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.


What Questions Should I Ask A Divorce Attorney In Minnesota

Getting a divorce is never easy. It is possibly one of the most difficult times in a couple’s life. Many things may seem entirely new. For example, you may not be accustomed to hearing the legal terms associated with a divorce, and might never have had to rethink your finances before

However, the fact is that several considerations go into any family law case. Hiring a divorce lawyer is chief among them. To ensure that you end up working with an experienced divorce lawyer in Minnesota, you will need to ask them a few questions before hiring them.

To give you a head start in your search for the right divorce lawyer, we present a few questions to ask before hiring one.

1.  For How Long Have You Been Handling Family Law Cases?

This is an important question to ask, especially if you believe that your divorce is going be long and difficult. Rather than asking the prospective lawyer about how long they’ve been practicing law, you should ask them about their experience in family law specifically.

In case your case goes to trial, your lawyer needs to be knowledgeable in the following aspects:

  • Preparing legal arguments and filing motions.
  • Conducting cross and direct examinations.
  • Presenting evidence in court.
  • Objecting to the opposing party’s evidence.

You need to be assured of the lawyer’s ability to handle your case, even if it gets complex. Once you find a reliable lawyer, things will get easier.

2.  Do You Handle Cases Other Than Divorce and Family Law?

Having this answer will help you evaluate the prospective lawyer’s dedication to your case. Lawyers involved in other practice areas may not be as focused towards divorce cases as those who practice is exclusively. So you may feel more comfortable working with the latter. Further, they will have greater experience in handling all types of family law issues.

This, however, does not mean that a lawyer who doesn’t practice family law exclusively will fail in your case. If you’re in a position to choose, go for the one who specializes in family and divorce law.

3. Have You Handled Family Law Cases in My County in Minnesota?

Every county in Minnesota is different when it comes to the temperament of judges, and courtroom personnel and procedures. Hence, the legal tactics that may prove to be effective in Brainerd might not work in Buffalo. It is, therefore, crucial to find a divorce lawyer who has handled a considerable number of cases in the county where your case will be filed.

4. What Percentage of Cases Have You Settled?

Some clients are of the opinion that settling a case means giving into the pressure of the opposition. A skilled family lawyer will explain to you that settlement does not mean that. In fact, it means the attorney is doing their job by collecting the right case facts and making a compelling argument to the opposing party. Doing so requires more diligence and legal acumen than entrusting the final outcome to the court judge.

5. How Many Cases Have You Tried in a Minnesota Court?

Most of the time, divorce matters get resolved outside the courtroom, but some cases do end up in trial. If you are considering hiring a particular divorce lawyer, you should ask them about the type and number of cases they have taken to trial. The answer to this question will help you determine whether or not the lawyer is comfortable with the prospects of fighting it out in court.

You need to be prepared in case your matter doesn’t settle. It is probably better not to hire a divorce lawyer with no trial experience. On the other hand, a divorce attorney who is boastful of the numerous trials they have handled may be too litigious. Tread carefully and strike the right balance.

6. Will You Be Advocating for Me?

Many family law attorneys hire associate lawyers to help with their caseload. These associates are usually recent law school graduates who work under the guidance of a senior divorce lawyer. Sometimes, the lawyer you hire will delegate responsibilities to an associate attorney.

While some clients have no problem with this arrangement, others may feel more confident knowing that the lawyer they are talking to will actually handle their case. It is best to be clear about this aspect. So, choose carefully.

7.  How Often Will You Communicate with Me and What Is Your Preferred Mode of Communication?

Lawyers are busy people, and some may ask their associates or junior lawyers to communicate with their clients. Hence, in your initial consultation, ask your prospective attorney about how often they will be able to talk to you.

