December 5, 2019

How Might Legal Separation Affect My Divorce Process in Minnesota?

Separating Before Divorcing in Minnesota | SchindelSegal, PLLC

How long do you have to be separated before divorce in Minnesota is a question with a simple answer – you do not need to be separated to divorce in Minnesota. The only requirement for initiating divorce proceedings is that at least one of the spouses must have been a resident in the state for 180 days or more. Legal separation in Minnesota is a distinct process that is similar to divorce in many ways.

What is a Legal Separation?

In Minnesota, a legal separation involves many elements of a divorce proceeding without the union being completely broken. As in a divorce, all assets are divided. However, since the union is not legally dissolved, you cannot remarry after effecting a legal separation. In other respects, a legal separation is very much like getting a divorce. It is not a required step on the way to divorce but in many ways an alternative. You can still get divorced later even after effecting a legal separation.

Pros and Cons of a Legal Separation

There are many reasons why a legal separation may or may not be preferable to divorce. These considerations are very personal to the situation and what is right for someone else may not be right for you. One of the benefits of legal separation is it is a way to effectively live separate lives – specifically including financial separation – while stopping short of actually getting divorced.

If you know you ultimately want to get divorced, a legal separation falls short of completely dissolving your marriage. A legal separation is not any easier to implement than a divorce, as assets and liabilities may still have to be divided and child custody and support issues determined. If you have plans to remarry, you may want to consider going straight to filing for divorce.

Some people do not want to get properly divorced because of their religious beliefs. Legal separation provides a means to effectively live separate lives without divorcing. A lawyer cannot speak to what is correct according to your faith, but can help with whatever course of action you decide upon.

Who Benefits from a Legal Separation

A legal separation can be very beneficial for a spouse who wants to be financially separated from their partner even if they do not want to go through the process of divorce. Without a divorce or legal separation, one spouse can remain liable for the debts of another. Legal separation provides all the protections of being divorced and allows the division of assets and liabilities to be properly and legally defined.

Contact SchindelSegal, PLLC Today

We have plenty more information on how to go about legal separation or divorce in Minnesota, and, if this is a step you wish to take, contact the Law Offices of SchindelSegal, PLLC for a consultation today.

Featured image: fizkes/Shutterstock