Divorce in Minnesota: How Long Does It Take?

Minnesota has a divorce rate of 9.7%, a figure that is at the lower end of the spectrum comparing multiple states. Though this may seem like a simple case, something that can be resolved in less than a year, it is not common to have divorce proceedings resolve before at least 6 weeks have transpired after Dissolution of Marriage papers have been served, and even afterwards, it may be difficult to see a judicial officer.

Minnesotan law states that one or both spouses must have lived in Minnesota for at least 6 months before filing for a divorce in the state. If neither spouse meets this requirement, divorce proceedings cannot begin in the state until 6 months of residency has occurred. Then, all hearings and otherwise must be done in the county the couple or individual resides in.

Because it can take time for a divorcing couple to come to amicable terms, the amount of time dedicated to finalizing the proceeding can vary. Usually, if both parties can come to an agreement, it will take at least 6 weeks to finalize, but can take longer if there is more arbitration or if complications arise. A case involving children can take a much longer time, as custody battles and disagreements can ensue.

The court will not finalize a proceeding until at least 30 days has passed, however. This is lengthened by an additional 20 days if a partner is in default or fails to answer the Dissolution of Marriage. Additionally, any major city in the state will have a waiting list to approve and process the divorce, as there are already many open cases that are pending resolution. If either partner decides on a trial, it will take upwards of a year to finalize, making the entire process lengthy.

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