Divorce Law in Duluth, MN

Minnesota divorce laws ensure fairness, but you can have a disadvantage without proper representation. You need an advocate who will provide clear guidance through every step.

We will walk you through the essential facts of local divorce law and help you find an attorney. Don’t navigate this challenging time alone. Get the professional help you deserve in Duluth.

Issues Involved in Duluth, Minnesota Divorce Law

There are many complicated issues that you need to settle during the divorce process. Many of these elicit strong emotions from one party or the other, resulting in volatility.

Dividing Property 

One of the most challenging issues in the divorce law process is dividing property, debts, and assets. In many states, like Minnesota, anything you and your spouse purchased over your marriage is subject to division. This includes things such as real estate, bank accounts, cars, stocks, etc. Some states split marital property evenly, while others go along an equitable split. In the latter, the judge weighs the contribution each spouse made to the marriage and uses that information to decide the disposition of property, which may not equate to a perfect 50/50 division of your property, debt,  and other assets.

Child Support 

Both parents are responsible for paying for the care of their children. There is a child support guideline that helps determine how much each parent should contribute based on their income and the amount of time they spend with the children. Child support pays for things such as healthcare, food, clothing, and other basic needs.

Minnesota law dictates using an Income Shares Model to establish child support payments in Duluth. Under this model, the court considers gross income, the child’s needs, and the overnights you spend with the child. The general goal is to distribute the financial responsibility for the child proportionally.


Alimony, or spousal support, can vary dramatically depending on the marriage, and Duluth, MN divorce law court looks at multiple factors when determining the amount and length of alimony, including:

  • A spouse’s need and the other spouse’s ability to pay
  • The age and health of each spouse
  • The length of the marriage
  • Each spouse’s earning capacity and level of education
  • The division of property
  • Parental responsibility of the children
  • Sole investments and assets of either spouse

Duluth residents may receive an order for four types of alimony. A judge could order temporary, short-term, long-term, and permanent spousal support. The differences between them are as follows:

  • Temporary alimony lasts during the court proceedings to meet immediate needs.
  • Short-term maintenance is for a set period after the divorce to gain skills or education for self-support.
  • Long-term or permanent support exists for when the spouse cannot support themselves.

Child Custody and Visitation

Child custody is perhaps the most emotional issue during a divorce that involves children. The most important thing to keep in mind is that the court bases all decisions on what is in the best interest of the child. Keeping this in mind may help navigate the rough waters of custody.

Minnesota has a broad set of considerations to define what is best for a child in Duluth. According to the law, these factors are crucial considerations:

  • The child’s physical and emotional well-being
  • The child’s preferences (if mature enough)
  • The capacity of each parent to provide for the child
  • The child’s existing relationship with each parent
  • Any instances of domestic violence or substance abuse

Generally, Duluth, Minnesota courts award joint legal custody giving both parents the legal right to make decisions for the children, such as education, medical care, and religious practices. Legal custody has nothing to do with physical custody or visitation. Joint custody does not mean both parents split time with the child evenly, just as Sole legal custody does not bar the non-custodial parent from visiting the child.

The Process of Going Through Divorce Law in Duluth, Minnesota

Are you leaning towards getting a divorce from your partner? If so, it is important to understand the necessary steps of the divorce law process.

Step 1: File the Divorce Law Petition

The divorce law process begins when one spouse files a legal petition to terminate the marriage. The petition must include:

  • A legal reason for divorce (grounds for divorce)
  • A statement that shows at least one spouse meets the state’s residency requirements for divorce
  • Other statutory information your state requires

Most states offer the option for filing a no-fault divorce, which does not require a legal reason for the divorce.

Minnesota has a provision for no-fault divorces. In Duluth, couples can split without having to prove that one spouse was at fault.

Step 2: Request Temporary Orders

The divorce law process in Duluth can take several months, but temporary orders can be requested and approved for a multitude of reasons, including:

  • Child custody
  • Child support
  • Spousal support
  • Property restraining orders
  • Status quo orders

Request temporary orders as quickly as possible so you are not absent the resources or protection that you need.

Step 3: Serve Your Spouse and Wait for Their Response

If you are the one who files a petition for divorce, you must have your spouse served with their divorce law papers and then file a proof of service with the courts. If your spouse accepts the service, then they need to fill out an affidavit to that effect. However, in many cases, the petitioner must hire a process server or sheriff to formally serve the petition on the other spouse. It is this third party who then records the proof of service.

Step 4: Try To Come to an Agreement

The best outcome for anyone going through this process is to have an uncontested divorce, meaning both spouses agree on all issues.

This can be reached between both partners or with the help of a mediator. Not only will this save each spouse money, but there will typically be a lot less animosity.

Step 5: Go To Court

If you and your spouse are unable to reach an agreement, then the case continues before a Duluth, MN judge. While there is some benefit to having a judge hand down orders, it may also be a detriment as there is little to no control of the agreement by the parties.

Divorce cases from Duluth are under the jurisdiction of the St. Louis County District Court. Your attorney will file with the court clerk here, and it will be the location for hearings.

Step 6: Receive the Judgment of Divorce

The divorce law trial will end with the official judgment of divorce, ending the marriage. This final dissolution of marriage sets out the details about property and debt division, child custody, and all relevant issues between the couple.

Work With an Experienced Duluth, Minnesota Divorce Law Attorney

If you are going through a divorce and are unable to reach an agreement with your partner, you should hire an experienced Duluth divorce law attorney. A lawyer will fight for you and make sure you get what is yours. We can even help you connect with an attorney across Minnesota state lines.

Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in your area!

How It All Works

Call us or answer the questions on this site. Your category, location, and additional information will help us connect you to a legal professional and we’ll send you the results instantly.

Which Areas of Law?

We have attorneys in over 20 legal categories to choose from.

How Much Does This Cost?

We don’t charge you to be connected. Some legal categories require upfront fees while others do not. The legal professional will determine this with you before you commit to anything.