Common Questions And Answers About Divorce
We have all heard scary statistics about how many marriages end in divorce. We have all seen news reports about celebrity splits and giant settlements. However, many of us don’t think a lot about the details of divorce until we go through the process ourselves.
Below are answers to some frequently asked questions.
Who Gets The House?
This is one of the most commonly asked questions about divorce, and for good reason: For most married couples, a home represents their single greatest asset. Many people assume that because the title of the home is in one spouse’s name, that spouse gets to keep the home, but that is not necessarily the case. Generally, both spouses have rights to the home, no matter whose name is on the deed.
Typically, the value of the home must be divided between the parties. Divorcing couples usually accomplish this either by selling the home and dividing the proceeds or by working out an arrangement in which one spouse effectively buys out the other’s share. The division may be 50-50 or it may be a very different ratio, according to the details of the property division or the determination of the court.
How Long Does A Divorce Take?
Many states have waiting periods and other requirements that can delay a divorce. In Minnesota, a divorce can take as little as six weeks or as long as a year or more. A court can issue a divorce decree at any time after the paperwork has been filed. In uncontested divorce cases, this typically means the divorce is finalized somewhere between 30 and 90 days after the paperwork has been filed. Note, however, that at least one of the spouses must have lived in Minnesota for at least 180 days prior to filing for divorce.
Divorces take longer when more litigation is involved. Cases involving parents of young children typically require more time to settle child custody and child support issues. High-asset divorce typically takes longer because it involves more complex property division.
Do I Need A Lawyer To Divorce?
Minnesota courts recognize that some people cannot afford a lawyer, and so they provide resources for people to represent themselves in divorce. In uncontested divorces with no children and relatively straightforward property division issues, it is certainly possible to file for and obtain a divorce without a lawyer. However, Coodin & Overson, PLLP, does not recommend it.
People who are going through a divorce are typically, and understandably, focused on the emotional aspects of ending a marriage. However, divorce itself is a legal process. The decisions you make during a divorce have long-lasting consequences for yourself, your children and your finances. It can be extremely important to have help from an attorney who knows how to navigate the system and advocate for your interests.