Most lawyers use email as their preferred mode of communication as it is quick and private. Some clients prefer to talk to their attorney face-to-face or on call rather than on email. You should consider all these aspects and look for a lawyer who communicates at the frequency and uses the mode you prefer

8. What Are Your Fees?

Divorces are the costly affair. It is always better to find out beforehand how much your divorce will end up costing in totality. Some cases can drag on for years, so you need have clear information on how it will affect you financially. Find out:

  • Will your lawyer charge a fixed fee or by the hour?
  • What services will the hourly charges include?
  • How often will the billing be done?
  • Do they have different rates for time spent in and out of court?
  • Do they ask for a retainer after hiring? If yes, what will the amount be?


Going through a divorce can be challenging. Having a supportive attorney to guide you through the complex legal maze can be highly comforting. Hiring the right lawyer is crucial if you want to go through the divorce process with your rights protected and head held high. Hopefully, asking the above questions will help you narrow down your search and find an experienced divorce lawyer in Minnesota to advocate on your behalf.

Reach out to Our Skilled Divorce Lawyer in Minnesota

The final outcome of a divorce case can have a lasting and considerable impact on your rights. It is crucial to have qualified legal counsel to protect your financial and parental rights throughout the divorce process. Feel free to connect with us at (855) 976-2444 for a free consultation. You can also contact us with your queries via our short website form. We will get back to you at the earliest.

How Long does Divorce take in Brainerd

One of the main questions on the mind of couples contemplating a divorce is how long will the divorce process take. While this is a pertinent consideration, there is no straightforward answer to it.

As experienced Divorce Lawyers in Brainerd, we know that several variables come into play here, which is why the duration of the divorce process can vary. These include the level of cooperation between the spouses, child custody matters, and the complexity of asset and liability division. Resolving all these matters can take a couple of months or even drag on for years.

Factors That Affect the Duration of the Divorce Process

As Minnesota is a “no-fault” state, neither party filing for divorce needs to establish grounds for it. Couples can seek divorce on the basis of “irreconcilable differences.”

The duration of the divorce process depends on several factors such as:

  • The number of children involved
  • The property owned by both spouses
  • The assets and liabilities of both spouses
  • Payment of spousal maintenance and/or child support
  • Cooperation between the spouses

It is important to know that the more antagonistic the spouses are towards each other, the lengthier and more complex the process will be. This factor may not be in your control though. Even if you are being fully cooperative, but your spouse isn’t, the case may drag on for years.

You should also bear in mind that Minnesota laws mandate that at least one of the spouses must have lived in the state for at least 180 days before the divorce process begins. So, if you and your spouse have moved here recently, you will need to wait for the necessary amount of time to initiate the divorce proceedings.

Uncontested Divorce

In an uncontested divorce, both the spouses reach an agreement, and are only required to arrange the necessary paperwork to move the case directly from start to its conclusion. If you have a Minnesota divorce lawyer representing you, they will write up the agreement and take care of all of the documentation necessary to make sure all the legal requirements are fulfilled.

This agreement and the subsequent Judgment and Decree are then sent to the court for approval.

Uncontested divorces don’t take long and can be finalized in as few as 60 days from the day of filing.

Contested Divorce

When the divorcing parties do not agree on all the issues, including spousal maintenance, child custody and support, parenting time, and division of property and debt, their case may go to trial.

A contested divorce begins with one spouse (petitioner) serving a Summons and Petition to the other spouse (respondent). These documents are meant to notify the respondent that the divorce process has been initiated. They also mention what the petitioner is asking for in the divorce. These documents must be personally served to the respondent, who may take 30 days to respond.

Both parties then have a certain period of time to exchange information, which is called discovery. During discovery, the spouses and their attorneys request and review important information, such as financial records. They also identify the issues to be resolved and work towards a settlement.

Before the trial begins, the court typically requires both spouses to explore other methods to resolve their domestic disputes. These methods may include mediation and arbitration. If they don’t work, the court conducts a pre-trial hearing to encourage a settlement. If the case doesn’t settle, it may go to trial for the judge to resolve the disputes.

