Divorce Lawyer in Buffalo Explains the Importance of Post-Divorce Checklist

Getting a divorce is challenging. Apart from financial stress, it can also lead to unbearable emotional turmoil. That’s why you feel relieved once the arduous process is over.

Although you are eager to leave the bitter past behind and move on with your life, there are still a few things you need to take care of.

No matter how trivial they may seem, these steps are crucial to ensure you can move on without any legal, financial, or emotional pain. As a leading divorce lawyer in Buffalo, we often encourage our customers to tie up any loose ends once for all.

Here is a post-divorce checklist that can help you officially start your life afresh.

1. Check Your Divorce Decree

The first order of business is to go through your divorce decree, which outlines your assets and debt distribution. Make sure to check the paperwork you and your spouse need to sign to complete this legal process as soon as possible. Check the child custody and alimony schedule as well.

Usually, you can finish any post-divorce paperwork in a month or two. If you delay, your spouse may refuse to sign any documents later on. Sometimes, you may also have to pay your attorney additional fees if you decide to complete post-divorce paperwork at a later time.

2. Cancel Joint Bank Accounts and Credit Cards

Most Minnesota divorce lawyers advise you to close all your joint accounts and cancel joint credit cards. Once your divorce gets finalized, the court will have already divided all your assets. So, closing any joint accounts shouldn’t be a problem. You can open new bank accounts in your name or convert joint accounts into solely-owned bank accounts. Similarly, you will need to get a new credit card in your name to start building your credit score.

3. Insurance

Most couples (and families) have joint insurance policies for healthcare, life insurance, and assets like homes and cars. Having joint policies makes sense as they save money and provide better coverage.

After the divorce, however, you will need to review all your policies. You will need to buy new insurance policies in your name and update your beneficiary. If you want to continue with the same company and agent, call them to discuss the next steps. The sooner you can do this, the better.

Sometimes, ex-spouses deliberately delay these processes to provoke their former partners. However, once you inform your insurance company about the divorce, they will most likely cancel your ex-spouse’s coverage immediately. Just make sure you do it soon.

4. Your 401K and IRAs

If you have pension accounts, you will need to divide them as well. You can split your IRAs and savings accounts without a Qualified Domestic Retirement Order (QDRO) from the court. However, you will need it to distribute your 401K account.

Talk to your divorce lawyer in Buffalo or your accountant to help you draft a QDRO. You will need to file this draft with the court and get it signed by the judge. However, each case is unique. Make sure to talk to your attorney to know the time limit, beneficiary, and other factors involved in dividing your 401K.

You will also need to change beneficiaries for all your pension, investments, and savings accounts. Talk to your investment advisor or your bank to make the necessary changes.

5. Check Your Taxes

You may need to file taxes as per the details chalked out in your divorce decree. You will need to talk to your accountant before filing your taxes. Usually, filing taxes after a divorce can be complicated. That’s why it is better to consult a professional.

6. Change Your Name

If you want to change your name back to your maiden name, you will need to start with your Social Security Number (SSN). Once your name on your SSN is changed, you can update your driver’s license and passport. After these documents are updated, you will need to change your name on bank accounts, utility bills, insurance policies, and voter registration, among others.

7. Update Deeds and Titles

You will also need to update your deeds and titles. Most divorce decrees allow you to use quitclaim deeds to transfer property and asset titles. Your divorce lawyer in Buffalo can help you draft quitclaim deeds.

However, deed and title transfers are complicated processes. For example, most lenders require you to refinance your mortgage as you can’t take your spouse’s name off a mortgage. You can talk to your attorney, accountant, and bank to work out a solution.

8. Update Your Online Accounts

Finally, you will need to update all your social media accounts, digital payment accounts, and emails. Whether or not your spouse knows about them, make sure to change passwords and contact information for all your online accounts.


As you can see, a lot of work needs to be done after your divorce gets finalized. From updating your name to closing joint bank accounts, it’s a long list of tasks. Although you feel may like taking a break at this point, it is in your best interest to complete all these tasks on time. We hope the above post-divorce checklist will help you prepare for what comes after the divorce.

Call the Best Divorce Lawyer in Buffalo Today!

If you are looking for a trusted, experienced, and professional divorce lawyer in Buffalo, your search ends at Carlson & Jones, P.A. Our team of dynamic lawyers will help you get a favorable divorce settlement and also provide post-divorce assistance. Call us at (855) 976-2444 or contact us online to know how we can help.

How to Sail through Your Divorce with Ease in Buffalo, MN

As experienced divorce lawyers in Buffalo, MN, we are well aware that when a marriage ends, the divorcing couple and their kids, if any, are subjected to several expected and unexpected challenges. From adjusting to the new living arrangements and parenting schedules to making decisions about property and assets, it can be overwhelming for everyone involved.

Divorce can also be emotionally challenging, which may hamper the separating spouses’ ability to make prudent choices. In other words, getting a divorce is no walk in the park!

However, getting through it may be slightly easier if you know in advance about how the process works in Minnesota courts and how you can handle your circumstances better.

The following few tips can help you keep your sanity during this challenging phase of life.

1. Consider Your Options

Did you know you need not directly go for litigation to sort out your divorce? There are several alternative out-of-court methods to resolve your disagreements and settle the divorce.

When you choose to go for litigation, you will be required to draft motion papers and other complicated documentation, not to mention make appearances in court. Also, every experienced divorce lawyer in Buffalo, MN will confirm that litigation is an expensive and slow process.

