My spouse and I want a divorce, but we just moved to Minnesota. Can we proceed?

According to Minnesota law, a divorce is referred to a “Dissolution of Marriage.” To be eligible for beginning the process, at least one of the spouses must have resided in Minnesota for at least 180 days. After this requirement has been fulfilled, the dissolution process may begin.

How does the Dissolution of Marriage process begin?

To start the process, one spouse will need to complete the necessary paperwork and then file it with the District Court that’s located in the Minnesota county where at least one of the spouses resides. If you have questions about what to expect from the process, this is a good time to meet with an experienced divorce and family law attorney who can guide you through the next steps.

What is Paternity?

The term “paternity” refers to the rights and responsibilities of a child’s “legal” father under Minnesota law. Although every child has a biological father, not every child has a “legal” father. For instance, if a baby is born to unmarried parents, the father is not recognized as the child’s legal father until paternity is formally established.

How can I get a genetic test to find out if I'm the father?

Sometimes, men are led to believe that they are the biological father of a child, but certain information may come to light that casts doubt on the situation. If you want to get a genetic test to determine whether you are the true biological father, you should reach out to a family law attorney who can direct you towards some helpful resources and help you understand your legal options.

What is "Parenting Time"?

Also known as “visitation,” the term “parenting time” describes the time that the a parent spends with the child. During a divorce or separation, the court or the spouses will create and agree upon a set schedule for parenting time to occur.

What is "Third-Party Custody"?

When someone other than a parent has custody of a child, this is called “third-party custody.” Typically, a grandparent or other adult family member can step in, either temporarily or long-term, to serve as the child’s custodian. This area of law can quickly become complex, so it’s best to reach out to a knowledgeable family law attorney to discuss your specific situation.

How do I get an Order for Protection?

If you are concerned about your safety, you can choose to pursue an order of protection from the court. You may work with an advocate or an attorney to navigate the process, especially if you feel frightened or overwhelmed. When you file a petition, you are asking the court to put protections in place to safeguard you (and any children or other vulnerable loved ones) from someone’s harmful behavior.

Once your petition is reviewed, the judge will make a determination and do one of three things: (1) grant you a temporary two-year order; (2) deny your request but allow your case to proceed to a hearing; or (3) deny your request because the information provided does not meet the legal definition of harassment.

Issues involving harassment and orders of protection can be difficult to navigate, so if you are struggling with a matter like this, contact an attorney to learn more about your legal options.

How does Minnesota define "harassment"?

According to Statute § 609.748, the state of Minnesota defines harassment as:

  • a single incident of physical or sexual assault;
  • a single incident of using someone’s personal information, without consent, to invite, encourage, or solicit a third party to engage in a sexual act;
  • a single incident of sharing private sexual images of someone without permission;
  • repeated incidents (more than one) of intrusive or unwanted acts, words, or gestures that have a substantial adverse effect or are intended to have a substantial adverse effect on the safety, security or privacy of another (e.g., repeated phone calls, following a person, repeatedly coming to the Petitioner’s home after having been asked not to do so);
  • targeted residential picketing; OR
  • a pattern of attending public events after being notified that their presence is harassing to another

The relationship between the parties is not defined, so anyone who is the victim of the above actions may choose to pursue a Harassment Restraining Order against the individual who is harassing them.

More questions? The knowledgeable family law attorneys at Frago & Lasswell P.A. have answers. Schedule your free 30-minute consultation with a dedicated Northfield lawyer today.

(507) 663-7998