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”
I should note that 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 types of uncontested divorces are fast, quick and perhaps best of all cheap! Sounds good? How can you get one of these? Well read on and you can see if you too can get divorced in 7 days.
How Do You Get One Of These Uncontested Divorces?
What usually happens in an uncontested divorce is the parties talk about getting a divorce, divide the property, come up with how they want to deal with custody and parenting time issues and then, in Minnesota reduce it to writing, which is really just a fancy way of saying a written document. This can be the hardest part because you have to be very thorough and make sure nothing is overlooked when you are dealing with holidays times, child support, dividing the retirement and bank accounts.
Once the details have been worked out, usually one of the parties hires a lawyer and give the lawyer the agreements or the notes. This can be just handwritten notes or even emails, but it helps to get some sort of written documents so everyone is on the same page. 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 a divorce attorney but sometimes without one, and once the documents look good the attorney files the documents the court and will get a court date.
The next step can be a little tricky, if there are no kids involved in the divorce the judge usually reviews the documents and signs them without the need to go to court. Case over, quickly, cheaply and with little stress. 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 because the Judge’s schedule can get a bit busy and these types of cases often get a low priority. At court the Judge will often 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 Of The Divorce
What do these types of divorce 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 which is what the Court will charge you just to file the documents). This is not a small amount of money, but compared to a typical “nasty” divorce that can be $10000-$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 and you might very well be divorced in 7 days.
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.