In Minnesota, an uncontested divorce occurs when both spouses agree on all major issues regarding the termination of a marriage, including, the division of assets, custody of children, and parenting time for each parent, and are ready to file their agreement with the court.
Although this can end the marriage in an expedited fashion, there are significant legal issues to consider to protect your interests. A Minneapolis divorce attorney at Milavetz Injury Law, P.A., can help you and your spouse prepare uncontested divorce paperwork in Minnesota and understand the issues at stake.
Divorce can be a stressful period in your life. The process often stretches out over months and years as you negotiate important issues such as child custody and division of assets. These disagreements make an already trying situation even more challenging.
When spouses can reach a mutual agreement, the process might be easier and less emotionally challenging. This arrangement is referred to as an uncontested divorce. In Minnesota, it involves the spouses filing a joint divorce petition together. Legal advice is still important in a divorce, even if you and your spouse agree. The family law attorneys at Milavetz Injury Law, P.A., can work with you to ensure you both understand the terms of an uncontested divorce in Minnesota and that it’s the best way to dissolve your union.
What Is an Uncontested Divorce?
Sometimes, when a marriage ends, the spouses can resolve all issues independently, without a prolonged legal process. If you and your spouse are ready to dissolve the union and you have already agreed on the major issues between you, it might be possible to have an uncontested divorce, also called a no-contest divorce.
In Minnesota, you must complete detailed paperwork about your assets, finances, and parenting plans for minor children, even if your divorce is uncontested. Doing this by mutual agreement can save you time, money, and emotional stress, but there are numerous important considerations.
Even though an uncontested divorce does not involve mediation or a trial, you might still want to consult a lawyer individually or together to discuss the terms you have agreed to. A lawyer can help ensure everyone in a consensual divorce knows the agreement’s effects now and in the future.
A Minnesota family law attorney at Milavetz Injury Law, P.A., can help you understand the options for such important issues as child custody and parenting time. Minnesota law has specific rules regarding children in particular, so it is important to ensure you both understand your obligations even when your divorce is by mutual agreement.
What Issues Are Addressed Between Spouses in an Uncontested Divorce?
You and your spouse must address several significant issues in an uncontested divorce. You can also choose to agree on other topics that are important to you and your union. Either independently or with the help of a lawyer, you can address:
- Division of financial assets and property
- Responsibility for marital debts
- Ownership of the family home
- Residence of minor children
- Parenting time for each parent
- Day-to-day decision-making about children
- Legal, medical, educational, and religious decision-making for children
- Spousal support or maintenance
You can also take this opportunity to make special arrangements between spouses. For example, if one spouse is a beneficiary of the other spouse’s insurance, they might agree that coverage continues even after the divorce.
What Is the Process of Getting an Uncontested Divorce in Minnesota?
So, how does an uncontested divorce work? Although it might be the most amicable way to dissolve a marriage, there are important factors to remember.
Even if you agree on all terms, you must follow Minnesota law regarding certain issues. Filing for an uncontested divorce is not as simple as signing a single form.
Disclosing All Required Information
Among the information you must disclose as part of an uncontested divorce in Minnesota are:
- All assets
- All liabilities
- Proof of income
All assets must be listed, whether owned jointly or separately. Even if the property came into your possession before the marriage, you must include it. In addition, all debts must be listed, even if the debt is only in one spouse’s name.
Income information is also required, even if both spouses have agreed to forgo child support. However, you might not have to give financial information if there are no children and neither party is requesting spousal support.
Filing a Joint Divorce Petition With or Without Children
Once you and your spouse are content that you have resolved all issues, you can file paperwork through Minnesota courts. There are two options depending on your situation:
- Joint Divorce Petition With Children
- Joint Divorce Petition Without Children
These forms ask numerous questions that eventually form part of a legal agreement. A Minnesota divorce lawyer from Milavetz Law can help you and your spouse understand the details in these forms and provide options for resolution if you disagree on any terms.
Participating in A Final Hearing if Requested by the Judge
Once you file the Joint Divorce Petition with the court, a judge may require a final hearing. If you have minor children, a judge will hold a hearing to review your agreement to determine if it serves the children’s best interests. A judge may also order a hearing if both parties are not represented by an attorney. The purpose of a hearing is to make sure everyone understands the agreement and is satisfied with its terms.
What are the Advantages of an Uncontested Divorce?
If you and your spouse agree on all the major issues, the divorce process can be much quicker than a contested divorce. In Minnesota, the process usually takes three to eight weeks. A quicker resolution allows for several advantages:
- A divorce can disrupt your financial situation, whether or not you are financially comfortable. A quick resolution helps you rearrange and reset your financial priorities with a new plan.
- A divorce can be very hard on children. An uncontested divorce can minimize the conflict a child witnesses between parents. With an uncontested divorce, legal mechanisms still protect the children’s best interests while shielding them from unnecessary friction.
- An uncontested divorce can cost less. Although legal advice can be essential in an uncontested divorce, the billable hours a lawyer must devote to your case will be much less. The result is a much smaller financial burden on both spouses.
A lawyer can help you to understand the options available to you, in particular when it comes to child custody and support. At Milavetz InjuryLaw, P.A., we can work with you to reach an agreement so the divorce process is as easy as possible during an especially stressful and challenging time.
Get Legal Advice for Your Uncontested Divorce
Divorce is never easy, but the process can be quicker and easier if you and your spouse agree on major issues. However, even if you want to file for an uncontested divorce, getting legal advice about your rights and responsibilities is a good idea.