Overview

When one spouse lives in Minnesota and the other spouse lives in a different state or country, a number of issues may arise when deciding where the divorce should take place. Additionally, the laws regarding interstate and international child custody and other international laws may bring forward more challenging issues. For example, where the parties hold assets in a foreign country, valuing those assets may prove to be a challenge.

In order for Minnesota to exercise jurisdiction over an interstate or international divorce, at least one spouse must have lived in Minnesota for at least six months. Both spouses need not be residents of the same state or country for a divorce to take place in Minnesota.

If children are involved, the divorce will usually take place where they reside. However, the court also has the discretion to decline jurisdiction in Minnesota if it finds that another state would be more appropriate. One reason this may happen is because the divorce paperwork has already been filed in another state. Therefore, it is important that you consult with an attorney to get the paperwork served and filed as soon as reasonable if there is a chance your spouse will file for a divorce in another state or country.

Divorce laws are very state-specific, which means that the jurisdiction where your divorce takes place may be a very important issue for your case. You should also keep in mind that you may incur significant travel costs if you are required to travel for hearings. If you cannot afford to travel to these court appearances, you may be permitted by the court to appear by phone.

However, just because your divorce is taking place in a different state does not mean that you can choose not to appear at all. Failure to meet court deadlines or a failure to show up for hearings may result in a default judgment in favor of your spouse.

The challenges posed by an interstate or international divorce are best faced with an experienced attorney by your side. At Clausen & Hassan, our lawyers pride themselves on how they serve our clients. Please reach out today for your free consultation—you can call our office at (651) 647-0087 or contact us by email at info@clausen-hassan.com.