How does a Minnesota divorce case start?
Divorces start by serving a copy of a “Summons and Petition.” How the document is served depends on the facts of the case. Sometimes, I mail the documents to the other spouse. Other times, I must use a process server. The route I take depends on how cooperative (and urgent) the situation is. If possible, I prefer to avoid unnecessary drama.
Should I hire a lawyer or go to mediation?
Yes. And yes. Do both. Lawyers and mediators play different roles in the family court system. Some people are shocked to hear that I use a mediator on almost every case.
A lawyer offers guidance and advice. A mediator facilitates settlement.
A mediator should not recommend a settlement or advise you that a settlement is fair. If they do, they’re going beyond their role.
When selecting a mediator, it’s important to consider someone's qualifications. Not all mediators are divorce lawyers. Some are therapists. Others are people with an interest in family law.
None of these qualifications are always good or bad. But when I pick one, I look for an experienced professional with an established track record in family court.
How long does it take to get divorced in Minnesota?
Depends. How much disagreement will there be?
An uncontested case (meaning everybody agrees on everything) can be done fast. Usually two to four months. Contested cases take longer. A year. Maybe two year. And everywhere in between.
Do we have to go to court to get divorced?
Not always. It depends on the facts of your case. Ask me during your a consult.