There are many individuals who get married in a state other than Minnesota and then relocate to Minnesota. Similarly, many immigrants get married in their country of origin and at the time of divorce, may be Minnesota residents. In almost all cases, Minnesota will recognize a marriage which was solemnized in another state or another country, so long as the marriage was validly performed in the country where the marriage took place. Minnesota Statute 517.20 states as follows: all marriages contracted ……. outside this state that were valid at the time of the contract or subsequently validated by the laws of the place in which they were contracted or by the domicile of the parties are valid in this state.

The Minnesota legislature also specifically allows for civil marriages to be solemnized by a person who has the authority to do so in that particular faith. For example, Minnesota law allows civil marriages to be solemnized among Hindus or Muslims by a person chosen by a local Hindu or Muslim association, according to the form and usage of the respective religions. See Minn. Stat. 517.18, subd. 3.

Another reality is that when a divorce proceeding is commenced, the Petition for divorce must state when the marriage took place (date and place of marriage). The issue of whether or not Minnesota recognizes a marriage is only triggered in a divorce proceeding if the other spouse disputes the validity or existence of the marriage.

Sometimes, individuals also erroneously believe that they must have been married in Minnesota to get a divorce in Minnesota. This is simply not true. Minnesota only requires that one (1) spouse be a resident of Minnesota for six (6) months for a divorce proceeding to be commenced. If one (1) spouse has resided in Minnesota for at least six (6) months, a divorce proceeding can be brought in Minnesota. If you have questions regarding your specific situation, please contact Clausen & Hassan, LLC.

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