According to data compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau, the divorce rate in Minnesota was 7.1 divorces per 1,000 women aged 15 and above in 2018. Going through a divorce can be emotional and overwhelming for everyone involved. Such a marriage dissolution can also have a significant impact on your family, children, assets, and finances. With heightened emotions and the psychological toll involved in a divorce, it’s easy to make irreversible mistakes without proper guidance or experienced representation.
If you live in Minnesota and you're thinking about filing for divorce, or if you're already in the process of one, it is important that you consult with a knowledgeable Minnesota family law attorney for direction. The Law Office of Glen A. Norton has the resources and experience to guide individuals and families through the complexities of divorce proceedings. Attorney Glen Norton is available to discuss the circumstances surrounding your situation and explore your available legal options. As your legal counsel, he will fight diligently to protect your rights, your best interests, and your family's future.
The Law Office of Glen A. Norton proudly represents clients in Minnetonka and the surrounding communities of Hennepin County, Eden Prairie, Plymouth, and Wayzata, Minnesota.
Divorce in Minnesota
Minnesota is one of the states that offer only a "no-fault" divorce option. In a no-fault divorce, the Minnesota family court can grant the divorce without necessarily going deeper into the issue that resulted in the marriage’s failure. The party seeking the divorce only needs to show that there's an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. You may show the court that:
You and your spouse have lived separately for at least 180 days.
There is a serious marital conflict that negatively affects either spouse's attitude toward the marriage.
There is no reasonable possibility of reconciliation.
Contested vs. Uncontested
In Minnesota, divorce may be categorized as either uncontested or contested.
In an uncontested divorce, the spouses mutually agree on the key terms of the divorce settlement. These include child custody, child support, property division, alimony, and parenting time. All terms agreed upon will be documented and filed with the court for official approval. A knowledgeable family law attorney can help protect your best interests and keep the conversation productive.
In a contested divorce, the parties are unable to agree on one or more key terms or provisions of the divorce settlement. This may require the court to step in to settle these issues. During a hearing, the judge will issue a decree and finalize the divorce. An experienced Minnesota divorce attorney can help present your case meticulously and maximize your chances of obtaining the best available outcome.
Minnesota is an “equitable distribution” state. In a contested divorce, the judge will divide the marital property — not necessarily equally, but equitably and fairly. Marital property includes all assets acquired, income earned, and debt incurred by either spouse during the marriage. Men are just as likely to receive ownership of the home as women. The following factors may be considered by the judge during asset division:
The length of the marriage
Any prior marriages
The age, mental health, and physical condition of each spouse
The occupation and other sources of income of each spouse
The vocational skills, employability, estate, liabilities, and needs of each spouse
Each spouse's contribution to the acquisition, preservation, and appreciation or depreciation of the marital property
The contribution of a spouse as a homemaker
Child Support and Parenting Plans
Before the divorce is finalized, issues such as alimony, child support, and custody must be settled.
Alimony (also known as spousal support or spousal maintenance) is a court-ordered payment from the higher-earning spouse to the lower- or non-earning spouse. The purpose of spousal maintenance is to help the receiving spouse cover living expenses and maintain something similar to the standard of living they had during the marriage for a particular period. Gender is not a factor when determining alimony. The following factors may be considered by the court to determine the amount, type, and duration of alimony:
The length of the marriage
The assets, financial resources, and debts of the requesting spouse
The standard of living during the marriage
The age, physical, and emotional condition of the requesting spouse
The amount of time required for the requesting spouse to acquire sufficient education, skill, or training to find employment and become self-supporting
The current and potential income of each spouse, including future earning ability
The contribution of each spouse to the marriage
Child support is a monthly payment made by the non-custodial parent to the parent with primary physical custody, to help cover the costs of raising their child. The Minnesota child support guidelines are often used to determine the amount of child support payments. Depending on the child's best interest, the following factors may be considered:
The financial resources and circumstances of each parent
The physical, emotional, educational, and financial needs of the child
The child's standard of living if the parents were still married
The ability of the parent to pay child support
The parent who receives the income tax dependency exemption and the financial benefit received from it
The parents' debts and liability
In Minnesota, physical custody and legal custody are determined by the best interests and welfare of the child. The following factors may be considered by the court to award custody in the child's best interests:
The child's reasonable preference for custody
The parents' wishes
The child's primary caretaker
The attachment and closeness of each child-parent relationship
The interaction and interrelationship of the child with the parents, siblings, and other close relatives
The ability of the child to adjust to a new home, school, and community
The desirability to maintain continuity of living in a stable, satisfactory environment
The physical and mental health of all parties involved
The ability of each parent to give the child love, affection, and guidance
The child's cultural background
The ability and willingness of each parent to communicate and cooperate
Any history of domestic violence, drug use, misconduct, addiction, neglect, or abuse by either of the parents
Work with an Experienced
Family Law Attorney
Filing for divorce in Minnesota involves a lot of complicated procedures. Negotiating a divorce settlement with your ex-spouse and trying to resolve issues of asset division, alimony, child custody, support, and parenting time can make the entire process even more stressful and overwhelming. When considering a divorce, consulting with an experienced family law attorney is crucial for proper guidance and to help simplify the process.
Attorney Glen Norton is dedicated to offering comprehensive legal guidance, support, and advocacy in family law matters, including divorce, property division, alimony, child custody, and child support. As your legal counsel, he can evaluate your situation and help determine the best course of action. He will work diligently with all parties involved to settle divorce issues peacefully and help you move forward quickly. Using his extensive experience, he will fight compassionately to protect the legal rights, best interests, and future of you and your family.
Contact The Law Office of Glen A. Norton today to schedule a consultation with an experienced divorce attorney. Attorney Glen Norton proudly represents individuals and families in Minnetonka, Hennepin County, Eden Prairie, Plymouth, and Wayzata, Minnesota.