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DIVORCE FAQs

HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO GET DIVORCED?


Often one of the first questions asked to a lawyer about divorce is "How long will a divorce take?".  On average a divorce in northern Minnesota will take 3 to 6 months depending on how well the parties negotiate with each other. In northern Minnesota the Court requires parties to take part in the Early Neutral Evaluation process (ENE). During an ENE the parties meet with an evaluator that listens to each of their concerns. The evaluator helps the parties and their lawyers negotiate a resolution to their case and gives a professional opinion of the likely outcome of the case if it were to go to trial. The ENE process saves the parties time and money.  If a case does not resolve and goes to trial the divorce process could take over a year or more. 


HOW OFTEN WILL I GET TO SPEND TIME WITH MY CHILDREN?


Minnesota requires that all parents receive reasonable parenting time that is in the best interest of the children. When determining parenting time a Court will look at the age of the children, where they live and go to school, health and safety issues along with both parents daily/monthly schedules. Parenting time is not related to ability to pay child support or which parent has physical custody. Having a parenting time agreement is essential to making sure a parent has regularly scheduled parenting time visits with their children and helps post-divorce communications between the parties. 


HOW MUCH CHILD  SUPPORT WILL I PAY?


Minnesota child support is determined by the following factors:


  • Each parent's gross monthly income (from all sources)
  • How many children live in each parent's home (do not count children who the parent has a court order to pay child support)
  • Any other child support orders for either parent
  • Any spousal maintenance orders for either parent
  • The amount of benefits from Social Security or the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs paid to a joint child due to a parent's disability or retirement
  • The monthly cost for both medical and dental coverage
  • The amount of child care costs
  • The percentage, or amount of parenting time awarded in a court order
  • If the parent is incarcerated, the ability to pay/minimum basic support calculation does not apply
  • The amount of Parenting Time per child, per parent


WILL MY SPOUSE GET 1/2 OF MY PROPERTY?


Minnesota is an equitable distribution state not a community property state. Equitable distribution means that the Court will divide the parties' marital property in a way that it determines to be fair unless the parties come to an agreement. Often a marital property division in a divorce is close to 50/50. Marital property is property acquired during the time of the marriage. Non-marital property is property acquired outside the time of the marriage or acquired with non-marital assets. 


WILL I HAVE TO MOVE OUT OF THE FAMILY HOUSE?


A common concern in a divorce is who will keep the family house. A couple of options exist. One option is the sale of the house by the parties. If the house is sold the parties equally divide the marital interest in the proceeds after all debts are paid.  Another option allows one of the parties to keep the house. In this situation the party staying in the house will be required to pay the other party 1/2 of the marital interest in the equity of the house. Equity is determined by taking the value of the house and subtracting any debt, which is often a bank mortgage. The final option requires the Court to decide value and possession.  This option often does not benefit either parties' interest.   


WILL MY BUSINESS BE AFFECTED BY A DIVORCE?


How your business will be affected by a divorce depends on the types of protections you already have in place for your business at the time of the divorce.  Generally, without any prior protections all or a part of your business will be seen as marital property and could be exposed to being divided during the divorce proceeding.  Our firm specializes in helping businesses set up these protections prior to a divorce and we can help protect your business during a divorce.



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