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What does no-fault mean for divorcing Minnesota couples?

The word divorce usually conjures one of two emotions for many people. On the one side, people associate the word with hurt feelings and a contentious separation. For others though, divorce conjures feelings of relief and freedom. Regardless of this difference in feeling, both sides will agree that there is at least one thing they have in common when it comes to divorce: we all have questions about how the process will work.

Just like with the differing emotional responses, divorce also comes in two forms: fault and no-fault. Minnesota, like a few other states in the nation, uses the no-fault method when determining how the dissolution of marriage process will be governed. But what does no-fault mean for divorcing Minnesota couples? Let's take a look at the law and find out.

In states that use the fault method, married couples have to have a legitimate legal reason such as adultery or a conviction of a crime before they are allowed to get a divorce. Just like in other states though, the no-fault principle here in Minnesota means that couples do not need to have a reason for divorcing. In our state, most couples simply have to say that they are experiencing irreconcilable differences in order to get a divorce.

In states with fault divorce, a separation period is often required before a divorce may be granted. Here in Minnesota, this isn't the case, explains the Minnesota Judicial Branch's self help center page. There is a difference between a legal separation and a divorce though, which is something you'll want to discuss with a skilled family law attorney if you are unsure about the distinction and which one will work best for your situation.

Because not all divorce laws are the same from state to state, people who move to Minnesota may be unaware of what laws will apply to their situation. In cases like this, people often need to turn to a lawyer for help -- help our lawyers here at Groshek Law PA can provide.

Source:, "What to Expect…Divorce in Minnesota," Accessed Feb. 6, 2015

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