One of the most common and popular alternative dispute resolution methods is mediation. It involves working with a neutral mediator, although each spouse can retain their own attorney as well. Mediators can help divorcing couples amicably resolve specific issues within the divorce proceedings. This can include matters related to child custody or splitting of assets and debt. Mediation gives spouses more control, and is usually quicker and cheaper than litigation.

2. Steer Clear of Revenge and drama

A lot of courtroom scenes we watch on TV and in movies give us the wrong idea of what actually happens in family courts. Influenced by these fictional situations, people enter divorce proceedings expecting a dramatic “win” or with their own idea of what “justice” should look like.

Some couples go to the extent of hiring private detectives to gather evidence against a cheating spouse.

Regardless of your circumstances, know that Minnesota is a no-fault divorce state. You need not prove that your spouse did something wrong/bad to get a divorce. All you need to state is that there has been an “irretrievable breakdown of the marriage,” and you and your spouse do not want to live together again.

The fact is, marriages break down due to a variety of reasons. Minnesota courts are not interested in getting into every detail of what went wrong and who did what. Take it from a seasoned divorce attorney in Buffalo, seeking revenge and creating drama in the courtroom can prove to be not only extremely stressful but also detrimental.

3. Give Your Kids Time

Most parents realize that their divorce can be hard on their kids and are careful about talking about each other in front of their children. Doing so is important because even though they don’t say anything, kids do pick up on a negative tone.

Also, it is important that as a parent, you are not hard on yourself about getting a divorce. Know that it is always better to raise children in a happy home rather than remain in a high-conflict marriage and raise them in an unhappy household.

During the divorce, parents need to give their children enough time to process the changes and transitions. It is also helpful to create a mutually-agreeable parenting plan and present it to the kids together. Keep communication flowing and be open to answering any question that your children may have about what’s to come. Remember, sudden changes may not be good for them. They will always benefit from honest conversations with both parents.

4. Be Financially Literate

Being financially informed can go a long way in alleviating unnecessary stress and aggression in the divorce process. Being confused or in the dark may lead to frustration and anger. These feelings may not be directed at your spouse, but it may appear that way, spoiling your chances of achieving a positive legal outcome or yourself.

If you’re clueless about these matters, you will do well to seek help from your financial adviser. The idea is to get a good understanding of finances to be able to partake in the negotiations and have your say. This knowledge will also help you understand whether or not you’re getting what’s legally owed to you.

You can also consult an experienced divorce lawyer in Buffalo, MN as they know exactly how financial matters are sorted in divorce cases.

5. Look After Yourself

A divorce can bring about many changes in your life, and dealing with them can be overwhelming. It is important to take care of yourself at this time, especially emotionally. Lean on your family and friends for care and comfort. You can also speak to a counselor or join a formal support group to cope with the feelings associated with the ending of a marriage.

It is important to stay positive during this difficult time. To this end, as experienced divorce lawyers in Buffalo, MN, we recommend that you get involved in activities that you enjoy, try new hobbies, make new friends, eat healthily, and exercise.


In their burning desire to “win” the case against their spouse, some divorcing couples often harbor certain unreasonable expectations from the legal outcome. More often than not, these expectations aren’t in keeping with the law, which makes the entire process stressful. However, if you want an easier divorce, you need to understand exactly how Minnesota law works. Consulting an experienced divorce lawyer in Buffalo, MNcan be extremely beneficial. Other than that, the above tips should help you go through your divorce as smoothly as possible.

Consult our experienced Divorce Lawyer in Buffalo, MN Right Away

Getting a divorce can have a lasting effect on you and your kids. It is always a good idea to try and make this process as stress-free and smooth as possible. The skilled divorce lawyers at Carlson & Jones are adept at handling family law matters with prudence and patience, helping clients not only terminate their marriage but also resolve their differences harmoniously. Call us at (855) 976-2444 or contact us through our online form to know more about our services.

4 Things about Your Case Your Minnesota Divorce Lawyer Should Know

When getting a divorce, most people go through extreme emotional and financial stress that puts them in a defensive mode. As a result, they tend to be selective about what they disclose to their divorce attorney.

In most cases, lawyers are complete strangers, making it even more difficult for you to disclose sensitive personal and financial details that could play a critical role in your legal separation.

However, even the most skilled and experienced divorce lawyer in Minnesota can’t help you, if you keep secretsor withhold vital information from them. This strategy can quickly backfire, causing more harm than good to your divorce. It is always in your best interest to share all the required details with your attorney and the sooner you do it, the better.

Here are a few critical things you must share with your divorce attorney.

1. Assets and Debts

Perhaps the most complicated process involved in a divorce is the evaluation and division of your assets and debts at the time of getting a divorce. Minnesota uses the equitable distribution concept for dividing all marital property. Your attorney, however, will need to understand what assets and debts you have that are involved in the proceedings.

Hiding any assets from your lawyer is a bad idea. If your spouse has hired an experienced divorce lawyer in Minnesota, they will most probably discover all your finances, assets, and investments during the discovery phase. Hiding assets is illegal, and if the other party discovers that you lied about your assets, it will land you in hot water. Depending on your case, it may turn the proceedings against you.

Hiding debts can also affect your case. For example, if you decide to file for bankruptcy during your divorce, it can put your proceedings on hold until the process of bankruptcy is complete. If you plan to apply for bankruptcy or restructure your debt, make sure to keep your lawyer in the loop. There is no need to feel embarrassed or guilty about sharing your debt-related information.

2.Mental Health Issues

Another important thing you need to discuss is your mental health. While many physical medical conditions, such as disabilities, are evident, mental health is a different story altogether. Many people feel embarrassed to share details of a mental breakdown or a psychiatric treatment.

