Minnesota is a “no fault” State. Simply put, this means that a spouse does not have to prove that the other spouse is “at fault” or has acted inappropriately to get a Divorce. In Minnesota, one spouse only has to assert that there has been an “irretrievable breakdown” of the marriage relationship and at that point, it becomes a question of when and not if the Divorce Decree is issued. If one spouse wants the Divorce and the other spouse does not, the Court still must issue a Divorce. Although “at fault” conduct is not relevant to the issue of whether or not a Divorce can be requested, it may become an issue relative to issues regarding custody (for example, one spouse could be neglecting the minor children or engaging in conduct that adversely impacts the best interests of the minor children involved in the proceeding). Therefore, it is very important to distinguish any “fault” conduct that may impact the best interests of the children for purposes of determining custody and parenting time of the minor children.
In Minnesota, one spouse must reside in the State of Minnesota for at least six (6) months before starting a Divorce proceeding. This is a “jurisdictional” requirement and cannot be waived. Minnesota Courts only have jurisdiction or power over people and property in Minnesota. Therefore, if there is real estate or other property issues that are out of the State of Minnesota, it is very important to get appropriate legal advice.