If you ask Google how long it takes to get divorced in Minnesota, some answers will suggest you can finalize your divorce in as little as four weeks to 90 days. However, that’s generally a best-case scenario. That timeframe exists mainly for uncontested divorces.
Arguments and other factors can greatly extend the duration of your divorce. That’s why the official website for Minnesota’s courts says the length of your divorce may vary based on your county and the issues you or your spouse choose to contest. Others have said a divorce will take “as long as the least reasonable person in the room wants it to take.” Still, there are a few steps you can take to increase your chances of a faster divorce.
Mediate your differences
Especially as recent difficulties have led to a backlog of cases, you can expect courtroom divorces to run longer than anything you settle outside the court. Not only can you start the process sooner, successful mediation tends to:
- Run faster than courtroom arguments
- Cost less
- Offer you more creativity and control
- Better protect your privacy
It’s important to make the most of your time. This means preparing the appropriate documents and establishing clear priorities. It may also mean identifying those places you’re willing to make concessions. Then, throughout the negotiations, your attorney can help you understand the legal issues and your rights.
Set clear priorities
Divorce touches on so many parts of your life that it’s easy to get lost in the details. These details matter, but they don’t need to serve as your starting point. Instead, you want to work with your attorney to set clear and reasonable priorities. This means:
- Identifying the things that matter most
- Understanding how the law regards those things
- Looking at the facts of your case
Child custody and property division are often top priorities. Parents want time with their children. Everyone wants to land on their feet with sound financial footing. It’s easy to trap yourself in either of these issues if you fight from your emotions rather than based on the law and facts. When you review the details with your attorney, you may better set reasonable expectations and strengthen your negotiations.
Make sure your attorney is on the same page
Your attorney can keep you informed of your legal rights and options. An attorney can also make sure you understand how the details affect your position. For example, you’ll want your attorney to help you review the tax consequences for the division of your home, retirement, stocks and other assets.
Although your attorney’s help is important, you drive the agenda. It’s your future at stake. You want your attorney to focus on what’s best for you, not on conflicts that could stretch out your divorce and inflate your bill. You deserve a no-nonsense focus on your goals. An attorney committed to helping you is likely to begin by listening carefully, then to proceed by giving you the information you need to make your own choices.