In Minnesota, the legal process of ending a marriage is called a “dissolution of marriage.” When going through a divorce, there are two main types of proceedings: a contested or uncontested divorce.
A contested divorce occurs when the parties cannot agree on all of the issues related to the dissolution of their marriage, such as child custody, division of property, or spousal support. On the other hand, an uncontested divorce occurs when the parties can come to an agreement on all issues without the need for a trial or court intervention. It is common for individuals in a contested divorce to agree on some but not all issues.
Understanding the differences between these two types of divorces is essential for anyone considering ending their marriage in Minnesota.
What Does a Contested Divorce Entail?
In Minnesota, a contested divorce occurs when the spouses cannot agree on one or more critical issues related to the dissolution of their marriage. These issues may include child custody, child support, spousal maintenance, and division of property and debts.
When a contested divorce occurs, the parties can go through a lengthy process to reach a resolution, which can be time-consuming, stressful, and expensive.
The first step in a contested divorce is for one spouse to file a petition for dissolution with the court, which sets forth the grounds for the divorce and the relief requested. The other spouse then has an opportunity to respond and can either agree or disagree with the allegations and requests in the original petition.
If the parties cannot reach a contested divorce agreement on all of the issues, the case will proceed to trial. Not all contested divorces go to trial. After discovery, negotiations, temporary motions, and evaluations by experts, many cases tend to settle.
During the contested divorce process, the parties will engage in formal discovery, which involves gathering and exchanging information about their income, assets, and debts. They may also need to attend hearings and mediation sessions to resolve their disputes without going to trial. If the case proceeds to trial, a judge will decide on all contested divorce issues which is binding on both parties.
What Does an Uncontested Divorce Entail?
In Minnesota, an uncontested divorce occurs when both spouses can reach an agreement on all essential issues related to the dissolution of their marriage without the need for a trial or court intervention. This step can make the divorce process and corresponding legal documents much quicker, easier, and less expensive than a contested divorce.
To begin the process of an uncontested divorce in Minnesota, spouses must file a joint petition for dissolution of marriage with the court. This petition must include a proposed marital termination agreement, which outlines how the couple intends to divide their assets and debts, allocate parental custody responsibilities (if applicable), and handle any other legal documents and issues related to the dissolution of their marriage. The parties can also file a stipulated judgment and decree that specifies all terms of their divorce.
In some cases, the court may require the parties to attend a brief hearing to ensure that they understand the terms of the uncontested divorce agreement and that they entered it voluntarily and without coercion.
An uncontested divorce in Minnesota can be a straightforward process, especially compared to the difficulties that can arise during a contested divorce. However, it is still essential to have an experienced attorney review any proposed uncontested divorce agreement to ensure that it fully protects your rights and interests.
Benefits of Representation
When going through a divorce in Minnesota, it can be beneficial to have legal representation. In this section, we will explore some of the benefits of having representation during a contested divorce or uncontested divorce and how an attorney can help you achieve the best possible outcome.
Benefits of Representation in a Contested Divorce
Legal representation in a contested divorce in Minnesota can provide numerous benefits, such as expert legal advice and guidance, help with complex legal processes, advocacy, custody, negotiation skills, and protection of one’s rights and interests. An attorney can also help reduce stress and emotional turmoil by handling communication with the other party, analyzing and drafting documents, and more.
Benefits of Representation in an Uncontested Divorce
Even in an uncontested divorce in Minnesota, having legal representation can be beneficial. An attorney can review any proposed agreement and legal documents to ensure it protects the client’s rights and interests, guide processes, and help prevent any potential complications or issues from arising. An attorney can provide peace of mind and ensure the divorce happens efficiently and effectively.
Work with an Expert Legal Team for Your Divorce Today
Divorce is a complex and emotionally charged process, whether it is a contested divorce or an uncontested divorce. However, having legal representation can provide numerous benefits and help ensure the best possible outcome.
Experienced divorce attorneys in Minnesota can provide guidance, support, and advocacy, helping clients navigate the system, protect their rights and interests, and reduce stress and emotional turmoil.
Whether a contested or an uncontested divorce is being considered in Minnesota, it is vital to seek the advice of an experienced attorney to help guide parties through the process. Reach out to M. Sue Wilson Law Offices to speak with one of our experienced team members today.
This article contains general legal information and does not provide legal advice. For legal advice, please contact M. Sue Wilson Law Offices directly.