Ending a marriage is a tough decision, and the process of getting divorced can create a hundred even more difficult decisions. How do you resolve all of these complex issues? How do you know if you are getting your fair share? How do you stand your ground without an emotionally and financially draining courtroom fight?
At the law firm of Sheridan & Dulas, P.A., we work to demystify the divorce process by giving our clients the answers and perspective they need to understand their options, make meaningful decisions based upon the facts and the law, and engage in proactive and productive negotiations to avoid costly legal proceedings. We believe that by empowering our clients with information we enable them to make smart decisions for a positive future.
See what our clients are saying.
DeAnne, my thanks for all of your work and expertise. You never failed to inform and often spent time to calm my fears. You very generously guided me through a difficult time and process. Without your help I know I would not have the life I can now look forward to.
Andrew Hunstad is honest, truthful, knowdependable, always responds asap, and has made my divorce case the best experience I've ever had with an Attorney. With absolutely no thought I could get what was fair from the divorce, Andrew made sure I got what was fair and I'm extremely pleased and thankful. Hands down, Sheridan & Dulas is the #1 place to go to for your divorce case. If you're able to, ask for a consultation with Andrew Hunstad... you won't regret it!
Andrew Hunstad and the staff were helpful and responsive to all of my questions and concerns. They made a very difficult time for me as quick and as painless as possible. He is a real professional and made all legal matters a walk in the park for me. From the free consultation, all the way until the finalization Andrew and the staff were extremely professional and knowledgeable about the process. Highly recommend!
Mr. Hunstad - I cannot thank you enough for your help over the last few months. The divorce was difficult enough but it was easier having a lawyer that would tell me the truth.
Andrew was methodical and calm and wise and dug in to get the complete information, but remained calm and friendly and available to me as if I was his only client. In the end, he went to court without me even there. I met him once, briefly; which in hindsight seems outrageous for a person who's legal work amounts to several million dollars worth of settlements. I couldn't be more happy with what Andrew accomplished for me and for how kind he was doing it. I would highly recommend him to anyone needing a divorce attorney.
We wanted to sincerely thank you for all of your expertise over the past few years. We will be forever appreciative of the patience you exhibited toward us. We could not have done it without you. Your professional manner impressed us every step of the way. Thank you for taking such good care of us throughout a difficult process. You are outstanding at what you do.
Butterflies can't see their wings. They can't see how utterly amazing and beautiful they really are. But everyone else can. I believe you are like that as well. Your humility makes you shine and "fly with grace" in your practice, how you carry yourself, and by the words you choose so wisely. Thank you, DeAnne, for helping me along the way. Using kindness and words of wisdom has helped me let go so I can be free.
Mr. Hunstad, When we first met, we discussed my concerns related to the divorce and spousal maintenance, amongst other things. You were candid in your advice and told me what I needed to hear. Your understanding of the law and the emotions involved saved me from making a costly mistake. You literally saved me $7,000.00 each month. Thank you, again.
I friend recommended I talk with Andrew Hunstad after my first attorney stopped communicating with me. I decided to hire him to take over my case.. Andrew was very professional and responsive to my calls and emails. From the beginning, Andrew listened to me. I told him what was important to me and he did not forget. Divorce is not much fun but finding someone who can explain the law, communicate my concerns, and deliver made it easier. Take my advice, talk to him before you hire anyone else.
I hired Andrew for my divorce. I couldn't have made a better choice. His hard work secured maintenance and financial security for my family.
The attorneys at Sheridan & Dulas, P.A. are experienced in litigation based and cooperative divorces. We adjust our style and strategy to meet the particular needs of your situation. Our advocacy starts with the firm's value to always provide you with honest advice and information, whether you want to hear it or not. We will not lie to you about the strength of your position and drive the case forward to trial just to line our own pockets. We pride ourselves on providing the honest legal advice you need to understand what battles are worth fighting and which are unlikely to achieve your goals. By providing you with the information you need, we give you the tools to make decisions for your own life and your own family.