Remember, if you are taking the right treatment, your mental health issues may not have a significant impact on your case. However, if you stop taking your medication or cancel your appointments to hide your mental health issues, it can not only jeopardize your case, but also put your kids’ lives in danger.

If you are struggling with mental health issues, your attorney needs to know. In fact, most seasoned Minnesota divorce lawyers will ask you to discuss your mental wellbeing in the first consultation itself. Mental health and substance abuse are critical for determining child custody.

Furthermore, your spouse’s lawyers will most likely dig out your mental health history during the discovery phase. Your spouse will also tell them about it if they know what you are suffering from. That’s why make sure to talk about it with your lawyer as soon as possible. Knowing what you went through and why you went through it can help your attorney strengthen your case.

3.Your Criminal and Substance Abuse History

Just like your mental health, your lawyer also needs to know about your substance abuse history and criminal records, if any. Even the most experienced divorce lawyer in Minnesota will not be prepared to deal with last-minute evidence of substance abuse or criminal charges against their clients.

Your spouse’s attorney will most probably use your history with substance abuse or criminal activity against you. That’s why your lawyer needs to be prepared well in advance. If you have any information that could damage your proceedings, you need to talk about it in detail with your attorney. In other words, even if it’s a simple DUI charge, make sure your lawyer knows about it before it gets out during the discovery or trial.

4. Prenuptial or Postnuptial Agreements

Your lawyer also needs to know about any prenuptial or postnuptial agreements you have signed with your spouse. The prenuptial agreement, whether verbal or written, can have a significant impact on your divorce proceedings.

For example, prenups play a critical role in how your marital property, debts, and income gets divided. If your prenup states that your spouse can’t get any of your assets after the divorce or gets only a fixed monthly income, the court will need to consider it because pre-and-postnuptial agreements are legally binding. Make sure to discuss your nuptial agreements and bring the copies with you when consulting an experienced divorce lawyer in Minnesota.


No one feels comfortably sharing their intimate and personal details with someone they just met. However, it is absolutely necessary to tell your divorce attorney everything related to your married life as it can impact the outcome of your legal separation. The attorney-client privilege will keep your information safe and confidential. So, make sure to discuss these four most important things,and anything else that can impact your divorce case, with your lawyer.

Consult an Experienced Divorce Lawyer in Minnesota Now!

If you are looking to get divorced in Minnesota, you will find no better alternative than Carlson & Jones, P.A. Talk to our experienced and skilled divorce attorneys who will leave no stone unturned to help you get a favorable settlement and child custody arrangement. Call us at (855) 976-2444 or contact us online to find out how our lawyers can help you.

When to get a Divorce in Buffalo, MN

Ending a relationship like marriage is never easy. Whether you have been married for a few months or years, terminating it is always a difficult decision. In fact, most people perceive it as giving up or quitting on your marriage. As an individual, however, you have the right to be happy, and if that means a legal separation, you should take the necessary steps.

While hiring an experienced divorce lawyer in Buffalo, MN, will help you prepare for the legal battle, the decision of getting a divorce is solely yours. Of course, you can talk to a marriage counselor or your friends and family members, but you have to take the decision.  

So, when should you get a divorce in Buffalo, MN? 

A. Telltale Signs That Say It Is Time to Get a Divorce

In most marriages, the damage starts to be become evident slowly. While some of the signs that tell you its time to get a divorce are crystal-clear, others can be a little vague. Here are some of the most common signs. 

1. Abusive Partner

This is one of crystal-clear signs that you need to get a divorce. If your partner is abusing you and/or your children mentally, physically, and/or sexually, you need end your marriage immediately. Staying in a toxic relationship like this will most likely endanger your and your children’s lives. That’s why taking the necessary legal steps should be your first priority.

2. Infidelity or Adultery

If your partner is having an affair or is involved in someone else, a divorce is almost always imminent. While some couples may try to work through this problem, it isn’t always the best choice. As this is a breach of trust, most people find it extremely difficult to forget and forgive adultery. You should seek legal counsel from a reputed divorce attorney in Buffalo to start the divorce proceedings.  

3. Lack of Conversation or Communication

Communication is key to maintaining a healthy relationship. That’s why even occasional arguments are welcome in a marriage. If you and your partner aren’t talking to each other at all, or one of you is avoiding a conversation, it could signify that your relationship is not working out. You can try couple’s therapy to spark off communication in your relationship. If it fails, you may have to start contemplating a divorce.

4. Lack of Intimacy

Intimacy, whether it is physical or mental, is also a critical factor in a healthy marriage. Again, professional advice can help you restore this aspect of your relationship. However, if it doesn’t, the lack of intimacy could be one of the main reasons for considering a divorce.

5. Increased Negativity

When you notice that the overall negativity in your relationship has increased and continues to grow by the day, you are more likely to think about getting a divorce. If you or your partner constantly think about only the negative aspects and memories of your marital relationship, it may be time to consider a legal separation.

B. Be Prepared When Making the Decision 

Once you have made up your mind to get a divorce, you should be prepared to face the mental and financial challenges that come with this decision. It is in your best interest to think and plan the process of legal separation together, especially when it comes to deciding your children’s future.

Taking the steps together can help you as individuals as well as a family or a couple. You can talk to a couple’s counselor or a mediator to prepare for your divorce. They can help you draw out a plan of separation. Also, make sure to keep communicating with your friends and family. Don’t shut yourself out from your social life.

