MINNESOTA DIVORCE MADE EASY. DOCUMENTS DONE RIGHT!
MINNESOTA 3STEPDIVORCE TM - KEEPING YOUR UNCONTESTED DIVORCE SIMPLE
This easy to use online divorce is a "do it yourself (without a lawyer)" solution for any uncontested divorce (with or without children) that will be filed in the state of Minnesota. An uncontested divorce is one in which you and your spouse are in agreement and eliminates the stress and expense of settling your divorce in court.
With 3StepDivorce TM you will complete and print your Minnesota divorce forms (including a marital settlement agreement) instantly. Then, follow our step-by-step filing procedures to file your own online divorce in MN in a timely, professional, and hassle free fashion. If you're not ready to file for divorce in Minnesota, learn more about getting your Separation Agreement or learn more about the basics of divorce in Minnesota . Also, If you have any questions try visiting our Minnesota Divorce Online Help Center .
Online Divorce FAQ: Minnesota
Filing for divorce can seem overwhelming. Like starting almost any other legal proceeding, it takes finding the right forms, filling out the forms properly, and understanding the court’s requirements for the next steps you’ll need to take.
Traditionally, most people have hired a lawyer to take care of all the legal matters in their divorce. But more and more Minnesota couples are turning to a much cheaper option that’s still easier than figuring out everything on their own: filing for divorce online.
If you want to know more, read on for answers to some of the most common questions about online divorce in Minnesota.
How Does Online Divorce Work in Minnesota?
Minnesota 3StepDivorce™ takes care of the divorce paperwork for you. Once you sign up for the service, you’ll answer some questions about your situation. Based on your responses to the questionnaire, Minnesota 3StepDivorce™ will fill out the forms that you’ll need to start the legal process of divorce (known as “dissolution of marriage” in Minnesota). You’ll be able to print out the forms yourself immediately or, if you prefer, get hard copies by mail.
Can I File for Divorce in Minnesota?
If you want to get divorced in Minnesota, either you or your spouse must have resided in the state (or been stationed in the state as a member of the U.S. military) for at least 180 days just before you file your divorce papers. (Minn. Stat. § 518.07 (2022).)
You must also be willing to declare in your dissolution petition that your marriage relationship has broken down, and there’s no reasonable prospect of fixing it. (Minn. Stat. § 518.06 (2022).)
Do I Need a Lawyer to File for Divorce in Minnesota?
Many Minnesotans are finding that they can file for divorce and get through the process without the expense of hiring a lawyer if they’re filing for one of the two types of uncontested divorce in Minnesota (more on those types below). Basically, an uncontested divorce means that the spouses have agreed with each other about all of the legal issues involved in ending their marriage, including:
how to divide their property and debts
child custody, visitation, and child support (if they have minor children).
If you still have disagreements with your spouse about these or any other issues involved in ending your marriage, you’ll have to file for a traditional, contested divorce. Because that will involve legal battles and presenting evidence and arguments at court hearings, it would be risky to pursue a contested divorce without a lawyer to navigate the process for you—especially if your spouse has an attorney.
Can I Use Minnesota 3StepDivorce™ in My Situation?
You may use Minnesota 3StepDivorce™ as long as you have an uncontested divorce (known in Minnesota as “dissolution by joint petition”) and meet the state’s residency requirement. You and your spouse must have a settlement agreement that covers all of the issues in your divorce. Minnesota 3StepDivorce™ will guide you through the process creating this agreement, based on your answers to the questionnaire.
What If My Spouse and I Can’t Agree on the Issues in Our Divorce?
Just because you haven’t been able to agree with your spouse about everything in your divorce, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to go through an expensive and time-consuming contested divorce. You could try divorce mediation. If you’re able to resolve your disagreements with the mediator’s help, you can then use Minnesota 3StepDivorce™ to prepare the written settlement agreement, along with the other divorce paperwork.
Can I Get an Online Divorce in Minnesota If I Have Children?
Generally, you can use Minnesota 3StepDivorce™ even when you have minor children with your spouse, as long as you agree on all of the issues related to your kids, including legal and physical custody, a parenting (visitation) schedule, child support, health and dental insurance, and tax deductions. Minnesota 3StepDivorce™ will allow you to address these issues in your settlement agreement and dissolution by joint petition (more on that below). We provide a standard parenting schedule, but you’ll have an option of customizing the schedule to meet your individual needs.
However, you won’t be able to address custody-related issues with Minnesota 3StepDivorce™ if the affected child or children don’t meet the “home state” requirement. Usually, that means the child must have lived in Minnesota with a parent (or a parent figure) during the entire six-month period before you file for divorce (or since birth if the child is younger than six months old). If you don’t meet the six-month rule, you should speak with an attorney to find out whether you might qualify for one of the complicated exceptions to this rule. (Minn. Stat. § 518D.201 (2022).)
Also (as explained above), you may not use Minnesota’s summary dissolution process if you and your spouse have children.
How Will My Online Divorce in Minnesota Deal With Child Support?
In Minnesota, both parents have an obligation to support their children. And like all states, Minnesota has child support guidelines for calculating how much support the parents should pay, based largely on their incomes and custody arrangements.
3StepDivorce™ provides the Minnesota Child Support Guideline Worksheets, so you can easily calculate the state's guideline level of support. You and your spouse may agree to an amount of child support that differs from the guideline amount, but the judge will have to approve your agreement to make sure the amount of support is in your children’s best interests.
