Minnesota Divorce Steps

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A divorce is a legal matter which is handled differently in every state. Each state has a separate law section constituted according to its requirements. A divorce is granted on the basis of these rules and regulations. Minnesota divorce steps can be described as below:

Recommendations before beginning Minnesota Divorce Steps

It is necessary to remember that a divorce is not an easy decision for any couple. The spouses go through emotional imbalance and financial instability during the period of divorce case. Therefore, some instructions have to be followed while considering a divorce:

  • Compile the financial holdings of both partners
  • Open new credit accounts only in one's own name
  • Close credit accounts having joint names
  • Withdraw half of the money in joint bank accounts

Some of the documents encountered during Minnesota Divorce Steps

  • Petition and Summons: The divorce process begins with these two documents. After filing of these documents, they are served to the Defendant
  • Answer: The Defendant is expected to file this document within a stipulated period of being served the divorce documents
  • If the divorcing couple reaches an Agreement, the following documents must be prepared.
    • Order for Judgment
    • Conclusions of Law
    • Stipulated Findings of Fact
    • Judgment and Decree
  • Motion: This is a paper that requests the judge or the referee to take some decision about an issue in a case. For example, a Motion of Temporary Relief is used to request the court to award a temporary order regarding spousal support, child support, child custody, etc. This order remains in force till the final divorce decree is entered
  • The Final Divorce Document

Once the married partners have filed for a divorce, it is recommended that they should try to reach a just and equitable settlement regarding all the issues of divorce. They should take the services of an able lawyer who can guide them in this direction. A mediation and collaborative divorce can be the options if a couple is looking for an easy and cheap divorce. The first divorce step towards a settlement is called as Discovery.

Discovery Phase:

  • The divorcing partners collect all the relevant data to negotiate the divorce issues
  • The formal method of discovery is by making written requests to the other partner or asking and answering under oath
  • The informal method of discovery is collection of information by means of phone calls or letters
  • The divorcing partners can individually or jointly involve experts to resolve topics like child custody and / or property distribution

When all the relevant data has been collected, the divorcing partners accompanied by their attorneys, try their level best to resolve all divorce issues amongst themselves and draft an agreement. The agreement so formed is termed as a Marital Settlement Agreement. It comprises of various topics like maintenance, child support, visitation stipulation, custody, property division, etc. Both the partners must sign this agreement. It must be noted that this document is not regarded as enforceable and final till the court endorses it with a divorce decree. However, if all such attempts fail, the only road ahead is that of trial.

The nature of Trial

A trial involves the following:

  • Presentation of evidence- The spouses have to prove the grounds or marital faults that are mentioned in their complaint. They need to have enough evidences in order to present their side in the court
  • Testimonies of witnesses- Witnesses are requested to register their opinions at this stage. Also, they can be cross-examined by the lawyer of opposite side

The Judge studies the above to decide the facts of the divorce case and then issues the final divorce decree.

Post Divorce Steps

It often occurs that after a divorce has been finalized, the divorced partners experience the following:

  • Untenable visitation agreements
  • Relocation of one spouse
  • Alteration in income levels
  • There are legal errors in the judgment
  • There are faulty omissions of proofs in the judgment

These or some other conditions make the divorced partner feel that an alteration must be made to the original agreement. Then, this person must take the step of filing an appeal. This is not a re-trial. However, this is a re-examination of the basic case to locate any fault in the original judgment.

These are some most important Minnesota divorce steps. It is necessary to fulfill residency requirements before the applicant takes a first step towards divorce. A petitioner can opt for waiver for payment of fees if he can not afford to pay them in advance.

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