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Grounds for divorce in Minnesota

If you have an impending divorce on the horizon, there are many things to consider. Before you can get to the negotiations over property division, child custody, child support and spousal maintenance, you first have to make sure that you will be able to satisfy the requirements for being able to bring the divorce in the first place. Luckily, in Minnesota it’s much easier than it used to be, and the requirements are simpler than they are in many other states.

No-fault divorce and the “irretrievably broken” requirement

Back in the day, parties needed to prove certain misconduct – such as infidelity or abuse – to qualify for a divorce. Nowadays the only type of divorce that Minnesota divorce courts recognize is no-fault divorce. This means that you don’t have to prove that there was any wrongdoing – only that your marriage is irretrievably broken.

If either you or your spouse denies that the marriage is irretrievably broken in an attempt to halt the divorce, then the other will have the burden of proof of showing that your marriage meets the “irretrievably broken” requirement. This can be done by showing that you have lived apart for 180 consecutive days before filing for divorce, or that there is serious conflict in your marriage that has a substantial effect on your ability to overcome your marital problems.

The residency requirement

There is a residency requirement for being able to file for divorce in Minnesota courts. Either you, your spouse or both must have a Minnesota address as your domicile for at least 180 days before you can file.

The purpose of this residency requirement is so that people from other states don’t come to Minnesota to take advantage of its divorce laws and then leave. It discourages this “forum shopping” behavior by making sure that parties to a divorce are really Minnesota residents at the time of the proceedings.

Divorce can be an extremely contentious affair and can sometimes be quite costly when drawn out in litigation. Fortunately, Minnesota’s no-fault divorce recognition simplifies the process considerably, so that you can get through it as quickly and smoothly as possible.