While either party can file for an uncontested or contested divorce, it is always a good idea to consult with an attorney on your divorce before filing. Sometimes parties choose to start the divorce process on their own, either because they cannot afford an attorney, or they believe that they can handle the divorce on their own because they have a full agreement with their spouse.
However, attorneys can provide parties with valuable legal advice as to what they may be entitled to under Minnesota Law and the implications of their “agreements” with the other party. In addition, some attorneys may offer “flat fee” representation agreements in the event that the parties do in fact have an agreement on all issues. Under a “flat fee” scenario, the attorney will usually charge a set amount if the matter is uncontested, with the caveat that if the parties’ agreement falls apart, the matter will switch to the attorney charging a normal hourly rate.
Even if you start the divorce on your own, whether it is uncontested or contested, you can always retain an attorney at any point in the process. When in doubt, consult with an attorney.