There are many assumptions and myths for divorce in Minnesota. Many of them are based in truth, and some of them have changed as modern family law has evolved. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest myths in divorce and the reasoning behind them.

Mom always gets the kids

This used to be fairly common. However, many parents are employed outside the home and are equally involved in raising the child(ren) In cases where both parties are seeking custody, the court will decide custody based on the best interests of the child(ren) as set forth in the child custody statute.

Committing adultery means you will lose everything

Minnesota is a no-fault divorce state. One spouse must allege the marriage is irretrievably broken. The Court will grant the divorce based on the testimony of one party stating the marriage is irretrievably broken.

Child(ren) have the right to determine the parent with whom they will live

The custody statute states the the Court may consider “the reasonable preference of the child, if the Court deems the child to be of sufficient ability, age, and maturity to express an independent reliable preference.” That preference of the child(ren) is one of the many factors a Court will consider in making a custody decision. It is not determinative. However, the older the child(ren), the more weight the preference of a child(ren) is given by the Judge.

Take the money and run

The financial assets that you own before the divorce are part of the divided property during the divorce. It is not wised to empty your accounts when divorce proceedings begin. In fact, the Court will look negatively upon it. However, it is recommended that you set up your own separate bank accounts to gain financial security. In this case, taking half of the financial assets out of a joint account is permissible. However, you will need to account for the assets in your possession or under your control.

If you leave the house, you lose it

You will not lose your interest in the marital homestead if you choose to live elsewhere during the divorce. There are special consideration in making the decision to move out of the house if you have children. You should discuss a move of this type prior to doing so.

You must file for divorce in the state that you were married

In order to seek a Minnesota divorce, you must reside in the state for 180 days prior to the commencement of the proceedings. There are special considerations that apply if you are a member of the United States Military.

Property division is 50/50

In a Minnesota divorce, the Court is required to make a just and equitable division of the marital property of the parties without regard to marital misconduct. With some exceptions, property acquired during the marriage relationship is marital subject to division. However, there are exceptions to this rule, such as if the property in question falls within the category of non-marital property. The most common examples of non-marital property are property owned before the marriage or property obtained through a gift or inheritance.

You need to hide your criminal history

You should always be honest and up front with your attorney about your past. This will assist your attorney in presenting your case in the best light possible. Further, most criminal convictions are a matter of public record and will be difficult to hide.

Myths for Divorce in Minnesota

Whoever asks for the divorce has the upper hand

As Minnesota is a no-fault state, there is generally no advantage to being the first to commence a dissolution action. However, there are special considerations that apply when child custody will be disputed. You should discuss these considerations with an attorney prior to commencing a divorce action.


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