Minneapolis Family Law Attorneys
Best Divorce Attorneys in Minneapolis Minnesota
Undergoing a major life change such as divorce or adoption can be incredibly intense and stressful, even when the change is for the best. Our Minneapolis divorce attorneys understand that you have probably not been through the legal system before. We take the time to carefully explain the process during every stage. Clients are always informed and involved, not only about the progress of the case, but also about the risks, alternatives and options for every course of action. We help you retain control in what is often an emotionally charged and complex time of your life.
At Beckman Steen & Lungstrom, P.A., we are here to guide you through these difficult times. Whatever the issue, we want the best for you and your family. Many of our clients are people with individual needs and circumstances. Our Minnetonka attorneys offer sensitive counsel and effective representation in all areas of family laws, whatever our clients’ situations.
FAQ About the Minnesota Divorce Process
What Are the Grounds for Divorce in Minnesota?
In Minnesota, a spouse can file for a divorce for either no-fault or fault-based grounds. No-fault grounds for divorce are based on the fact that there has been an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage, meaning that the marriage cannot be saved and there is no reasonable possibility of reconciliation. Fault-based grounds for divorce include:
- Domestic abuse
- Felony conviction
- Desertion for at least one year
- Drug or alcohol abuse
- Insanity or mental illness
It is important to note that fault-based grounds for divorce may affect issues such as child custody, spousal support, and division of property. However, the majority of divorces in Minnesota are filed on the no-fault ground of irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.
How Can I File For Divorce and Begin The Divorce Process?
If you have decided to file for divorce in Minnesota, you can follow these steps to begin the process:
- Meet residency requirements: In order to file for divorce in Minnesota, either you or your spouse must be a resident of the state for at least 180 days before filing.
- Determine the grounds for divorce: As mentioned earlier, Minnesota is a no-fault divorce state, which means that you don’t have to prove any specific fault or wrongdoing by your spouse to get a divorce. You can simply state that there has been an “irretrievable breakdown of the marriage relationship” and that there is no chance of reconciliation.
- Complete the necessary forms: You can obtain the necessary divorce forms from your local courthouse or online. The forms may vary depending on your specific situation, so it’s important to make sure you have the correct forms for your case.
- File the forms: Once you have completed the forms, you need to file them with the district court in the county where you or your spouse resides. You will also need to pay a filing fee, which varies by county.
- Serve your spouse: After filing the forms, you will need to serve your spouse with a copy of the documents. You can do this by hiring a process server, asking a friend or family member to serve the papers, or by sending them by certified mail with return receipt requested.
- Wait for your spouse’s response: Your spouse will have a certain amount of time (usually 30 days) to respond to the divorce petition. If they don’t respond, you may be able to proceed with the divorce without their involvement. If they do respond, you will need to work out any issues related to property division, child custody, and support before the divorce can be finalized.
- Attend a hearing: If you and your spouse are unable to come to an agreement on the issues related to your divorce, you may need to attend a hearing in front of a judge. The judge will make a decision on any contested issues and issue a final divorce decree.
It’s important to note that the divorce process can be complex, and it’s always a good idea to consult with an experienced Minnesota divorce attorney to help guide you through the process and ensure that your rights are protected.
How Long Does The Process of Divorce Take?
The length of the divorce process in Minnesota varies depending on several factors such as the complexity of the case, the willingness of the parties to cooperate, and the court’s docket. In general, a divorce in Minnesota takes a minimum of 30 days to finalize after filing the divorce petition. However, it can take several months or even years to complete if there are disputes over property division, child custody, and other issues that require litigation.
If the parties can reach a settlement agreement on all the issues, an uncontested divorce can be completed relatively quickly, usually within a few months. On the other hand, a contested divorce that goes to trial can take much longer, often over a year.
It’s important to note that every divorce case is unique and there is no one-size-fits-all answer to how long the process takes. Working with an experienced divorce attorney can help you understand the process and provide guidance on how to navigate it efficiently.
