Divorce FAQ
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Divorce FAQ For Minnesota Families

If you are facing divorce or have another legal concern involving your family, you likely have many questions during this difficult time. Here, we address some common concerns people have when they come to our office.

What happens when I hire you as my lawyer?

Once you hire an attorney, they can file documents on your behalf and serve other parties with legal documents on your behalf. When you hire us, the steps we take for you will vary depending on the details of your circumstances. After we speak with you in an initial consultation, we can determine which strategies are right for you. Please see our family law overview for more information about our services and approach to divorce representation.

What will you do first?

The first step is to draft a petition for divorce, if you are the spouse initiating the divorce proceedings. We will serve your spouse these documents. This does not necessarily require a third party to deliver the documents as long as your spouse signs an admission of service. If your spouse has served you with divorce papers, we will respond to it and begin determining the disputed or undisputed terms.

Does it matter who files for divorce?

No matter who files the paperwork, the court treats both spouses the same. Whether you served your spouse with a divorce petition or they served you, the likelihood that you will achieve the settlement you desire from the court is the same.

How long does a divorce take?

There is no easy answer to this query. The average duration to reach an out-of-court divorce settlement about 12 to 18 months. In a divorce where spouses do not dispute any issues we could resolve it in a few weeks. However, if there are several major disputes, it could take several months – even years.

How is child support determined in Minnesota?

Minnesota considers the income of the obligor, or paying parent, when determining child support. The court has a great deal of discretion when issuing a child support order, including the custodial arrangement with the child and each parent’s income. The court references a guideline but can increase or decrease the amount.

Will I have to pay alimony? Will I be able to receive alimony?

In Minnesota, there is no guideline for alimony. Some divorces do not involve alimony at all. In others, particularly between spouses where there is a significant difference in income, alimony is more likely. Sit down with one of our attorneys to determine whether you will likely pay alimony and whether you have the right to seek it.

How does the state determine visitation?

If parents can agree on a parenting schedule, the court does not need to intervene to issue a custody decision. When parents cannot reach a compromise on parenting time, then the court will determine a parenting schedule that it finds is in the best interests of the child. Usually a neutral outsider such as a family therapist or a guardian ad litem contributes their input for the court. Then, a judge issues a final verdict, though either parent can later file a petition for a modification.

What is mediation?

In divorce mediation, spouses and their attorneys can work together privately to find an agreement on the issues of a divorce. This allows them to avoid a trial. Even in highly contentious divorces, an attempt at mediation is usually the precursor to litigation. In mediation, a neutral mediator assists both parties in communicating to reach a compromise on issues such as property division, custody, alimony and other disputed issues.

Speak With Our Knowledgeable Attorneys To Learn More

If you have questions about divorce, child custody, spousal maintenance or another family law matter, call 612-254-6409 or please contact us online. We offer a free initial consultation at our Woodbury office to discuss your concerns and determine how we may help you.

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