DIVORCE / DISSOLUTION OF MARRIAGE

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In Minnesota, a divorce is called a Dissolution of Marriage. A divorce may occur with or without children. If you have children, further information regarding the custody aspect of your case is in the Custody paragraph. A divorce can occur in Minnesota once either party has resided in Minnesota for the six months prior to the commencement of the divorce. Either party can obtain a divorce, and the basis is simply an “irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.” Minnesota is a no-fault divorce state.

At our firm, our attorneys do not advise as to whether you should or should not get a divorce, but rather, we help you obtain a divorce. This means we walk you through the process, providing you with legal advice and guidance along the way, and ultimately get you divorced by the Court. If parties are able to reach agreements on the family law issues, then those are materialized into writing and ultimately signed by the Court through a Judgment and Decree that is drafted by attorneys. If parties are unable to reach agreement on all issues, then whatever aspects that are not agreed upon-one, some, or all of the issues-would ultimately be decided by the judge at Court. A party can control getting a divorce-meaning they can always get a divorce-but cannot control the other party or attorney-so no matter how reasonable you are, you may still need a judge to decide due to the unreasonableness of the other party, for example. When this is the case, we are ready to fight in court and provide zealous litigation on behalf of you and what is best for your family.

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DIVORCE FAQ

 

I’M GOING THROUGH A DIVORCE AND I OWN A HOME JOINTLY WITH MY HUSBAND.  HE MAKES MORE 
MONEY THAN I DO.  WILL THE JUDGE AWARD HIM THE HOUSE?

Not Necessarily.
When a court divides marital property, it is to be done fairly and equitably.  This usually means 50/50, but not always.  If you spouse can better afford the mortgage on their own, that does not mean that they will automatically be awarded the home.  Depending on the circumstances, an argument can be made that with your income plus spousal maintenance, you would be able to afford the mortgage.  In the event that neither party can afford the mortgage on their own, which is very common, it might make more sense for the parties to sell the property and both separately move into something more affordable.  However, it might be that it would make more sense that one party keep the home because it has negative equity or the market is unfavorable at the time of divorce.

I’M IN THE MIDDLE OF A DIVORCE, SHOULD I FILE MARRIED FILING SEPARATELY OR MARRIED FILING JOINTLY?

It’s preferable to file jointly or as head of household, if you qualify, but in some circumstances, it is advisable to file separately.
I usually advise clients to have their accountant prepare them both ways, so you can have a better idea of what the tax liabilities or refund will look like in both scenarios.  At Molinaro Davis Law, we have a tax attorney who can prepare your tax return as well and advise you regarding this issue.  If there might be a tax liability for one of the parties or if you don’t think your spouse is being honest on the tax return, you might not want to file jointly because you are also liable on the return.  
It usually is more cost beneficial to file jointly, but there may be circumstances where it would be advisable to file separately.  You might also qualify to file as head of household and should seek advice regarding this issue.

MY DIVORCE WAS FINALIZED DURING THE YEAR, BUT I WAS TECHNICALLY MARRIED FOR THE MAJORITY OF THE YEAR.  
DO I FILE MARRIED OR SINGLE?

You would file single (or head of household).
If you are divorced by the end of the year, then you would file single for the entire year (or head of household in certain situations).  For example, if your divorce was entered by the court on December 26, you would file tax returns as single (or head of household) for the entire year.

MY SPOUSE HAD AN EXTRA-MARITAL AFFAIR.  CAN I BRING THAT UP DURING THE DIVORCE PROCEEDINGS?

Generally no.
Minnesota is a no-fault state; generally the causes of the failure of the marriage are not an issue in court.

MY SPOUSE MADE MORE MONEY THAN I DID DURING OUR MARRIAGE; DOES THAT MATTER?

Income, assets, and debts accumulated during the marriage are allocated between spouses.
During a divorce, the income, assets, and debts accumulated during the marriage are allocated between spouses.  It is presumed that both spouses share in both the assets and income of the marriage.  Each spouse must make a full disclosure of their finances.  In most cases, lifestyles will change after a divorce because there will now be two separate households, which are more expensive to maintain.

I JUST MOVED TO MINNESOTA; CAN I FILE FOR A DIVORCE?

Maybe.
One of the spouses must be a resident of Minnesota for 6 months immediately preceding commencement of the divorce.


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2809 Cliff Rd East, Suite 100, Burnsville, MN 55337

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