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Ed Shaw Law No Nonsense Legal Advice

Local Solutions For Local Problems

Navigate Your Divorce With Compassionate Legal Support

Dealing with divorce is not just about splitting up legally but facing a future that looks nothing like what you imagined. Although divorce can be emotionally draining, you do not have to go through the legal process alone.

At Ed Shaw Law, our Minnesota divorce attorneys understand the challenging nature of divorce and are here to guide you from start to finish, as we have done for many people with similar cases. Our experienced divorce attorneys have been serving clients in Brainerd, Grand Rapids and St. Cloud for over 40 years. We are familiar with the complexities and sensitivities involved in divorce cases and are ready to provide compassionate and effective legal support.

How Can Our Minnesota Divorce Attorneys Help You?

Our skilled legal team knows Minnesota family law inside and out, and we are committed to helping you get a favorable outcome possible. Our full range of legal services, customized to your specific needs, include:

  • Divorce mediation: If you want to avoid conflict, you can use mediation to work out mutually satisfactory divorce agreements.
  • Spousal support: Whether you are receiving or paying, we advocate for a fair arrangement for you.
  • Property division: Accurately evaluating marital assets, determining separate property and achieving equitable division.
  • Child custody arrangements: We help parents protect their child’s best interests regarding physical custody, legal custody and parenting time.
  • Prenuptial agreements: We can draft a prenup for you or interpret an existing prenuptial agreement in a divorce.
  • LGBTQ+-related family law matters: Members of the LGBTQ+ community face unique challenges, but we are proud to assist you.
  • Paternity rights: Do you need to seek custody or request child support? We can assist with establishing paternity.

We believe divorce does not have to be a battleground. In that case, our legal services can empower you to navigate this challenging time with dignity, clarity and a focus on securing a brighter future for yourself and your loved ones.

How Do I Start The Divorce Process?

Making the decision to dissolve your marriage is never easy. If you are considering this step or you have reached the conclusion that divorce is necessary, we can explain the process to you. This is what you should do to start a divorce:

  1. Begin researching divorce in Minnesota. Learn about the legal terms, the laws regarding property division and more.
  2. Look up divorce attorneys in your area. Your lawyer will sit down with you to explain your rights, your options and Minnesota laws in more detail.
  3. Make sure you meet the criteria for a Minnesota divorce. You or your spouse must have lived in Minnesota for at least 180 consecutive days and you must file the paperwork in the county where one of you lives.
  4. File your petition for divorce with the court clerk in your jurisdiction or that of your spouse.
  5. Serve the petition to your spouse. Someone else, including the sheriff, a process server, or a friend or family member can do this. You can also ask your spouse to waive the service of the summons and petition.

There are several additional steps before you can finalize your divorce. From attempting mediation to working out the details of the divorce arrangement, our team will be on your side from start to finish.

Frequently Asked Questions about Divorce

In divorce, everything can seem like an unknown. At Ed Shaw Law, we give clients the information they need to know what to expect for the prospect. Here are the answers to some common questions we get from clients. We encourage you to call us at 218-825-7030 to schedule a free consultation at our Brainerd, Grand Rapids or St. Cloud office to discuss your specific situation with an experienced lawyer.

How do I start a divorce?

Minnesota is a “no-fault” divorce state, meaning that you don’t have to prove any ground for divorce other than that your marriage has irretrievably broken down. You or your spouse must have lived in the state for at least 180 days before filing for divorce. If you meet these requirements, your first step will be to file a petition for divorce. If you both agree to it, you can file together for a joint petition. Otherwise, one spouse will serve it to the other.

Who gets to stay in the house?

One of the major parts of your divorce settlement will be the division of property. In Minnesota, the division of property has to be fair to both parties, though this doesn’t mean it’s a 50-50 split. If the house is the most important thing to you, you may have to let your spouse have other valuable property in the settlement, for example. As you begin the divorce process, you may want to write down which shared property is most important to you.

Who will take the kids?

This is typically the toughest part of any divorce, and the answer will depend on a variety of factors: the best interest of your children, their current relationships with you and your spouse, your ability to support them emotionally and financially, your living situations, your schedules and more. When possible, you’ll often want to find a way for your children to continue to spend time with both parents. Custody decisions are complicated, and you’ll want to work with your lawyer and your spouse’s lawyer to find a parenting plan that works for everyone involved.

Do we have to go to court?

Not necessarily. If you can reach agreements on custody, property division and other issues with your spouse on your own, the court’s involvement may be limited. Many couples involve a mediator to assist with this process, in addition to their attorneys.

Why do I need a divorce attorney?

If everyone played fair when getting a divorce, no one would ever need a lawyer. Unfortunately, divorce can bring out the worst in some, making legal protection extremely beneficial.

With representation, you have someone to negotiate on your behalf, ensure all marital assets have been accounted for and promote the best interests of any children you may share.

How long does divorce take in Minnesota?

The length of time it takes to complete a divorce can vary widely. Uncontested cases, where you and your spouse agree on everything, can sometimes be finalized within 30 days to a few months. Contested divorces with disagreements needing mediation or courtroom battles can take much longer.

What are the grounds for divorce?

In Minnesota, the only divorce ground is the irretrievable breakdown of a marriage. That means you do not need to prove spousal wrongdoing to get a divorce.

Is Minnesota a no-fault state for divorce?

Yes, it is. Unlike fault-based states that require specific grounds (such as adultery or cruelty), Minnesota’s no-fault approach can streamline the process. Couples can seek a divorce without airing private matters in court, and there is no mandatory separation period before initiating proceedings.

Many believe the seeming simplicity of a no-fault divorce means they face no risks, but that is not necessarily the case. If you have significant assets or children, an attorney can still fill a critical role of protection and support, helping to ensure a fair outcome for all.

How much does a divorce cost?

As in most states, divorce costs in Minnesota can vary based on several factors, such as the complexity of the circumstances, whether it is contested and the accumulation of court costs and fees.

Uncontested divorces tend to be less expensive, while contested cases, especially those requiring litigation, can drive costs much higher. Remember to consider these variables when budgeting for your divorce.

We Can Advocate For Your Fresh Start Life

Divorce is hard, but it is also a chance to start afresh. At Ed Shaw Law, we are more than just lawyers. We are here to help you through tough times and guide you toward a brighter future.

Call us through 800-507-0352 or fill out our online contact form to get started with our free legal consultation. Our family-friendly offices in Brainerd, Grand Rapids and St. Cloud are always ready to arrange a meeting with one of our skilled divorce attorneys.