Is that possible? Can you really get divorced in 7 days in Minnesota? Well, the answer is…sort of. Let me explain a little, in Minnesota, we often call divorces that are settled immediately and without conflict “uncontested divorces” (this is really a misnomer, as a contested divorce technically is what happens when one spouse does not want to get divorced and you live in a fault state, which Minnesota is not, but we still all call them uncontested divorces). These divorces are fast, quick and cheap! Sounds good? How can you get learn more? Keep reading.
How Do You Get One Of These Uncontested Divorces?
What usually happens in a uncontested divorce is the parties talk about the divorce, divide up property, come up with how they want to deal with custody and parenting time issues in Minnesota and then reduce it to writing. This can be the hardest part because you have to be very thorough, dealing with holidays times, child support, dividing the retirement and bank accounts.
Once the details have generally been worked out usually one of the parties hires a lawyer and give the lawyer the agreements. This can be just handwritten notes or even emails. The lawyer then draws up the legal documents which sets out these agreements. Once this is done, the other spouse reviews the documents, sometimes with an attorney but often without one, and once the documents look good the attorney files with the court.
The next step can be a little tricky, if there are no kids the judge usually reviews the documents and signs them. Case over. However, if you have kids and there is only one attorney on the case you will probably have to go to court and appear in front of the Judge. This is what can take some time and may delay your divorce for a month or so. At court the Judge will usually ask questions just to make sure that everyone understands what they are agreeing too. IMPORTANT: The Judge is not your lawyer, they rarely (if ever) inquire if the deal is fair, their job is simply to make sure the law is followed and since everyone is an adult the Judge usually won’t spend much, if any, time seeing if its a good deal or a fair deal.
What do they cost? Well, the cost can be all over the board, but I believe most of these types of divorces are from $750-$1,500 (not counting the approximately $400 filing fee). This is not a small amount of money, but compared to a typical “nasty” divorce that can be $5000-$20,000 it’s a steal.
There you go, one option if you are contemplating divorce is to talk to your spouse, settle the case then go to a lawyer.
If you have any questions please feel free to post a comment or to email me at Jkohlmeyer@rokolaw.com.
*Because lawyers like disclaimers, let me say that this isn’t really a how to guide. Instead, it’s an overview of an uncontested divorce in Minnesota, I just thought this title was a little catchier.