What Are the Steps in a Divorce Proceeding?

January 12, 2015  |  Elizabeth A. Schading

Divorce in MinneostaIn the state of Minnesota, a divorce is called a ”dissolution of marriage.” Barring a justifiable emergency, in order to be eligible for a divorce, either you or your spouse must be living in the state for at least 180 days. Just like in any other state
getting a divorce in Minnesota can be a lengthy process that may take several months to several years to complete.
We understand that the decision to divorce can be a difficult decision to make. The attorneys at Barna, Guzy & Steffen have over 80 years of combined experience in family and divorce law. If you’d like to speak with an attorney, contact BGS today at (763) 780-8500. Before we discuss the actual steps in a divorce proceeding, let’s cover a few basics.


What You Need to Know about divorce in Minnesota

  • If you have children or significant property, the divorce will be more complicated. If you and your spouse can come to an agreement on child custody issues and/or how to divide your property, the divorce can move along quickly.
  • If you have children, the court will require you to attend a certified divorce education program.

Steps in a Minnesota Divorce Proceeding

There are four basic steps in the state’s divorce proceeding:

  • Summons and Petition

To start the proceeding, you or your spouse will need to write a Summons and Petition. This must be “served” to the other spouse.

  • Answer

The spouse who was served the Summons and Petition must read through the paperwork and determine how to respond. If the spouse disagrees, he or she will have to write and then serve an Answer. If both you and your spouse come to an agreement, a final divorce decree may be prepared.

  • Court Orders and Motions

If you and your spouse can’t agree on the issues, motions and court orders will begin. Filing a motion will ask the Judge to decide on one or several issues in divorce cases. The court may issue a Temporary Order for child custody, spousal support, child support and some issues with property. It’s important to remember that this order is temporary and once the final divorce decree is issued, the temporary order will expire.

  • Issuance of Divorce Decree

Once all the issues have been settled, the Judge will sign a final divorce decree, and it will be entered by the court administration. At this point, your divorce is finalized.

Getting Help for a Minnesota Divorce

The divorce proceeding in Minnesota may seem simple and straightforward (and it can be), but it may be months before a divorce is finalized. The length of the proceeding and the number of hearings will depend on whether or not you and your spouse can come to an agreement on child custody, property and other issues.
If you can’t come to an agreement, the process becomes lengthy and more complicated, especially if children are involved. However, if you can agree on the issues, the process can shortened and less expensive with the outcome easier to accept.

Minneapolis Family Law Attorneys

Contact BGS Family Law today  at (763) 780-8500 if you’d like to speak with an experienced attorney about the specifics of your situation in the Minneapolis metro area.