When it comes to divorce, Minnesota is an equitable division state, which means something different for each family, depending on all the circumstances. In an equitable division state, a judge will divide the property in a way that the court considers to be fair to each party but may not necessarily be exactly equal. Minnesota is also a no-fault divorce state. This means that you do not need to prove any fault on the part of the other spouse in order for a divorce to be granted. However, a no-fault divorce is still a complicated matter that requires the expertise of an experienced Hennepin County divorce attorney.
From Jane’s interview for the Masters of Family Law series on ReelLawyers.com.
- Is There Any Benefit To Filing For A Divorce Before Your Spouse Under Minnesota Law?
- Does Minnesota Recognize Spousal Maintenance, Alimony, Or Spousal Support Awards In A Divorce Case? If So, Who Generally Is Required To Pay?
The court can award temporary or permanent spousal maintenance in a pending divorce, if the spouse who is seeking it does not have enough assets to provide for reasonable needs, especially if they require training or education in order to successfully reenter the workforce. Maintenance will also be awarded if the spouse cannot work or if he or she cares for a child with needs that make it inappropriate for him or her to work outside the home. The judge will not consider marital misconduct when deciding on maintenance, but will consider the following:
- The financial resources of the spouse who is seeking maintenance
- How long it will take the spouse to get the training necessary to become self-supporting
- The standard of living during the marriage
- How long the marriage lasted
- How long a spouse has been out of work and the resulting diminished earning capacity
- Any loss of earnings forgone by the spouse who is seeking maintenance
- The age and condition of the spouse who is seeking maintenance
- The ability of the spouse from whom maintenance is sought to meet their own needs while paying maintenance
- Each spouse’s contribution to the marital property
- The contribution of a spouse who has provided childcare or helped advance the other spouse’s employment
How Long Will My Minnesota Divorce Take And How Much Will It Cost?
Minnesota has no waiting period for divorce, as long as at least one spouse has lived in the state for 180 days or longer. If any of the issues are contested, the process could easily take a year or even longer. The cost of your divorce will also heavily depend upon whether or not you and your spouse can agree on any or all of the issues. The total cost for a divorce in Hennepin County, Minnesota can range anywhere from $5,000 to $35,000, including your divorce attorney’s fees.
I’m Getting A Divorce. How Can A Divorce Attorney Help?
Divorce can be one of the hardest, most viscerally emotional processes a person can go through. It is difficult to end any chapter of one’s life, but ending a marriage can be particularly devastating. However, in some cases and in some ways, divorce can also be a source of optimism, hope, and a new beginning. It is not only the end of one chapter, but the beginning of a new one.
No matter what the emotional landscape of your divorce looks like, the legal landscape is almost always somewhat complicated. Divorce is a complex legal process made even more complex the more factors you introduce.
In terms of property division, Minnesota is an equitable division state, which basically means that the court divides property as it deems fair between the parties. This can mean something different for each family, but can often complicate matters when it comes to proving one’s case. Custody also further complicates matters, both in terms of emotional complication and logistical complication. Working out custody arrangements, as well as arrangements for visitation and child support, can be hard to even broach as a conversational subject, let alone trying to hash out the details in a court of law while also attempting to navigate the complex legal mechanisms at play.
What’s more, if there is any acrimony or disagreement between separating spouses (as there often is), the process can become strained, protracted, and even cut-throat and vicious. Courtroom or even pre-litigation mediation negotiations are emotionally charged in the best of circumstances, and divorces often don’t happen in the best of circumstances. Unfortunately, some parties use divorce proceedings to hurt their ex-spouse. In the worst cases, divorce proceedings can drag on for years, which can be devastating emotionally as well as financially to both parties, as well as any children involved.
An experienced, understanding, determined divorce attorney can make all the difference. They play many different roles throughout divorce proceedings. They can help you put your best foot forward, mapping out a strategy to get you to your desired outcome. They have been down this road before, and can guide you through each phase along the way. They can also be your advocate, and can fight on your behalf using their legal knowledge and experience.
In Edina, Minnesota, Jane Van Valkenburg is excellently suited to play all of those roles. Attorney Van Valkenburg is a 4th generation Minnesota family law attorney. Minnesota family law is literally in her blood, and it shows. A passionate advocate for the vulnerable, Jane Van Valkenburg has the deep, fluent legal knowledge, the courtroom experience, and the vigorous determination necessary to get results in family court. For these reasons, she has been selected for inclusion among the Minneapolis-area Super Lawyers every year for two decades in a row (2000-2020).