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An overview of divorce in Minnesota

On this Minnesota family law blog we've written about many specific issues facing divorcing couples in Minnesota, ranging from child custody to domestic violence to prenuptial agreements. And while there are a lot of details to keep track of during the process it is important not to lose sight of the basics.

Minnesota is one of many states that have a "no fault" divorce law. This means that the person seeking the divorce does not have to allege or prove fault on the part of either party. However, that person must assert an "irretrievable breakdown" of the marriage.

Divorce negotiations typically fall into two categories: financial issues and issues involving children. Financial issues that can be determined in a divorce include the division of assets and property, including the marital home, matters of spousal support or alimony, business interests, inheritances and debts. Even if an asset or liability exists in only one party's name, it may be possible to divide or reassign it during divorce.

Issues relating to children include child support payments and custody determinations. When determining custody, courts look at 13 factors outlined in Minnesota law to help them decide what arrangement is in the best interests of the child.

No fault divorce means that the other party can't really fight the divorce. The most they can do is try to make sure the terms are not too unfavorable to them. This is where an experienced family law attorney can help by helping either party negotiate the terms of the divorce and try to get a fair result.

Source: The Alexandria Echo Press, "From the Bench: Dissolution (divorce) in Minnesota," Ann Carrott, March 13, 2013

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