Going through a divorce is often one of the most emotionally difficult matters that anyone in Rochester, MN will face. Making the decision to dissolve a marriage is never a decision that someone enters into easily. Divorce often means that the parties will have to face issues surrounding property division, spousal support, child custody, and child support.
You should not have to handle a divorce case without the help of an experienced and compassionate Rochester, MN divorce attorney. A lawyer at Kohlmeyer Hagen can discuss your case with you today.
Steps in a Divorce Case in Rochester, MN
Divorce cases in Rochester, MN are governed by Chapter 518 of the Minnesota Statutes. What is the process for getting a divorce? The following are the general steps that need to be taken in order for a divorce to be finalized:
- One party files a divorce petition;
- Other party has the option to file an answer, disputing certain terms in the divorce filing or disputing other issues related to the dissolution of marriage;
- If the other party does not file an answer, then the case goes, by default, to a hearing, and ultimately to a divorce judgment and decree;
- In some cases, the parties decide to negotiate a settlement, at which point they can work with their divorce lawyers to come up with a mutually agreeable settlement, which will also result in a divorce judgment and decree;
- When the other party does not agree to the terms of the divorce and files an answer, there may be a temporary relief hearing;
- Contested divorces can also lead to mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), giving the parties an opportunity to come to an agreement;
- When parties cannot agree, the court will divide marital property, and, if there are children from the marriage, require a custody study and investigation;
- Contested divorces most often lead to a trial, and then ultimately to a divorce judgment and decree.
Divorce cases in Rochester generally are handled through the family court system within the Olmsted County District Court. A Rochester divorce lawyer can advocate for you every step of the way.
Dividing Property in a Rochester Divorce Case
Minnesota uses a theory of equitable distribution to divide marital property, which includes assets and debts. This means that marital property gets divided in a manner that is fair to the parties based on a number of different factors. A Rochester divorce attorney can say more.
How Long Will My Divorce Take?
The amount of time that a divorce takes can vary widely, depending largely upon whether the parties are expecting an uncontested or contested divorce. With an uncontested divorce, the parties have been able to reach an agreement about every aspect of the divorce, from property division to child custody.
Alimony in a Rochester, MN Divorce
Courts in Minnesota can order one of the spouses to pay alimony during divorce proceedings or once a divorce has been finalized. Alimony is also known as spousal maintenance, or spousal support. Spousal maintenance is only awarded when one of the parties requests it, and simply requesting it does not mean that the court will grant the request. Instead, the court looks at a variety of factors to determine whether the spouse requesting alimony needs that money to maintain a reasonable standard of living and to have the opportunity to get back on his or her feet after the divorce.
Generally speaking, a Rochester, MN court can award three different types of spousal maintenance:
- Temporary maintenance (typically while divorce proceedings are pending);
- Short-term maintenance (typically for a longer period of time once a divorce is finalized, but for a finite period); and
- Long-term maintenance (typically awarded once a divorce is finalized and for an extended or even permanent period).
To be clear, spousal maintenance can be temporary or permanent, and the court makes that decision based on specific factors concerning each party’s contribution to the marriage, as well as his or her financial need as a result of the divorce.
Matters Involving Minor Children in Rochester Divorce Cases
Child custody and child support are often contentious issues for parents with minor children who are going through a divorce in Rochester, MN. While an experienced family law attorney in the city can help the parties to work through disagreements and to come to a solution about custody, it is often necessary for the parties’ lawyers to advocate on their behalf during issues pertaining to child custody and support.
There are two types of child custody:
- Legal custody (making important decisions about the child’s upbringing);
- Physical custody (spending time with the child and making day-to-day decisions).
Custody can be sole or joint, and if a divorce case results in a child custody arrangement that becomes difficult, a parent may be able to seek a modification.
Find Out How We Can Help
Do you need assistance with a divorce case or another family law issue? An experienced divorce attorney in Rochester can assist you. Contact Kohlmeyer Hagen online today or call us at 507-625-5000 to learn more about how we can help.
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Jason Kohlmeyer was the best lawyer I could have hired for my divorce. He took the time to explain my options, told me my best course of action, and handled everything professionally and with the expertise I needed.L. Shea, Family Law Client
The attorneys and staff made my unpleasant divorce bearable. Everyone was always very friendly and professional. I would recommend this firm to anyone.Marty M., Family Law Client