C. How Can a Divorce Attorney in Buffalo Help

Getting professional legal help is important. While your counselor can help you mentally prepare for a divorce, your lawyer will help you navigate the legal waters. Divorce and family law varies from state to state in the US, and it is quite complex. That’s why you need to hire an experienced divorce lawyer in Buffalo, MN as soon as possible.

The process of legal separation involves a ton of paperwork that needs to be filed correctly and within the given deadlines. Your lawyer will make sure to prepare and file this paperwork as and when needed. They also know how the court proceedings work, what legal steps you should take to shorten the timeline of your divorce, and how to get legal custody of your children.

But most importantly, they can help you avoid the potential legal pitfalls, making sure your divorce goes through as smoothly as possible. So, even if you are going through an amicable divorce, you should have the best divorce attorney in Buffalo on your side.


Getting a divorce is the most difficult decision you will ever have to make. However, not many people know exactly when they should start preparing for a divorce. Hopefully, this post will help you know when to get a divorce in Buffalo, MN and understand the importance of getting professional legal help as quickly as possible.

Call an Experienced Divorce Lawyer in Buffalo, MN Today!

Are you thinking of getting a divorce in Buffalo, MN? If you are, look no further than Carlson & Jones, P.A. Our expert divorce lawyers can help you with everything, from filing for divorce to getting child custody and completing the necessary paperwork. Call us at (855) 976-2444 or contact us online to find out how we can help you.

What Percentage of Marriages End in Divorce in Minnesota

The importance of a healthy marriage can’t be stressed enough. Most married people, however, have the thought of divorce crossing their minds at some point in their relationship. Although ending a relationship is never easy, nearly half the marriages (40% to 50%) in the United States are said to end up in divorce. The divorce rate for subsequent marriages is considered to be even higher.

But the recent data shows that the rate of both marriage and divorce is going down slowly, especially among millennials. According to the latest data by the U.S. Census Bureau, the marriage rate in 2018 was 16.6 per every 1,000 females, 15 years old and over, while the divorce rate was 7.7 per 1,000 females for same age group nationally.

It is a significant decrease from 2008 when the marriage rate was 17.9 and the divorce rate was 10.5. While in Minnesota, the marriage rate in 2018 was 16.9 per 1,000 women, which decreased from 18.0 in 2008, and the divorce rate was 7.1 per 1,000 women, down from 9.1 in 2008.

1. Why Is the Divorce Rate So High?

The number of reasons and their rankings vary from study to study. However, financial stress, lack of commitment, intimacy, and compatibility, and getting married at an early age, are a few of the common reasons for divorce in the US.

Extramarital affair or infidelity is also a quite common reason for divorce. As it destroys trust in your relationship, infidelity is most likely to end a marriage. The lack of education is also a common reason for divorce as educated people are less likely to get divorced. Pregnancy before marriage can increase the chances of divorce as well.

2. How to Handle Your Divorce?

Whatever the reason maybe, handling a divorce is not easy. As one of the leading Minnesota divorce lawyers, we have seen that most people find it difficult to cope with the separation, especially when children are involved. You need to accept the fact that your emotional and mental well-being will be less than optimal for a while.

However, you also need to take proactive steps to make sure it lessens over time and your life, both personal and professional, get back on track as soon as possible. Exploring your interests and hobbies during these uncertain times can help you focus on the good things your life. Staying positive is important as it can help you take care of yourself and your family.

One of the best ways to lower the emotional impact of a divorce is to share your feelings with family and friends. You can also seek professional help to get through these difficult times. Sometimes, your lawyer can also refer you to a good counsellor, who can help you cope with the stress of a divorce.

3. How Can an Experienced divorce lawyer in Minnesota Help?

Talking to and hiring an experienced divorce lawyer in Minnesota is essential to get a divorce quickly and with minimal mental pressure. If you have a skilled and empathetic attorney on your side, you will not have to worry about the day-to-day legal work.

Your lawyer will make sure to file the necessary paperwork on time, talk to the concerned people, including your spouse and their legal counsel, and provide you with the right legal advice when needed. Your attorney also acts like a buffer between you and your soon-to-be ex, ensuring a more practical approach to settlement discussions.

Even if you are going through an amicable divorce, it is better to have an experienced divorce lawyer in Minnesota on your side. Your lawyer will make sure that your spouse or their attorney isn’t taking advantage of you, especially when it comes to division of assents, debts, property, child custody, and alimony. You have legal rights as a spouse and parent, and your lawyer makes sure to enforce them.

4. How Quickly Can I Get Divorced?

Most uncontested divorces can be completed within a few months. However, depending on how complicated your marital situation is, it can take longer to get a divorce. For example, when children are involved, things like custody battles, child support, and visitation right disputes can delay the proceedings as one of the parties is likely to disagree with the proposed settlement.    

Drawing up paperwork for the division of your assets, property, and debts can also take longer depending on the size of your finances. The best way to speed up your divorce is to settle amicably and avoid a trial. However, you shouldn’t do this without the help of a skilled and experienced divorce lawyer in Minnesota.


While it is said that nearly half the marriages in the US end up divorce, the latest data shows that both number of marriages and divorces are going down. If you are planning to get a divorce, however, you need to be prepared. Hiring a competent and knowledgeable divorce attorney should be your first step while making sure you and your family can handle the financial, physical, and mental stress, that comes with a divorce.   

Hire the Most Experienced Divorce Lawyer in Minnesota Today!

Are you or your loved one contemplating a divorce in Minnesota? Carlson & Jones, P.A. can take care of all things legal when it comes to divorce, allowing you to focus on your and your family’s mental and physical well-being. Call us today on (855) 976-2444  for a free consultation or contact us online to know how we can help you.

