce can be a uniquely stressful experience. Divorce in Minnesota is an incredibly complex legal process involving other legal disputes such as child custody battles, spousal maintenance, child support disputes, and the division of assets and liabilities.
During your Minnesota divorce, you deserve a legal team that will handle your case with care and compassion.
At Johnson/Turner Legal, our Minnesota divorce attorneys provide clients with a revolutionary approach to divorce. Our law firm is structured to make our pricing as transparent as possible, and our unique team structure allows us to comprehensively address every facet of the divorce process in Minnesota (more on that later).
When it comes to dissolving your marriage, you want the right divorce attorney – one you can trust to protect your rights and get the job done as quickly and satisfactorily as possible. But how do you find the right divorce lawyer in Minnesota? What should you know in order to choose the right divorce attorney?
Here are some things to keep in mind when looking for a divorce attorney in Minnesota:
Every divorce in Minnesota has to resolve at least some of these issues, especially if it involves minor children. At first look, these issues often seem impossible to resolve, but with thoughtful counsel and reflection and the help of a divorce lawyer in Minnesota, they might be settled more easily than you expect.
Custody and Parenting Time
Your children’s health, happiness, and stability is the most important thing. Figuring out legal and physical custody, as well as creating a parenting time schedule, can be one of the most challenging issues in a Minnesota divorce.
Division of Assets and Debts
In a divorce in Minnesota, assets and debts are either marital or nonmarital. They are nonmarital if they were owned before the marriage, inherited, or can be traced back to an asset or debt that was owned before to the marriage or inherited (a car you owned before the marriage, for instance, that you sold to buy a different car during the marriage). Most other assets and debts are marital, and usually divided equally.
Child support has three components: basic support, medical support, and childcare support. These amounts are typically determined by state guidelines, taking into consideration each parent’s income and the parenting time arrangement.
In a Minnesota divorce, spousal support/alimony is meant to assist one spouse in meeting his or her necessary monthly living expenses when the other spouse has the ability to provide that assistance. It is not intended to equalize the incomes of the parties.
Filing for divorce can be daunting. The following information will provide you with a complete breakdown of the divorce process in Minnesota, enabling you to understand what lies ahead of you when you file for divorce. Additionally, we'll walk you through how our team of Minnesota divorce lawyers and legal professionals here at Johnson/Turner Legal handles divorce, so you can get a better idea of what sets our firm apart.
Before you file for divorce in MN, you can take a few steps to make the process easier:
Once you decide to dissolve your marriage, it's time to file for divorce. To do so, you must follow these steps:
Your divorce attorney in Minnesota can help you understand which forms to fill out and complete them more easily.
To file for divorce in Minnesota, you or your spouse must live in the state (or be a military member stationed here) for at least 180 days.
Minnesota is a "no-fault" divorce state, meaning that the only grounds you need to cite when filing for divorce is an "irretrievable breakdown of the marriage relationship."
In Minnesota, divorce and legal separation are fairly similar, the main difference being that legal separation allows you to remain legally married while living entirely separate and apart from your spouse. If you and your spouse are in agreement about going your separate ways, then it may be worthwhile to consider legal separation vs. divorce!
Legal separation allows spouses to resolve issues such as child custody and property division that are typically reserved for the divorce process while remaining married. Tackling these disputes during a legal separation can enable both parties to negotiate more calmly without the looming pressure of a divorce, resulting in more civil mediation or mutually beneficial arrangements.
Speaking of property division, Minnesota is fairly unique in handling the division of assets and liabilities. All assets and debts acquired during your marriage will be considered marital property, with the exception of gifts or inheritance. The court will then divide assets "equitably" among both parties.
It's important to note that "equitably" does not mean "half and half." For example, if you and your spouse own two cars, the court will probably give each of you one vehicle. However, if you only own one car, the court will likely give the vehicle to the less financially stable spouse to make their life easier post-divorce, rather than asking you to sell the car and divide the revenue.
If you have children, it's also a good idea to be aware that courts generally prefer a joint custody arrangement unless one of the parents proves themselves to be unfit as a caregiver. Courts are also generally more lenient to the parent who cooperates more with the court during the custody battle, so act accordingly.
Once you file your divorce forms with your court, you'll need to serve your soon-to-be-ex with a copy of the paperwork. You cannot serve your spouse yourself—it must be done either by a law enforcement professional, such as a sheriff, a private processing service or other third party. Your spouse must then respond (and can file a counter-petition-), after which the divorce process kicks off in earnest.
At Johnson/Turner Legal, we commit to being at your side throughout every step of the divorce process. We know that divorce is often stressful and, let's face it, scary. That's why, when you work with us, you don't just get a divorce lawyer. You get a full team consisting of a Minnesota divorce lawyer, two paralegals, a client engagement specialist, and a life coach.
We also use a flat-fee pricing model, so you know exactly what our services cost up-front. With us at your side, you never have to worry about how much a phone call with your divorce lawyer costs or whether you're getting price-gouged. We believe the old model of legal pricing is outdated. You deserve better, and that's precisely what we provide.
To us, no client is "just another case." Our team works with you to ensure you never feel alone and develop a comprehensive case strategy uniquely tailored to your needs. We're not just fierce advocates for your rights in the courtroom—we're the shoulder you can cry on. We'll shoulder the burden of your case, so you can focus on what's important: your health and well-being.
At Johnson/Turner Legal, our Minnesota divorce attorneys break down divorce into four phases:
Our four-phase approach allows us to be flexible when approaching divorce, ensuring we help each and every one of our clients tackle divorce in a way that suits them. There is no "one size fits all" approach to divorce in Minnesota, and our strategy lets us personalize how we handle every divorce from beginning to end.
Consult a Minnesota divorce attorney and get the support you deserve. Contact us online or give us a call at (651) 371-9117 today! We have divorce law offices all over Minnesota, including Forest Lake, Blaine, Duluth, Lake Elmo, Wayzata, and Woodbury.
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