Even in 2021, certain myths about divorce in Minnesota and throughout America continue to persist. One of the most commonly misunderstood aspects of divorce is the idea of fault – as if one spouse has to do something abusive, immoral, or illegal before the court considers granting the divorce. In reality, you can seek a divorce at any time for any reason.
The History of At-Fault Divorces
Minnesota is a no-fault state for divorce, meaning there mustn’t be a specific reason for one spouse to file the divorce paperwork. This law was enacted back in 1974 to remove moral judgements from legal affairs.
Prior to the no-fault law, a spouse was required to prove that their husband or wife had committed one or more grievous offenses. This was difficult for either spouse to prove, but the law was especially hard on women who often weren’t able to provide evidence of infidelity or abuse and were forced to stay in their unhappy marriage. The shift away from at-fault divorce, which has now been enacted in all 50 states, has lowered both domestic violence and female suicide rates. Prior to these laws, many women were economically and emotionally powerless to prove their spouses guilty of bad behavior.
The Rise of Irreconcilable Differences
Now that neither spouse is required to prove wrongdoing, one or both parties can simply cite “irreconcilable differences.” This term means the spouses simply cannot get along well enough to stay together, or that they are unwilling to continue putting effort into the union. Irreconcilable differences could be used to explain character or lifestyle discrepancies between spouses, a lack of emotional support for each other, or even financial incompatibilities. Divorce courts want to make it easy for spouses who feel neglected, unloved, and unhappy to leave their marriage since studies have shown that staying in a bad marriage can be detrimental to the individual.
How to Obtain A No-Fault Divorce
Your spouse hasn’t done anything illegal or immoral, but you can’t stand to be in the same room as him or her. What can you do to obtain a no-fault divorce?
First, hire a divorce attorney who you feel can best address the unique aspects of your divorce. For example, some high asset clients feel more comfortable when they work with a high asset divorce attorney with years of experience. If you have children, you may be interested in a child custody attorney who can also help with your divorce. Think about the qualities you’d like to see in your lawyer. Then, schedule a consultation to see how you get along before signing a retainer agreement.
Once you’ve settled on an Edina divorce lawyer, you can file divorce paperwork with the family law courts in your area. An attorney will help you complete this paperwork properly to avoid any snags. If the divorce is not contested, you’re free to have an attorney draft and submit to the court the terms of your divorce to which you and your spouse have already agreed. However, if your divorce is contested, you’ll have to consider whether you’re interested in mediation or an in-court divorce. To learn more about your options when it comes to a no-fault divorce, contact Edina divorce attorney Beth Barbosa. Beth has been a divorce lawyer for decades and offers divorce coaching services to help you determine how to move forward if you’re considering filing for divorce. You can reach Beth at (612) 564-0137.