Under the current Minnesota law, two parties are allowed to file a joint petition for divorce in Minnesota.
Furthermore, it is possible for an attorney to represent both parties in a joint-divorce. However, lawyers know that much cuation should be taken on the part of the lawyer.
This is because of the inherent conflict of interest created by representing two people in a divorce. Clearly, a divorce is a case of seperation and ending. Often, both parties don’t see eye-to-eye. Therefore, a lawyer knows that he or she must be very cautious when trying to represent both parties in a joint-petition for divorce. This is true even if the parties say that they are getting a long and have divided everything by agreement.
Requirement of a Joint Petition for Divorce in Minnesota
Assuming that the parties have figured out which lawyer or lawyers will represent them, they can continue with filing the Joint-Petition. The parties will want to have agreed on all important terms of the divorce. Such terms include:
- An allegation that at least one of the parties has lived in Minnesota for 180 days;
- The date of the marriage of the parties and the date of separation;
- An agreement as to physical and legal custody of the children (if any);
- An agreement as to child support of any joint children;
- An agreement as to spousal maintenance of the parties;
- An agreement that the marriage cannot be saved and has suffered an “irretrievable breakdown”;
- Whether any protection or harassment orders are currently in effect;
- Whether there are any other legal proceedings currently in effect in the state of Minnesota or elsewhere;
- Whether either party is serving in the military at the time of the filing of the petition;
- Whether either party desires to change their name after the divorce decree is entered;
- Whether either party is on public assistance;
- Information related to the husband and wife’s income;
- Information related to medical insurance of the parties and who pays for it;
- An agreement of the parties related to the division of marital property and debt.
Those are the initial items that must be considered and made party of any joint-divorce petition in Minnesota. There are other items which can and should be contained in such a petition and you should consult with a good Dakota County MN divorce attorney for further questions.
For parties who can agree to all of the above terms, they can proceed under the joint-petition laws in Minnesota. Assuming that the parties agree on all property issues, have no children together, allege that the wife is not pregnant, and the wife has not given birth since the date of the marriage to a child who is not the husband’s child, the parties may proceed with a joint-petition.
Upon the filing of the Joint-Petition, Agreement, and Judgment and Decree, and the Confidential Information Form, and notice to the public authority, the court will place the matter on a default calendar for approval without hearing pursuant to Minn. Stat. 518.13, Subd. 5. Finally, a Certificate of Representation and a Summons are not required if the Joint-Petition method is used.