Contact Sheridan & Dulas, P.A. by calling 651-686-8800 now. Our family law attorneys practice across the Twin Cities, including Dakota, Washington, Hennepin, Scott, Carver, Ramsey, Goodhue, and Anoka counties, and in greater Minnesota.
In most situations, you will have to answer some difficult questions before engaging in the formal divorce process. The most fundamental question — which can involve various considerations — is whether you are ready to divorce your spouse. Situations occur where one spouse has the other served with divorce papers without any discussion, but in general, considerable conversation and soul-searching precede the decision to seek divorce.
Just a few of the many factors to consider are:
There are typically financial considerations that accompany a decision for one spouse to leave the marital home while a divorce is pending. You will need to decide if you want to file for a legal separation before you divorce. One of our attorneys can discuss this further with you, but legal separation is not a necessary step before filing for divorce in Minnesota. Often a legal separation will simply prolong the time before you are divorced and cost you and your spouse additional money. Some couples legally separate for religious reasons.
The documents that must be filed as part of a divorce are somewhat extensive, and with or without representation, you will need to gather all the required information. Information you will need includes:
Documents you will need include:
You will need all this information, and possibly additional information if you are attempting to file on your own. An attorney will need copies of these documents, and you should retain the originals in a secure location. Your spouse will be required to compile the same information.
If your spouse has already had someone serve you with divorce papers, you will have received a summons. This is a document that will be provided with the petition for divorce that will instruct you how long you have to file an answer to the petition. If you are the one initiating the divorce, you will have a summons and petition for divorce served upon your spouse.
These are the documents that begin the divorce process, and the spouse who files the original petition will set forth his or her requests for how he or she wants the court to handle certain matters that a divorce judgment decided. The petition will indicate how you (or your spouse) want the court to divide the marital propertyand debts, your requests regarding custody and visitation (also called parenting time) and sets forth any child support or spousal support (sometimes called alimony) being requested.
Whichever spouse received the summons will be required to file a response to the petition within the time set forth within the summons. Within this response, you (or your spouse) will respond to each request you have made to the court as to whether he or she agrees with your request, or if not, how he or she wants the court to decide the same issue. This response must be filed with the court, and a copy must be sent to the other party or his or her attorney.
Discovery is the legal name for the process that occurs after the petition and response are filed where both parties have the right to seek information from the opposing party. This is one stage of the process where an attorney is particularly valuable. Non-attorneys are typically unaware of the variety of options they have for securing information from the other party. There will be an initial exchange of documents, and then each side will have the chance to request additional information or documentation that he or she needs to make his or her case. This can be an extended process that involves multiple document exchanges and, in some cases, depositions. A deposition allows one party to take sworn testimony from the opposing party and other relevant witnesses.
If the parties — and their attorneys — cannot work out the details of the divorce, then the parties must go before a judge in divorce court to have the court decide the items that the parties could not resolve on their own. In general, parties are more satisfied when they reach a compromise on their own outside of court than when a third party makes a decision for them.
Once all the matters within the divorce have been decided by the parties or the judge, a final divorce judgment, or decree, will be drafted and signed by the judge. If the parties resolved the case by settlement, they will typically sign as well to signify their agreement with the terms set forth in the judgment. When a judge makes the final decision, the parties’ signatures are not necessary because their agreement is irrelevant. The parties are then bound by the terms of the judgment from the date it is signed. If one party refuses to follow the terms of the decree, the offended party can bring the offending party back before the judge for enforcement. Various penalties can result from the failure to follow a judgment.
A divorce is stressful, and understanding the legal requirements and ramifications of a divorce can cause even more stress. That’s why we put together this guide to help you navigate this difficult time with as much ease as possible.
In a Minnesota divorce, a family-owned or small business may be considered when the court divides assets between you and your spouse. Learn more about it here.
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