How To Get Divorced In 7 Days*

Lucky Number 7

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.

Cost

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.

Jason Kohlmeyer

With over 15 years experience in high conflict family law cases, having received numerous awards, and a frequent lecturer through both Minnesota and the United States on family law issues, Jason has decided to help people through a blog, answering some of the most common questions that people have during divorce and family law. cases. http://rokolaw.com/southern-minnesota-lawyers/jason-kohlmeyer/ Remember this isn't legal advice. Just blog and attempts to answer general questions, for legal advice you need to hire a lawyer. If you're in Minnesota our firm would be happy to see if we can help you.

8 comments

  1. Hello, due to lack of funds I am going to try myself to file. However, when if comes to property I really dont want anything. I would like to relinquish all of it to her just to make it a fast break. Is there a way that can be worded so that the judge does not deny it because it looks “unfair”?

    Thank you

    • Matt,

      Thanks for the comment. I would not worry about it as you’re giving the court system too much credit. In my experience it’s pretty rare that the Judge will nix any deal that you both agree to, especially in your care where you are giving her everything. Don’t worry about it, it should be approved.

  2. Do you know of any lawyers in the metro area that will just review papers that individuals have completed? What would be their cost? My spouse and I have completed all of our information and agree on everything. I would just like to have someone go over the papers to make sure we are good before it gets to a judge so there are no questions or complilcations.

    • Diane,

      Thanks for the question. This a great, great question and I’m glad you asked. Let me answer it in the reverse order you asked it. You should have a lawyer review the documents, but not with your spouse. That way the lawyer can give you the inside scoop on if the agreement is going to pass muster with the Judge AND if it’s actually a fair/good deal.

      Next, I would say it should take about an hour or two, so a few hundred dollars. The problem you may run into is that many lawyers look at this as not worth the risk. You can certainly call around and find an attorney that may help you. I’ll send you an email with a name or two.

      Best of luck.

      Jason

  3. Do you have to have at least one lawyer involved? I’m curious if the papers couldn’t be drawn up without the aid of a lawyer and submitted to the judge…? The divorce lawyer I originally found wants a $2000 retainer fee. Should I proceed with a consultation or just begin the paperwork process on my own?

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