Understanding the Divorce Process in Minnesota

January 19, 2023  |  Jason C. Brown

Legal disputes that involve loved ones can be extremely difficult to navigate and can cause a lot of emotional stress on everyone involved. There are typically many questions that can arise during the divorce process that involve child custody, what happens after the divorce, the trial, when the divorce is final, and many more. Divorce can, unfortunately, be a process that is long and drawn-out if the parties are not in agreement. Learn more about understanding the divorce process in Minnesota.

Child Custody Plans

During a divorce or paternity case, child custody is usually a top priority. In Minnesota, there are two different types of custody – physical and legal. Legal custody involves the ability of a parent to play a role in major decisions of the child’s upbringing, like education, religion, or medical decisions. Legal custody does not include the day-to-day decisions involving the care of a child. Physical custody of a child involves the day-to-day care of a child. This includes decisions regarding the child’s primary residence. When a custody plan is proposed, Family Court considers several factors relating to the “best interest of the child.” Some of these “best interest” factors include:

  • Parental history
  • The child’s needs
  • History of domestic abuse
  • The willingness and ability of each parent to care for the child

If you are in need of an attorney for your child custody case, contact the trusted attorneys at Barna, Guzy & Steffen.

Initial Summons and Petition

A divorce will typically begin when one party serves a Summons and Petition for Dissolution of Marriage to their spouse. The spouse will then have a 30-day period to serve the petitioner with an answer or a counter-petition. A counter-petition means the person who is served the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage also wants a divorce.

The Divorce Trial

When both parties are not able to resolve their disputes, a pretrial conference is scheduled to discuss their issues. After the pretrial, the court will set your trial date. During this period, both parties will continue to negotiate their disputes and disagreements through their attorneys. Your attorney will gather all necessary information and prepare witnesses for trial.

What Happens After Court?

After your divorce trial, you may seek a modification of child support, custody, or parental access. This typically arises due to changes in circumstances. The income, assets, and debts will also be allocated between you and your spouse.

Contact Barna, Guzy & Steffen

Understanding the divorce process can help you better prepare for potential trial by knowing your rights and legal obligations to your spouse. At Barna, Guzy & Steffen, we have a personalized approach to your situation, which makes your priorities our priorities. Our trusted divorce attorneys will work persistently and accurately to ensure your legal issues are resolved. Contact us today!