Fault vs. No-Fault Divorce can be confusing. Minnesota is a no-fault divorce state. What does that mean? What is the difference between fault and no-fault divorce?

Grounds for divorce

This is the difference between fault and no-fault divorce. With fault divorce, the person who is filing for divorce is saying it is their spouse’s fault that the marriage fell apart, and then they give the reason why this is the case. That reason is what is known as “grounds for divorce.”

The traditional fault grounds are:

  •         adultery
  •         desertion
  •         confinement in prison
  •         physical inability to engage in sexual intercourse (if it was not disclosed before marriage)
  •         cruelty (emotional or physical abuse) — this is the most common ground for divorce

No-Fault Divorce

All states allow no-fault-divorce. In this type of divorce, no one needs to have done anything in particular as grounds for divorce. It is sufficient to tell the court that your marriage has fallen apart and that there is no repairing it. Often you will hear this referred to as “irreconcilable differences.” Some states will require that the parties spend a specified number of months living apart before the divorce is granted.

Divorce in Minnesota

Minnesota is a no-fault divorce state that doesn’t require a waiting period to file. You must fulfill the residency requirement, which means that you are in the military with Minnesota listed as your state of residency, or you must have lived in Minnesota for 180 days before petitioning the court for a divorce.

Benefits to no-fault divorce include reducing the tension that arises when parties start pointing fingers. If you have children, this is especially important.

Can one party contest the divorce?

If one party files for divorce, the other is unable to contest it. If they were to do this, it would be an irreconcilable difference, fulfilling the no-fault requirement. As painful as divorce is, once one person files, the only thing that you can do about it is to protect your assets and try to agree on a settlement with which everyone can live.

How long will my divorce take?

Every divorce is different. Factors such as assets, income, debt, and, most importantly, children are variables that must be taken into account. Depending on these factors, your divorce can be as simple as having your lawyer handle all of the footwork. It could also be complicated, requiring you to appear several times before the court over many months of sorting through the details before your divorce is finalized.

You must have an experienced team of attorneys who are looking out for your best interests during this difficult time. If you are considering filing for divorce, or if you have been served divorce papers, call us immediately for a free consultation.

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