If you or your spouse has lived in Minnesota for at least 180 days you can file for a divorce in Minnesota. This leads to the next question, what county can (or should ) I file for divorce in? If you and your spouse reside in different counties Minnesota lets you pick which county you want to file in (If you want to read the law it’s here). This can lead to an interesting question of which county to file for divorce in.
Metro vs. Non-Metro County
If this situation applies to you, it’s a difficult one. If you live in Blue Earth County and your spouse lives in Hennepin County, this is a huge decision. The reason is the process and timing are different for metro counties vs. non-metro counties. Hennepin county cases are heard in Minneapolis at the Family Justice Center (downtown) and can take longer to get in to your hearing. Also, Metro counties use a Referee (sort of a limited Family Law Judge) while most non-metro counties don’t (with Blue Earth County being the one notable exception).
Whomever Files For Divorce First Picks The County
Generally, the Petitioner in the divorce gets to pick the county. This is not always true, as it’s possible to argue over what is called “Venue”, that is the actual location of the divorce. If for some reason it makes more sense to have the divorce in one county over other it’s possible to argue the venue is inconvenient. This is fairly rare, but it is possible.
Does it Matter?
This is probably the best question to ask. Does it matter if you live in similar counties such as Nicollet or Brown county? The short answer is probably not. It’s a matter of control and of convenience to pick the county to have your divorce in. Some people might tell you it’s important because you get to pick which Judge will hear the case, but as my last post describes that’s not necessarily true. Talk to your lawyer, see what he or she thinks about it. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about your case.
Information obtained in mankatofamilylaw.com may contain knowledgable content about Minnesota Family Law that may be considered beneficial to some; however, in no way should this website or its contents be considered legal advice. Mr. Kohlmeyer is a Minnesota licensed Attorney and cannot provide legal services or guidance to those outside of Minnesota. If you wish to retain Mr. Kohlmeyer as your Attorney in your Family Law matter, contact 507-625-5000.