When one party wants to get divorced, there is no way to stop the process from happening. Minnesota is a no fault divorce state. All one spouse has to show is that there has been an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. The party choosing to begin the divorce process (the “Petitioner”) starts by having two documents personally handed to the other party (the “Respondent”): the Summons and the Petition. The Petition sets out the basic facts of the marriage and the parties. The Summons has restraining provisions in it, meaning things have to stay basically the same through the divorce process, and gives a 30-day time limit to respond to the paperwork.

If the Respondent misses the 30-day time limit to answer, the Petitioner is able to go back to the court, stating that the Respondent is in “default” and have the divorce processed anyway. You may or may not have to make a court appearance, based on your specific circumstances. Not all issues are always able to be resolved with a default, however. if you have property out of state, or children out of state, you should consult with an attorney. But the bottom line is not both parties need to participate in the process in order for the court to grant a divorce.