Do I need a Divorce Attorney in Buffalo, MN

If you’re planning to get a divorce in Buffalo, MN, you may have considered filing for it on your own with the help of the information you find on a website. A DIY divorce isn’t unheard of and can work in some situations. That said, the majority of people prefer to work with an experienced divorce lawyer in Buffalo, MN to protect their interests.

After all, you don’t want to go wrong by doing or saying something that motivates the judges/jury to rule in the other party’s favor. Also, without a skilled lawyer by your side, you may have tremendous difficulty in understanding state-specific laws. This can cost you your right to marital property and child custody.

While most states do not mandate the hiring of a lawyer, working with a good one may be the best and the only way to uphold your interests in the divorce.

Grounds for Divorce in Buffalo, MN

As experienced divorce lawyers in Buffalo, MN, we know that Minnesota is a no-fault state. Hence, you do not need the approval of your spouse to file for divorce. As per state laws, the courts can enter a divorce decree once it is proven that:

  • One of the parties has lived in Minnesota state for at least 180 days prior to the initiation of the divorce process
  • The marriage is irreversibly damaged

When You May Not Need a Lawyer

While working with an experienced divorce lawyer in Buffalo, MN is almost always advantageous, you may not necessarily hire one if you don’t have any marital assets or children. This usually happens when couples are married for a short time or are seeking an annulment or uncontested divorce.

The fastest way to get a divorce is by abandoning your rights for equitable support and spousal support. If you’re not claiming these, you may not need a lawyer. The forms needed for filing the divorce can be obtained from the local courthouse or the clerk’s office.

Minnesota courts provide divorcing couples with several helpful resources, should they choose to represent themselves legally. This service is especially helpful for those who cannot afford legal help. You can find large amounts of information on the Minnesota courts website and at the family law self-help center. 

However, when you opt for self-help options, you many miss out on many legal nuances of your family law case. This includes the “limited scope representation” option, which is a recent addition to Minnesota family law.

In a nutshell, limited scope representation allows you to avail legal advice and even the applicable paperwork for a fixed fee. You need not pay anything else and there are no additional terms and conditions to adhere to. It can, therefore, be a suitable option for someone who needs guidance and documentation work done.

When Should You Hire a Buffalo, MN Attorney?

When it comes to divorce, certain situations warrant the legal expertise of an experienced divorce lawyer in Buffalo, MN. Cases that involve instances of domestic violence, sexual abuse, child abuse, or substance abuse should always be handled by an attorney, who can protect your rights.

When there is violence between partners or intimidation tactics are being used by one spouse to overpower the other, fair negotiations can become impossible. If your soon-to-be ex-spouse hires a lawyer, you should too. This is because more often than not, the unrepresented side has to make do with an unfair outcome. Having a skilled lawyer fighting for you will greatly improve your chances of getting a fair result.

Also, some divorce cases can be downright excruciating, especially when the other party tries to hide assets, waste marital funds, destroy property, or threaten you with physical violence or financial loss if you file for divorce. In such cases, you’ll surely be better off working with a knowledgeable and experienced divorce lawyer in Buffalo, MN.  

Your attorney will not only stand up for your rights throughout the divorce, they will also help alleviate your stress since you will know that someone is looking out for you.

How a Seasoned Lawyer Can Help You

While you may be on the fence about hiring an attorney to walk you through the divorce process, you need to realize that a local divorce lawyer with ample prior experience will be conversant with the state laws applicable to your case.

When it comes to divorces and custody settlements, every state has different requirements. So, you will do well to consult with an experienced divorce lawyer in Buffalo, MN, unless you are absolutely sure about correctly interpreting laws and statutes, and filing the paperwork.   

However, don’t make the mistake of hiring the first attorney you speak to. Make sure to interview a few before picking one. Ask them if they are in favor of mediation or alternative dispute resolution methods to resolve disagreements. If yes, the lawyer will likely not go to trial unless your spouse is being unreasonable.

Moreover, if an attorney is inexperienced in handling negotiations and settlements, or overzealously promotes litigation, you should continue your search for a dependable lawyer.


While it is possible to go through your divorce without being represented by a Minnesota divorce attorney, it is definitely not recommended. Divorce is emotionally trying, and getting through the legal process can be more difficult than you might have thought. An experienced divorce attorney in Buffalo, MN can be your best ally and guiding light throughout this phase.

Consult with an Experienced Divorce Attorney in Buffalo, MN Now

The outcome of your divorce case can change the quality of your life forever. You need to ensure you go about the right away. To get started, get in touch with the astute divorce lawyers at Carlson & Jones, P.A. on (855) 663-7423 Or contact us online through our website to find out how we can help.


Where to File for Divorce in Minnesota

Divorce is one of the most common civil cases, not just in Minnesota, but in the entire United States. In 2018, about 780,000 divorces were conducted in the United States.

Divorce or dissolution of marriage is a legal process that allows you to severe your relationship, divide your assets and debts, and determine child custody and alimony. However, it is a complicated process that requires a clear understanding of family law. 

It is always better to hire a qualified and experienced divorce lawyer in Minnesota. But you will still need to know a few things about the process, starting with where to file for divorce in Minnesota.

1. Where to File for Divorce in Minnesota

Minnesota is a no-fault state, meaning neither you nor your spouse need to argue who’s at fault to get a divorce. If one of you desires to get a divorce, you can file for it. However, if there is a fault like domestic, substance or child abuse, it will affect related factors such as child custody, alimony, and property division. 