In your settlement agreement, you and your spouse may include child support provisions that aren’t legally required, such as a parent’s contributions to private school tuition or the cost of a child’s college education. You may also agree on some specific questions like which parent will claim the children as dependents on tax returns.
Will We Be Able to Change the Amount of Child Support After Divorce?
After your divorce in Minnesota is final, you (or your spouse) may request a change in the amount of child support, but you’ll need to show that your circumstances have changed significantly. The judge will review your request based on the same legal requirements for an original child support order.
If you want to save the time and expense of a court battle over a request to modify child support, you and your spouse may agree to a modification and submit your agreement to the court for approval.
How Will Online Divorce Handle Property and Debts From Our Marriage?
When you fill out your questionnaire for Minnesota 3StepDivorce™, you’ll answer a series of questions about your separate and marital property and debts, including how you’ll divide your marital property and allocate responsibility for payment of the marital debts.
What About the Family Home?
If you own a home with your spouse, your agreement can spell out what will happen to it when you get divorced. Here again, the questionnaire will include a few questions about the property and how you’ve chosen to deal with it, such as:
selling the house and splitting the proceeds
transferring ownership to one spouse, with the other spouse receiving money or other assets in exchange for that spouse’s share, or
continuing to own the property together while allowing one spouse to stay in the house for a period of time (and, if so, how you’ll handle paying the mortgage and other ongoing costs).
What About Retirement Accounts?
In your Minnesota 3StepDivorce™, you may also agree on whether and how you’ll divide any retirement accounts that you and your spouse have, including 401(k)s, individual retirement accounts (IRAs), and defined-benefit pensions.
If you started contributing to the retirement plan before you were married, you’ll start by figuring out how much of its current value is marital property and how much is your separate property. There are experts and firms that will do this for you (for a fee, of course). The service is usually known as a pension appraisal or valuation. You’ll almost always need this kind of expert help when you’re dealing with a defined-benefit pension.
Once you know the marital value of your work-related retirement accounts, the easiest way to handle the division of the assets is not to split them but to transfer other assets as an offset. Here’s how that works: Say you have a 401(k) through your job, and the marital portion of the account is worth $100,000. If you and your spouse agree to divide that portion down the middle, and you have other marital assets to divide (such as a regular savings account), your spouse could receive an extra $50,000 from those assets while you keep the entire 401(k). That way, you don’t have to hire another expert to prepare the kind of special order that’s needed to tell the 401(k) administrator how to divide the account.
The rules are different for IRAs. You may simply agree to have your spouse’s share transferred to another IRA account in that spouse’s name. (You’ll have to submit a special form to the bank, along with a copy of your divorce decree.)
Can I Get Alimony With an Online Divorce in Minnesota?
When you file for a dissolution by joint petition in Minnesota, you and your spouse may waive any right to alimony (known as “spousal maintenance” in Minnesota), or you may agree on the specifics of alimony payments: who will pay, how much, and for how long. Your agreement may also state whether a court could modify alimony at any time in the future, and it could cover related issues like health insurance and life insurance.
The issue of alimony is handled somewhat differently when you’re using the summary dissolution process. Instead of including any detailed agreements about alimony with your initial petition, you and your spouse will state that you are preserving your right to spousal maintenance, which means that either of you could request it at some point in the future. (Minn. Stat. § 518.195 (2022).)
How Do I File My Divorce Papers in Minnesota?
When you get your completed forms with Minnesota 3StepDivorce™, your next step will be to file the papers with the court clerk of the Minnesota district court in the county where you or your spouse lives. You can either bring the paperwork and file in person at the courthouse (as long as you aren’t represented by a lawyer), or you may use the court’s electronic filing system. (Learn more about the process of filing divorce papers in Minnesota.)
How Much Is Minnesota’s Filing Fee for Divorce?
You’ll usually have to pay a court fee to file your divorce papers. The filing fees vary from county to county, but you can expect to pay somewhere between $300 and $400. You can calculate the exact fees in your county with this search tool.
Because you and your spouse will file the divorce papers together for both types of uncontested divorce in Minnesota, you won’t need to pay separate fees for one spouse’s petition and the other spouse’s answer. So the two of you can decide to split the filing fee.
What If I Can’t Afford to Pay the Divorce Filing Fee?
But if you can’t afford to pay the fee, you may request a waiver (known as “In Forma Pauperis”), by submitting a form (along with proof of your financial need) when you file your petition.
How Long Does an Uncontested Divorce Take in Minnesota?
Once you’ve filed the forms for a summary dissolution in Minnesota, the court administrator will look over your paperwork to see if you’ve met all the legal requirements. If so, the administrator will enter your divorce decree within 30 days, without a hearing. (Minn. Stat. § 518.195 (2022).)
A dissolution by joint petition could take a little longer to finalize. You may have to go to a court hearing to have a judge review your agreement and approve it (as long as it’s in the best interests of your children). That means you’ll have to wait for the court to schedule a hearing, and the amount of time that will take depends on the court’s docket in your county. However, you might not need a hearing if you don’t have children. (Minn. Stat. § 518.13, Minn. Rules Gen. Prac., rule 302.01 (2022).)
How Can I Get More Help With Minnesota Online Divorce?
Minnesota 3StepDivorce™ provides unlimited, live, person-to-person support for customers. If you have any questions about how uncontested divorce works, call our Minnesota Divorce Online Help Center at (888) 665-6782 (toll free), Monday through Friday from 8 am to 5 pm (Pacific Time).
Please keep in mind that we are not lawyers and so cannot give out legal advice. If you have questions about Minnesota law or need legal advice, we recommend that you contact an experienced family law attorney in your area.