What Is Contested Divorce and Uncontested Divorce?
Divorce is the legal process of ending a marriage. In the United States, divorce laws vary by state, but all divorces fall into two categories: contested and uncontested.
An uncontested divorce occurs when both parties agree to all terms of the divorce, including property division, child custody, and spousal support. In these cases, the divorce process can be relatively straightforward and may not require the assistance of an attorney. However, it is still important to consult with a lawyer to ensure that all legal requirements are met.
A contested divorce occurs when one or both parties are not in agreement on one or more of the terms of the divorce. This can include disagreements over property division, child custody, and spousal support. When a divorce is contested, it can be more complex, time-consuming, and expensive. In these cases, it is important to seek the assistance of an experienced divorce attorney who can help you navigate the legal process and protect your rights.
Overall, whether you are facing a contested or uncontested divorce, it is important to have a clear understanding of your legal rights and options. An experienced divorce attorney can help guide you through the process, ensure that your rights are protected, and work to achieve the best possible outcome for your unique situation.
How Much Does Divorce Cost in Minnesota?
The cost of divorce in Minnesota can vary depending on several factors, such as the complexity of the case, whether it is contested or uncontested, and the hourly rate of the attorney(s) involved. According to a survey by Nolo, the average cost of divorce in Minnesota is approximately $11,300, including attorney’s fees and court costs.
However, this average cost can be lower or higher depending on the specific circumstances of your case. Uncontested divorces, which are typically simpler and involve less time and legal work, can cost between $1,500 and $5,000, while contested divorces can cost between $5,000 and $30,000 or more.
It is important to note that there are ways to keep the costs of divorce down, such as choosing alternative dispute resolution methods like mediation or collaborative law, which can be less expensive than going to court. Additionally, working with an experienced divorce attorney who can help you navigate the process and advocate for your best interests can help you avoid costly mistakes and disputes.
If you are considering a divorce in Minnesota, it is important to discuss the potential costs and strategies for minimizing them with a knowledgeable family law attorney. Contact our family law firm in Minnesota to get a better understanding of pricing as every client is unique and every family is unique as is our pricing.
What Is The Difference Between Legal Custody and Physical Custody?
In Minnesota, child custody is determined based on what is in the best interest of the child. The court takes into consideration several factors when determining custody, including the child’s physical, emotional, and educational needs, the ability of each parent to meet those needs, the child’s preference (if they are old enough to express one), the history of each parent’s involvement in the child’s life, and any history of domestic abuse.
Under Minnesota law (Minn. Stat. §518.17), there are two types of custody: legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody refers to the right to make major decisions about the child’s life, such as decisions about education, healthcare, and religion. Physical custody refers to where the child will primarily live.
The court may award sole custody to one parent or joint custody to both parents. In joint custody, the parents share both legal and physical custody of the child. In some cases, one parent may be awarded sole physical custody, while both parents share legal custody.
It’s important to note that in Minnesota, the court encourages parents to work together to develop a parenting plan that addresses custody and parenting time. If the parents are unable to agree, the court may appoint a neutral third party, such as a divorce mediator, to assist them in reaching an agreement. If an agreement still cannot be reached, the court may make a determination after a hearing or trial.
Best Family Lawyers in Minneapolis
Our family law practice includes areas such as:
- Child custody/Parenting Time
- Grandparent’s/Third Party-Child Custody Rights
- Child Support
- Spousal Support/Spousal Maintenance/Alimony
- Post-Decree/Divorce Modifications
- Collaborative Practice
- Domestic Abuse/Order for Protection
- Same Sex Marriage
These matters always have the potential to be highly contentious. Our lawyers are committed to developing creative solutions to family law disputes and are not afraid to be unconventional. We strongly support alternative dispute resolution (ADR) techniques to solve problems in a way that leaves our clients stronger, rather than damaged and exhausted by lengthy courtroom struggles. When a dispute cannot be resolved through other means, however, we are effective litigators, advocating for our clients in court.