You can file for a divorce in the district court where either you or your spouse reside. You do need to meet the residency requirements. The residency requirement states that one of the parties seeking a divorce should be a resident of Minnesota for at least 180 days. You can also file for divorce if you or your spouse is a member of the armed forces and have kept their Minnesota residency. 

You will also need to fill out the right set of forms. If you are filing for divorce jointly (both you and your spouse agree on all settlement terms), you can file a joint petition. However, if you have any disagreements, you will have to submit a petition demanding legal separation from your spouse. If you hire an experienced divorce lawyer in Minnesota, they will fill out the paperwork and take care of other legal formalities.

2. Uncontested Divorce in Minnesota

Getting an uncontested divorce is the fastest way to dissolve your marriage. You can file a joint petition if you and your spouse agree on everything. It is, however, useful if you have sizeable assets, investments, debts, children, and real estate.

Another way is to file for summary dissolution of marriage. You can opt for this method if you satisfy the following criteria:

  • You were married no longer than eight years 
  • You have no children or are expecting no children
  • The value of your marital estate is less than $25,000 
  • The amount of your debt is less than $8,000
  • There was no instance of domestic abuse
  • You are willing to put alimony decision on hold  
  • Both you and your spouse have separate retirement funds

3. Motion for Temporary Relief

Divorce is a complicated and time-consuming process. While you can wait for weeks and months to get your marriage dissolution certificate, your daily life must go on. That’s where the “Motion for Temporary Relief” comes in.

Once you have filed for divorce, you can file this motion to get the court issue temporary orders for alimony, child custody and support, and any other assistance in running your home. These orders will expire as soon as the court signs and delivers your marriage dissolution verdict.

If children are involved, and one or both parties disagree on child custody, the issue can drag on for months or even years. The courts are required to prioritize the child’s best interests when making this decision.

After carefully going through the evidence and arguments presented by both parties, the court will determine child custody terms. In most cases, the child will stay with one parent, with the other getting visitation rights. Sometimes, one parent may get primary (full) physical custody, while legal custody is awarded to both parents.

Child custody battles can further intensify if factors like child abuse, substance abuse, or domestic violence are involved. If you or your loved one is facing a child custody-related problem, you need to contact an experienced divorce lawyer in Minnesota. Remember, you do need the right legal advice to secure your children’s future.

4. Distribution of Assets

Another important factor involved in your divorce proceedings is the distribution of your assets and your debt. Usually, you have to divide only the property, assets, or debts that you have acquired after you got married. It is called marital property.

You don’t have to split your non-marital property, which usually involves property acquired before the marriage or as gift or by inheritance, among other things. The court will distribute your assets if you and your spouse fail to do so.

The typical factors involved in asset distribution include the length of your marriage, and your and your spouse’s contribution to acquiring and maintaining the assets. Other factors like sources and size of income, occupation, professional skills, prior marriages, and health of both parties will also be taken into account. You need to disclose all your assets and finances during the divorce.


The divorce process begins by filing a petition in the court. You can file for divorce in Minnesota in the district court in the county where you or your spouse live. However, you also need to understand the various factors involved in a divorce to make informed decisions every step of the way. Hopefully, this brief post will help you in this regard.

Talk to an Experienced Divorce Lawyer in Minnesota Now!

Don’t walk into a divorce without having any knowledge of the process, the law, or the legal system. If you or your loved one is facing a divorce in Minnesota, Carlson and Jones, P.A. can help you. Call us at (855) 976-2444 for a free consultation of your case or contact us through our website.


How to Get A Divorce in Buffalo, MN

Dissolving a marriage, irrespective of how short-lived it was, is easier said than done. The situation is further complicated if children are involved, often making it an uphill task to get a divorce quickly and easily. It is also an intricate and time-consuming process, making it necessary to hire an experienced divorce lawyer in Buffalo, MN.

Apart from hiring a lawyer, you will also need to understand the process, the family law in your state, and local court procedure, among other things. It will help you go through your divorce smoothly and make well-informed decisions every step of the way.

Here is what happens in a typical divorce in Buffalo, MN.

1. Filing for the Divorce 

Usually, the divorce begins by filing a legal petition in the local court. If you meet the residency requirements of Minnesota, irrespective of where you were married, you can file for the divorce in the local court. Even if you and your spouse have agreed to fully co-operate, you will still need to file the petition, without which your marriage can’t be legally terminated.

You have to mention whether you or your spouse (or both) meet Minnesota’s residency requirements, along with the grounds for your divorce, and other relevant information in your filing statement. The grounds for divorce and other details will vary from case to case. You need to speak with an experienced divorce lawyer in Buffalo, MN to understand the specifics of your case.

2. Serving Your Spouse

You also need to serve your spouse with a copy of your divorce papers. If you are already working with an experienced divorce lawyer in Buffalo, MN, they will take care of this step. Usually, in an uncontested divorce, your spouse will accept and sign the paperwork. An uncontested divorce is where both parties agree to all the terms of a divorce, such as child custody, alimony, and division of assets.

On the other hand, a contested divorce involves disagreement from one or both parties. That’s why hiring a professional and competent lawyer can be a wise decision, especially in this situation, as an evasive spouse may delay the process unnecessarily.

3. Negotiating a Settlement

Negotiations are often the most critical part of a divorce process. In most cases, especially when the divorce is uncontested, negotiations will determine the outcome of the divorce. Both you and your spouse can work out your differences and come to a mutual agreement about everything, including child support, child custody, and asset and debt sharing.

