Minnesota did away with the traditional grounds for a divorce, like adultery or alcoholism by one or both spouses, in favor of a “no-fault” divorce. When you file a divorce petition in this state, you can only say that there’s been an “irretrievable breakdown of the marriage relationship.”
That doesn’t mean, however, that your divorce will proceed smoothly from there. A divorce can still end up being contested (which means it has to be litigated in court) if you and your spouse can’t come to an agreement on all the important issues, like the division of your marital debts and assets, how parenting time with the children will be split and questions of support.
The vast majority of couples try to end their marriages without litigation
Divorce is expensive, and that’s increasingly true with inflation on the rise, so many couples realize that it’s simply more sensible and cost-effective to negotiate the terms of their divorce without going to court. The more legal fees each side has, the less there is in the marital pot to divide in the end, and that’s problematic when you’re trying to start over.
In addition, uncontested divorces have the following advantages:
- They’re quicker: The hours you spend at a negotiation table with your spouse sorting out the details of your split are nothing compared to the days, weeks and months it can take to even get a court hearing. In a contested divorce, you may be looking at multiple hearings and many delays before your divorce is final.
- They’re more controlled: A negotiated agreement where both parties walk away satisfied can be endlessly more preferable than having a judge make all the decisions for them.
- They’re less stressful: It can be emotionally draining to go through a contested divorce. By nature, an uncontested divorce requires couples to take a cooperative approach.
- They help preserve relationships: If you and your spouse have children together, an uncontested divorce can set the tone for a positive co-parenting relationship and a civil post-divorce approach toward each other. This is important even if your children are adults.
If you’re approaching a divorce, don’t assume that the process has to be adversarial. Learning more about how divorce works and all the options ahead can make it easier to make informed decisions about your future. Seeking legal guidance is a good way to get started.