Strong Advocacy | Personalized Service | Real Solutions

Hands-On Minneapolis Divorce Lawyers

When two people get married, they never expect a divorce to happen in their future. When a marriage does end, it is normal to feel overwhelmed, frustrated, angry or just plain sad.

At Burns & Hansen, P.A., we have helped a wide range of clients in Minneapolis and across the Twin Cities area overcome their most difficult divorce challenges. Family law is a major area of practice at our firm, and our Minneapolis divorce attorneys dedicate their full time and attention to every case they take. With so much on the line, we will work to understand your goals and build an effective strategy to secure an outcome you can be happy with.

What Is The Timeline For Divorce In Minneapolis?

Divorce in Minnesota, like anywhere else, is a multistep process that begins before filing papers. If you are considering a divorce, your first step should be to contact an attorney to discuss your situation and formulate a strategy. Once you have done this, the timeline will likely look like this:

  1. File a divorce petition.
  2. Wait for a response; in Minnesota, the respondent has 30 days to reply to the plaintiff’s divorce petition.
  3. Receive standing orders, which maintain the status quo for both parties.
  4. Go through the discovery process, where parties exchange financial information (and can subpoena each other if it is incomplete).
  5. Request, if necessary, temporary orders regarding custody, property and support.
  6. Negotiate important matters prior to trial. At this step, some couples may choose to pursue mediation or another form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) instead.
  7. If mediation or another form of ADR is not an option, begin the divorce trial, which involves a series of hearings.
  8. Finalize the divorce once all issues are agreed upon.

Keep in mind that you may need to revisit and revise your divorce decree after proceedings end. Change is constant, and developments in your life, your ex-spouse’s life or your children’s lives could make it necessary to reconsider custody and support issues. No matter whether you are thinking of divorce, filing or divorce or seeking modifications to your divorce decree, we can offer you skilled assistance.

How Long Does A Divorce Take In Minnesota?

If you are facing the end of your relationship, you likely want the process to end as quickly as possible so you can move on to the next chapter of your life. Unfortunately, sometimes it’s not that easy.

At the Minneapolis law offices of Burns & Hansen, P.A., we have helped people in the Twin Cities region and across Minnesota through a wide range of divorce challenges. A simple, uncontested divorce could take as little as four to six weeks. Some high net worth and complex divorces can take years to resolve. Every divorce is different, and many factors determine how long the process takes. Our attorneys can help your case progress as efficiently as possible while protecting your rights and fighting for your best interests.

How You Can Make The Process Faster

The shortest divorces in Minnesota are completed in about four weeks. To keep the process that short, you and the other party must agree on the terms and cooperate to reach a mutual agreement. These uncontested divorces simply need a judge to sign off on the agreement and enter the judgment.

Contested divorces usually take much longer. When you and the other party disagree on any of the terms of your divorce, negotiations can take months. Heavily litigated divorces can even take years to resolve.

To speed up your divorce, communicate with the other party and be prepared to make compromises. The sooner you come to an agreement, the sooner you can resolve your divorce and move on. If the other party refuses to cooperate or make any concessions, your choice of attorney can make all the difference in how quickly your case resolves.

How Do You Plan For Your Divorce?

Here are some general divorce planning tips. Remember, this is not legal advice but general information. If you are seeking legal advice for your divorce, you should reach out to Burns & Hansen, P.A., to discuss your specific situation.

  • Start organizing your financial documents: This can include anything from tax returns, mortgage statements, credit card statements, investment accounts, retirement assets, savings accounts, banking and checking records and any debts you may owe.
  • Gather and collect information about your children: You must also show information about your children for calculating child support, custody and parenting time arrangements. Items like medical records, school records, medications your child takes and other information pertaining to your child.
  • Recall and retain records pertaining to your spouse: You also want to show records related to your spouse for purposes of spousal maintenance, business valuations and property division. This can include any police records (if there was any history of domestic abuse), business records, emails and any other relevant correspondence.

Common Questions About Divorce In Minnesota

How is marital property divided in Minnesota?

In Minnesota, marital property is divided on the basis of “equitable distribution.” Note: “equitable” does not always mean “equal,” although in many cases an equitable division of assets and debts does lead to an equal division between the spouses. Please see our overview of marital property division to learn more.

Who gets the house in a divorce in Minnesota?

Minnesota couples have two main options for dividing real estate, both of which must occur in an equitable manner. Often, one spouse will get the house in lieu of other assets they would have otherwise received. Alternatively, couples may choose to sell their house and split the proceeds. A divorce attorney can help you determine which option makes sense, given your circumstances; they can also apprise you of any other alternative solutions that may be viable.

What qualifies a spouse for alimony in Minnesota?

Alimony, which is called spousal maintenance in Minnesota, is not guaranteed to divorcees in the state. However, people may qualify for it if they are unable to support themselves after a divorce, whether due to a lack of income or a lack of property. Spousal maintenance is often temporary in Minnesota, ending after a set duration, though it may be permanent in some cases, ending only upon the death of the payer or recipient or the cohabitation or remarriage of the latter.

The following factors are used to determine the amount and duration of spousal maintenance in Minnesota:

  • The ability of the potential payor to make alimony payments
  • The age, mental health and physical health of the potential recipient
  • The income and property of the potential recipient
  • The length of the marriage between the parties
  • The marital standard of living established by the parties
  • The role of the parties in acquiring marital property, in maintaining it, and in appreciating or depreciating its value
  • The time the potential recipient will need to obtain education or training that allows them to become self-sufficient
  • Whether the potential recipient sacrificed earnings or employment opportunities during the marriage

If you have concerns about whether spousal maintenance will be a factor in your divorce, a Minneapolis divorce lawyer can help you understand its potential role.

Contact Burns & Hansen, P.A.

Call 952-219-7897 or contact our office online to discuss family law issues, including divorce, legal separation, support, alimony, property division and other financial matters.

We also assist with prenuptial agreements and other aspects of family estate planning.