Minnesota Divorce FAQ
Our lawyers are here to help if you are facing a difficult family situation. Below, find answers to the questions our Minnesota divorce and family law attorneys are asked most often.
Podcast: Frequently Asked Divorce Questions
Should I Hire A Lawyer To Represent Me?
Hiring a good lawyer will do several things for you. First, because we are removed from the turmoil of your situation, we can offer objective and candid advice about your case. We’ll give you the good and the bad, without drawing on emotion.
Second, our lawyers can offer you a host of resources that you wouldn’t normally consider. Our practice maintains ongoing relationships with respected experts in the areas of real estate, accounting, taxation, custody evaluations, retirement and business valuations, and private investigators.
Third, and most importantly, our lawyers will level the playing field for you. Even the most controlling of spouses have little impact on the way we practice law. Someone must look out for your interests. We will stand up for you in a way that you may not be able to.
My Case Is Uncontested. Do I Need An Attorney?
Even if your matter appears uncontested, you should at least consult with an attorney. Our lawyers have the pleasure of speaking with potential clients almost every day. We often visit with potential clients who have already received an offer to settle their case from other lawyers. We have never encouraged a client to accept an initial offer “as is.” Quite often, the proposed agreements are one-sided – and not in favor of the unrepresented party.
Does Your Law Firm Take An Aggressive Approach?
Our lawyers are as aggressive as we need to be to represent your interests. We’re aggressive, but we also have common sense. Our lawyers always try the least expensive road to resolution first, while still ensuring that your rights are protected. In other words, we’re not likely to start out by hiring a pool of experts and noting the depositions of a dozen of your spouse’s closest acquaintances. If you’d like us to do so, that’s fine, but you must understand that it may cost quite a bit more to conclude your matter. Instead, our divorce lawyers prefer to contact the other side and see if they’re willing to talk about resolving the case. If they want to make the case difficult, we have the tools and experience necessary to deal with it appropriately and, yes, aggressively.
How Much Will My Divorce Cost?
The costs associated with a divorce vary greatly. Our lawyers frequently assist clients with cases that are uncontested for less than $2,500. But our firm has also handled cases in which the fees totaled in excess of $25,000. The total cost of your case will depend upon a number of factors, including:
- The issues in controversy;
- The county in which your case is brought;
- The judge assigned to your case;
- The experts that may be involved in your case;
- The temperment of the opposing attorney;
- Your willingness to settle the case; and
- Your spouse’s willingness to settle the case.
It is impossible to know in advance how any particular case will play itself out and, therefore, how much it will cost. The more willing the parties are to compromise and be flexible, the less expensive the case will be.
How Long Until My Divorce Is Concluded?
Cases that are uncontested can usually be wrapped up within two or three months. If your case involves contested issues, it often takes a year or longer for our attorneys to negotiate a settlement or try the case. You should be prepared to deal with your case for at least 12 months, unless you agree on everything with your spouse.
Can You Explain the Meaning of “No-Fault” Divorce?
In Minnesota, the divorce courts are not concerned about who causes a marriage to break up-whose “fault” it is. Rather, they simply acknowledge that one of the parties wants to get a divorce and deal with the consequences. While you may be rightfully angry about the way in which your spouse acted or treated you, the court isn’t all that concerned about infidelity, addiction or abuse – unless children are impacted.
What If My House Or Car Is Titled In My Spouse’s Name?
Many people are told that because an asset is titled in only one spouse’s name that it belongs exclusively to them. This statement usually comes from the other spouse-and they are usually very wrong. As a general rule, it does not matter who holds title to a piece of property. Rather, the nature of the property acquisition is what matters. Property purchased or paid for during a marriage will have a marital component subject to division (usually 50/50) among the parties. The exception to this rule involves non-marital property. Non-marital property is property that is acquired by one spouse, alone, as a gift or inheritance, during the marriage, or property they brought into the marriage.
Does Your Firm Help With Uncontested Divorce?
If you and your spouse agree on things, we can bring your action to close quickly, efficiently, and inexpensively. Our lawyers can assist with the drafting of all of the specialized documents necessary to present your case to the court and finalize your divorce. We’ve seen many parties who represent themselves turned away by the court for a failure to properly draft and submit their written pleadings. We’ll make sure matters are handled correctly the first time and that your rights are protected along the way.
Should I File With The Court Before My Spouse?
There are really only two advantages to filing before your spouse. First, as the Petitioner, you can choose which county to file in if your spouse lives in a different county. Certain counties have certain advantages. Second, if your case goes to trial, the Petitioner always presents their evidence first. The court will not favor one party just because he or she filed before the other.
What Can I Do To Stop My Spouse From Divorcing Me?
If you don’t want a divorce, but your spouse does, an evidentiary hearing will be held to determine whether the marriage is “irretrievably broken.” However, it is quite unusual for the court to deny one party’s request to dissolve the marriage.
What Happens If My Spouse Conceals Assets From Me?
As lawyers, we have a series of tools at our disposal to uncover assets and income. A party who tries to hide assets will not be looked upon favorably by the court. If property is uncovered after the divorce is finalized, the court retains the ability to re-open the case and dispose of the property in an equitable manner.
Will I Have To Testify in Court?
The fear of testifying is very real. But, most people have a false sense of what it’s really like inside a courtroom. It’s not like you see on television. You won’t see the crowd gasping at surprise witnesses, or dozens of curious spectators and media. In fact, you won’t even see a jury. Family cases are tried to judges. Still, this stuff is serious business. Our lawyers will prepare for you for all appearances and try to calm your apprehension. If it makes you feel any better, you should know that only about five percent of our cases are actually tried. Most of the time we can reach a fair settlement agreement, saving you time, stress and money.
Always A Free Consultation
Have additional questions? Contact the Brown Law Offices, P.A. today. We offer free consultations to all potential clients. Call (763) 323-6555, or complete our free case evaluation form.