Dakota County Divorce Attorney
Offering Sound Legal Counsel to Residents of Hastings and the Surrounding Areas
A divorce has the potential to affect a couple’s emotional and financial wellbeing. At Sullivan Law Office we understand the difficulty of this legal process and will do everything we can to take as much of the burden off your shoulders as possible. We do this by providing the most beneficial legal services and guidance to every client going through a divorce. With over 13 years of experience, our lawyer is well-versed in all aspects of the divorce process and will effectively advocate for your rights and best interests.
To speak with one of our compassionate divorce attorney in Dakota County, call our office at (651) 998-7589 today!
To begin the divorce process in Minnesota, one party must be a resident of the state for at least 3 months before filing. Additionally, the party seeking the divorce must file a petition for this legal action with the state and serve a copy to the other party. Our lawyer can help you draft an effective petition that covers all the necessary requirements to begin the divorce process.
Summary Dissolution of Marriage
Some couples may qualify for a summary dissolution of marriage proceeding. This legal action is a quicker, streamlined process for obtaining a divorce.
To qualify, a couple must:
- Not share any living minor children;
- Have been married for less than 8 years;
- Not share any real estate properties;
- Not have debts greater than $8,000 (excluding vehicle liens);
- Not have a shared property value greater than $25,000;
- Not have a separate property value greater than $25,000 and/or
- Not have a history of marital domestic abuse.
If a couple qualifies for this process, they can only obtain a divorce decree by filing a sworn declaration that must be notarized by a third party. Our attorney can help you determine whether you qualify for a summary dissolution and, if so, effectively guide you through this process.
Grounds for Divorce
Minnesota is a ‘no-fault’ state. This means that neither party needs to place blame on the other as a reason for the divorce. All a couple needs to do is state there is an irretrievable breakdown of the marital relationship. If one party denies this breakdown, then the court must consider all relevant factors that caused one party to file for the divorce.
Examples of an irretrievable breakdown include:
- The couple have lived in separate residences for 180 days or more
- Evidence of severe marital discord that negatively affects one or both parties
- The couple illustrates there is no reasonable prospect or expectation for reconciliation
Either party’s testimony is enough to prove the irretrievable breakdown of a marriage. For example, the party seeking the divorce may explain how the couple sought therapy and/or a legal separation before deciding upon divorce as their final course of action.
When completing a divorce, a couple must divide all marital property. This can either be done by the couple (if they can agree upon how they would like to split property) or by a judge.
If the judge is responsible for dividing property, they commonly make these decisions based on:
- Marital length
- Any prior marriages
- Each party’s age and health
- Each party’s source of income
- Each party’s earning potential
- Each party’s contributions to the marriage
Property divided during the divorce process can only be shared property acquired during the marriage. For example, if a couple bought a home while they were married, the value or property itself can be divided between both parties. However, if one person bought the home before the marriage or during the divorce process, it is considered solely the property of the party who purchased it and can not legally be divided.
Helping Clients Dissolve Their Marriage
We understand the complexities of the divorce process. From navigating the legal aspect to supporting our clients’ emotional needs, we are dedicated to helping resolve their case. Our lawyer is here to offer sound and skilled services to all our clients.
“She's easy to communicate with and gets information back to you in a timely manner.”- Former Client
“We have always appreciated your assistance.”- Former Client
“Martha Sullivan was recommended to me by another lawyer here in Minnesota in 2013. We had an emergency, my children's father refused to return them. It is a great relief to have her here to help us, as she knows what she is doing and gets the best possible”- Former Client