Minnesota law provides a shortened process for obtaining a divorce if you qualify under specific criteria set out in Minnesota Statute § 518.195. The qualifications are very specific, limiting the applicability of this statute to more rare cases where the parties do not have many assets and have not been married for a very long time. Specifically, if you have been married for less than eight years, have no children, the wife is not pregnant, neither party owns real estate, have debts totaling under $8,000.00, assets under $25,000.00, and there is no history of domestic violence, then you may qualify for this procedure. The parties begin this process by filing a sworn joint declaration that includes all of the pertinent information. The parties also must watch educational videos available from the court. Within 30 days of filing the paperwork, the court will formalize the divorce through entering the decree of dissolution.

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This process is straight-forward and eliminates a real need to have an attorney represent either party. It keeps costs down when the parties really do not have anything to disagree over. However, every situation is different and it is always beneficial to speak with an attorney to make sure the process is right for you.

Benefits of the Summary Dissolution Process In Minnesota:

  • The divorce is processed quickly and efficiently by the court
  • The parties do not have to make an appearance in court
  • There are lower costs involved because the parties agree on everything and do not need any third parties involved in the division of property

Downfalls of the Summary Dissolution Process:

  • A third party does not review the agreement to make sure it is fair
  • The process is very limited in who can use it; only parties that agree on everything, have short-term marriages, do not have significant debts or assets, have no children, and have no property may use it
  • The court cannot divide certain assets such as retirement benefits and businesses
  • It is very difficult if not impossible to later modify the terms of the agreement

Contact A Minnesota Divorce Attorney to Discuss Your Case

Often when parties are getting divorced, there is a desire on one or both of their parts to rush the process and move on with their lives. This can be very detrimental to their overall financial wellbeing. Parties may not take the time to really compare or disclose all assets, including investment accounts, retirement savings, and personal checking accounts. Also, parties to a divorce often are not fully aware of what is considered marital property. It is important to seek the advice of a professional to make sure that the arrangement reached by you and your spouse is fair to you and in your best interest to enter into. If you’re facing divorce in Minnesota, you may have many questions and concerns. Contact our Minnesota family law firm today at (612) 294-2200 or in St. Paul at (651) 777-1811 to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced and dedicated divorce attorneys. The sooner you involve a lawyer, the better we will be able to gather supporting evidence and address elements of your case.