Sometimes, however, the court may order negotiations through mediation. In mediation, a third-party, called as a mediator, will help facilitate the negotiations between you and your spouse. Your lawyers can also be a part of mediation. This is a time and money-saving approach for most couples.

4. Divorce through Trial

Unfortunately, sometimes negotiations fail and you have no other option but to go to trial. Usually, very few divorce cases go to trial. Most of these involve a complicated family situation. For example, a spouse with a history of domestic or substance abuse can make it difficult to get an uncontested divorce.

So, when all attempts at negotiations fail, the court will take charge of the case. When the case goes to a trial, the court will have the ultimate authority to make the final decision based on the evidence and arguments.

Divorce trials, as you may already know, are expensive and time-consuming for both parties. Needless to say, if your case goes to trial, you will need an experienced divorce lawyer in Buffalo, MN to represent you in the best possible light.

5. Do I Need a Lawyer to Get a Divorce in Buffalo, MN?

Although self-representation is legally allowed in a divorce case, it is better to have an experienced divorce lawyer in Buffalo, MN on your side. Most lawyers have courtroom and procedural experience, which can help you get things done relatively quickly.

They can also take care of all the paperwork, filings, and official documentation. Lawyers also offer practical advice when emotions are running high. Thus, both you and your spouse can make rational decisions quickly and smoothly without further emotional escalations.

But most importantly, with lawyers taking care of the legwork, you can focus on your mental and physical well-being during the divorce. As divorce can be an emotionally stressful process, taking care of your health should be your priority.


As you can see, legally terminating your marriage is a complicated and time-consuming process. While you should consult an experienced divorce lawyer in Buffalo, MN right away, you also need to understand how the divorce process works. Arming yourself with the fundamental knowledge about divorce proceedings can help you make an informed decision. Hopefully, this post will help you understand the basics of getting a divorce in Minnesota.

Contact an Experienced Divorce Lawyer in Buffalo, MN Now!

The experienced family law attorneys at Carlson & Jones, P.A. can help you understand family law and facts related to your case thoroughly. We can also represent your case in the best possible manner in the court, if required. Call us today on (855) 976-2444 or contact us online to know more about our legal services.

How to Get Full Custody After Joint Custody in Hutchinson, MN

Even if your relationship with your spouse is amicable, getting a divorce is emotionally and physically difficult. The situation gets further complicated if children are in the picture as custody battles are often challenging for everyone involved.

If you are seeking a divorce and have children, you need to understand the child custody aspect of the divorce process. In the US, most states will offer primarily two types of child custodies, sole custody and joint custody. This post explains, in short, different types of child custodies and whether or not you can get full custody after you have been awarded joint custody in Hutchinson, MN.

1. What Is Joint Custody?

Joint custody, also called shared custody, is where the family court allows both parents to remain involved in their children’s lives. As joint custody is often in the best interest of the children’s development, most family courts in the country will favor this arrangement.

Joint custody is of three types. Depending on the circumstances of your case, the court may award legal joint custody or physical joint custody or both.

A. Joint Legal Custody

It allows both parents to be involved in all the major decisions regarding the upbringing of their children. It usually involves decisions about medical care, education, religious upbringing, and any other major decisions that may impact their lives.

Both parents have the right to take these decisions jointly. In short, if you take any of these decisions without consulting your spouse, he or she may take you to the court. This may affect your present custody arrangement negatively.

B. Joint Physical Custody

Joint physical custody, as the name suggests, allows both parents to spend considerable time with their children. In most cases, the child will stay with one parent, while the other parent will have visitation rights. The visitation or parenting schedule is court-ordered.

However, as any experienced child custody lawyer in Hutchinson would tell you, joint physical custody works best if both parents live nearby, or at least in the same city. If one of the parents is located in a different state or country, sharing parenting time is impractical for children.

C. Joint Legal and Physical Custody

This is a combined joint custody, where both parents share legal and physical custody of the children jointly. When you share any of these three types of joint custodies, you have to work out a schedule with your spouse to provide your children with the best family and social life.  

2. What Is Sole or Full Custody?

When it comes to sole custody, also called full custody, one parent, called the custodial parent, usually gets all the parenting responsibility. As a custodial parent, you will have the right and the responsibility of both legal and physical custody of the children.

However, it doesn’t mean only one parent is involved in the lives of the children. The court will still award limited or even generous visitation rights to the non-custodial parent, depending on the circumstances of your case.

Most family courts are not in favor of full custody as it is not usually in the best interest of the children. Children often need the interaction of both parents for a better mental and physical upbringing.

However, if one of the parents is ill, disabled, mentally unstable, or otherwise incapacitated, has a criminal record, has an history of abuse or domestic violence, drug addiction or substance abuse, among other things, the court may decide to award full custody to the other parent. You should consult an experienced child custody lawyer in Hutchinson and discuss your case in detail to understand your custody options.

3. Can You Get Sole Custody after Joint Custody in Hutchinson, MN?

Most custody arrangements are open to modification. As the circumstances change, you can go to the court to change your existing custody arrangement. However, to get full custody after you have received joint custody, you must prove the change in circumstances to the court.

Custody battles are often challenging. So, you must prepare yourself before going into one. Seeking sole custody out of vengeance for your ex is never a good idea. You must, always, put your children’s best interest at the front and center of your decision. However, if the situation truly requires you to seek sole custody, you should get the right legal help as soon as possible.

In other words, you need to consult an experienced child custody lawyer in Hutchinson to explore your legal options. Your legal counsel will not only provide you with the right advice, but also help you gather the required evidence and represent you in the best possible manner.


