- Fault- Minnesota is a no-fault state, meaning that a spouse’s bad acts during the marriage (addiction, affairs, abuse) are irrelevant. One spouse only needs to assert that there has been an “irretrievable breakdown” of the marriage. At this point, it becomes a question of when, not if, a divorce will occur. Minnesota courts will not hear evidence about a spouse’s misconduct when dividing property or considering spousal maintenance (alimony). However, spousal misconduct can be raised when determining custody and parenting time.
- Residency requirements- Minnesota has specific residency requirements before a person can file for divorce ˗ one spouse must reside in the state for at least six (6) months before filing. The case will be dismissed if this requirement is not met.
- “Title” in property division- Minnesota does not follow title in determining who receives a particular asset in a divorce. For example, Mary purchased a car while married to Bob. Mary and Bob divorce. The car is marital property because it was purchased during the marriage. This is also a common issue for retirement accounts, pensions, and debt. For instance, Bob invested in a 401K during marriage. Upon divorce, Mary has a claim to the 401K because it was earned during the marriage, even if the account is solely in Bob’s name.
- Gender preference in child custody- For purposes of determining child custody, Minnesota courts cannot consider gender. Instead, Minnesota courts must take into account several factors that affect the “best interest of the child.”
- Only those unemployed get spousal maintenance- In Minnesota, a person does not need to be unemployed to receive spousal maintenance from their former spouses. Minnesota courts look at a variety of factors, including duration of marriage, standard of living established during the marriage, and the other party’s ability to pay.
Minnesota Divorce Lawyers
At Clausen & Hassan, our Minneapolis divorce lawyers have experience with relevant state case law. If you have questions, contact us today for your free consultation about your specific situation.