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Minnesota residency requirements before seeking a divorce

Divorce can be a painful step for couples residing in any state, including Minnesota. That is because divorce is final and once the decree has been issued by a court of law, it cannot be undone. All of the emotional trauma that accompanies a divorce is made that much worse because it affects everyone in a family. From parents and children to extended family members and friends, the effects of a divorce are far reaching.

But sometimes a divorce can come about, not because of a change in one spouse's feelings, but because of a change in that person's circumstances. Sometimes one parent may be forced to follow his or her company to another state. Parental relocation is far too common in these tough economic times and the fact that one parent must move while the other refuses to move away from his or her friends and family can be quite traumatic to that family.However, it is possible to file for a divorce while living in another state. While the spouse who moved away can certainly return to the state where their partner and family live to get divorced, this would require an additional investment of financial resources that the spouse may not have. A far more frugal financial decision would be to file for the divorce in the state to which the spouse has just moved.

In Minnesota, the state requires that anyone seeking a divorce be a resident of that state for at least six months. Once residency has been established, then the new resident can file. If that spouse wants to keep all of the divorce proceedings in his or her new state, then he or she needs to be sure to file for a divorce before their spouse in the other state does. That's because the court that handles the initial divorce will be the one to handle all future aspects of that case. That can include child custody and child support issues as well. Divorce residency issues can sometimes get bogged down in legal technicalities with courts from different states. That is why many spouses who are asking for a divorce routinely seek the advice of a legal expert. This advice can have very practical advantages and provide benefits throughout the divorce process.

Source: Findlaw, "Divorce Residency FAQs," accessed on March 8, 2015

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