As most custody arrangements are open to modification, it is possible to win full custody after having joint custody in Hutchinson, MN. However, custody battles are usually tough and complicated, requiring you to seek proper legal advice and representation in the family court. Once you have prepared thoroughly, you can go to the court to get full custody of your children. 

Consult an Experienced Child Custody Lawyer in Hutchinson

If you or your loved one wants to get full custody after joint custody or is seeking a divorce, Carlson & Jones, P.A. is one of the best legal advisors you can find. As experienced child custody lawyers in Hutchinson, MN, we have helped many parents get the best possible outcomes in their custody battles. Call us on (855) 976-2444 or contact us online to know more about our family law services.


Are Divorce Records Public in Brainerd, MN

Not just children, the process of getting a divorce can overwhelm even adults to a great extent. With emotions running high, the need to deal with a complex and slow-paced justice system can wear you down quickly and completely. As a result, most people tend to forget about the one thing all divorces have in common, the paperwork.

Once your divorce is finalized, all the paperwork related to your proceedings will be condensed into a divorce record. It comprises the important details of your case, including divorce settlement, alimony, and custody arrangements, among other things. At this point, like most people, you are less likely to think about what happens to your divorce record.

However, as an experienced divorce lawyer in Brainerd, MN, we make it a point to keep our clients and prospects well-informed. If you are getting a divorce, here’s what you need to know about divorce records.

1. Are Divorce Records Public in Brainerd, MN?

Not just in Brainerd, MN, in many jurisdictions around the world, most court proceedings are public records. So, your divorce record or decree is also a public record. In fact, if you file it, your separation agreement also becomes a public record.  

In other words, anyone can access your divorce record if they know where and how to find it. The purpose of making most court proceedings a public record is to allow the tax-paying citizens to scrutinize, examine, and copy them, regardless of the purpose. You usually have to pay a small fee to access the court records.  

2. Can You Seal Divorce Records in Brainerd, MN?

As you may already know, in almost all cases, the courts will not seal the divorce records automatically. However, with the help of an experienced divorce lawyer in Brainerd, MN, you can apply and convince the court to seal your records. One or both parties have the right to ask the court to seal the records.

Upon your request, the court may seal only a part or your entire divorce record. The final decision usually rests with the judge. The court will, in most cases, consider if making the record public could be harmful or not. If the answer is yes, the court will seal the record.  

3. Why Divorce Records Can Be Sealed in Brainerd, MN?

The court will decide to seal portions or your complete record depending on the circumstances of your case. However, the usual reasons for placing divorce records under seal include the following:

  • If the circumstances of your divorce require to protect the identity of children from the public, the court will seal this portion of your divorce records
  • Sometimes, the court may also seal the records to protect the identity of domestic abuse and child abuse victims
  • In many cases, the court will also seal sensitive information such as bank account numbers and social security numbers, among other things 
  • If one or both parties own a business, the court may seal any sensitive information related to the business

Usually, judges are reluctant to seal the entire divorce records. It is often a better strategy to ask the court to redact a portion of your divorce decree. However, there is no guarantee that the court will make the decision in your favor. You can, of course, consult an experienced divorce lawyer in Brainerd, MN to help you get the best possible outcome.

4. Where to Find Divorce Records

As mentioned, anyone who knows where to look can find divorce records. In most states, including Minnesota, you can try one of the following options to find the divorce decrees.

A. State’s Vital Records

If you are comfortable with finding court records online, you can start with a general search on your state’s vital records website. However, not all states will record marriages and /or divorces on the vital records site.

The Minnesota Office of Vital Records does not record marriages or divorces. Instead, the website will guide you to search for the county district court office that granted the divorce. You will need to know the name of the person and the county court where the divorce was granted. If you know the date, the search will be a lot easier.

You can order the copy of records online or you can visit the county court house, write an application, and collect the copies yourself. Make sure to check the website to see the detailed procedure. For example, some counties may not allow walk-in record access requests. In this case, you may have to send the application well in advance.

B. Divorce Attorney

Another option is to contact an experienced divorce lawyer in Brainerd, MN. Lawyers know the court systems well-enough to find the desired divorce records as quickly as possible. Remember, divorce records are important as they can tell you about a person’s actual marital status.


Like most other court records, divorce decrees are also a public record. Anyone can access the information related to your divorce for free or by paying a small fee. However, you can request the court to seal a part or all of your divorce decree. Hopefully, this post will help you understand the significance of divorce records and keeping them sealed. 

Talk to a Seasoned Divorce Lawyer in Brainerd, MN

Whether you want to get your divorce records sealed or find the divorce records of someone you know, hiring an experienced divorce lawyer in Brainerd, MN is the right way to do it. Family lawyers with proven track record, like Carlson & Jones, P.A. can provide you with the right legal advice. Call us today on (855) 976-2444 for a free consultation or contact us online to see how we can help.


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Buffalo Lawyers

215 East Highway 55, Suite 201
Buffalo, MN 55313

Toll Free: (877) 344-1555
Phone: (612) 800-8057
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Brainerd Lawyers

17025 Commercial Park Rd, Suite 2
Brainerd, MN 56401

Toll Free: (877) 344-1555
Phone: (218) 736-9429
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Hutchinson Lawyers

114 Main Street North
Hutchinson, MN 55350

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Phone: (320) 289-4761
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Minnetonka Lawyers

3911 Ridgedale Dr, Suite 404E
Minnetonka, MN 55305

Toll Free: (877) 344-1555
Phone: (952) 260-9640
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