Working with seasoned Minnesota attorney with experience in courtroom trials can be extremely beneficial in such cases. Such a lawyer will not only advocate effectively for you, but also prevent your divorce case from becoming unnecessarily antagonistic and costly.

Reaching an Agreement Is Vital

As soon as the divorcing couple reaches a mutually-agreeable settlement over all their issues, like spousal maintenance and child support at any point of the proceedings, their lawyers can draft an agreement. This agreement will need to be signed by the judge. It will then become the Judgment and Decree for the divorce.

Usually, the proposed decree is filed by the attorney of one of the parties. The other party and their attorney then reviews it and proposes changes, if required. When all parties have signed the decree, it is submitted to the judge for final approval.

Once the divorce decree is signed by the judge, the courts enter judgment. Both parties are then notified that the divorce proceedings have officially concluded.


It is natural for divorcing spouses to think about how long the divorce process will last once initiated. However, there is no fixed answer to this question. The duration depends of each unique marital situation as several variables have bearings on the divorce’s length. Hopefully, the above information has helped you understand the various factors that impact the tenure of the divorce process.

Hire an Experienced Divorce Lawyer in Brainerd

The divorce process can be physically and emotionally taxing. A well-practiced attorney can make it easier on you by guiding you properly and settling your case as early as possible. Call Carlson & Sons today and discuss you case with our experienced Divorce Lawyer in Brainerd. Get in touch with us at (855) 976-2444 for a free consultation. You can also contact us through our website.

How to File for Divorce in Hutchinson, MN

In Minnesota, divorce is called dissolution of marriage. For married couples, the dissolution results in the severing of the marital relationship, the resolution of custodial disputes, and the division of assets as well as debts.

Divorce cases are conducted in family court. Once the final papers are entered in the court’s records, the marriage can be dissolved or terminated. These final papers are referred to as Judgement and Decree in the legal language.

As experienced divorce lawyers in Hutchinson, MN, we know that the Judgement and Decree include the court’s decision on other legal matters as well. These are related to child custody, child support, visitation, and division of property as well as debts.

Let’s find out how to file for divorce in Hutchinson, MN and the various requirements.

A. What Are the Requirements for Filing for Divorce in Hutchinson, MN?

In order to qualify for divorce, Minnesota law requires the separating couple to mandatorily fulfil certain requirements. These include:

  • At least one spouse must have lived in Minnesota for at least 180 days.
  • The divorce process should be initiated by filing a Summons and a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage.
  • In cases where children are involved and the couple disagrees on custody and visitation matters, they must attend a divorce education class.

B. What Are the Grounds for Divorce in Minnesota?

Minnesota is a no-fault divorce state. This means that divorce can be granted without considering the wrongdoings of either spouse.

Neither party must find grounds for divorce, but seek dissolution on the basis of irreconcilable differences. All you need to prove is that there has been “an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage relationship.”

But, fault may come into play when decisions on alimony and property division need to be taken.

C. How to File for Divorce in Minnesota?

Filing for divorce in Hutchinson, Minnesota involves the following steps:

1. Preparing Forms

The divorce process starts with the proper completion of certain forms. You can avail these forms online from the government website or from the local courthouse or the law library. Your lawyer will assist you in completing the forms. Alternatively, you can check out the videos on the government website to understand how you can do so yourself.

The party that initiates the divorce is called the “petitioner,” whereas the party that receives the divorce papers is the “respondent.” The petitioner needs to have the following documents ready:

  • The Summons and Petition for Dissolution of Marriage.
  • Certification of dissolution.
  • Financial affidavit, if child support issues are involved.
  • Certificate of representation.
  • Any other document as required by local court rules.

If the respondent disagrees with the petitioner’s terms of divorce, he/she must prepare an “answer and verification.”

2. Filing out the Forms

Once the forms are ready, you will have to file them with the court, and send one copy to your spouse and retain one yourself. You can file the documents in the local courthouse in the county where you or your spouse live.

You will have to pay a fee to file your documents. To avoid the fee, you can complete a fee waiver form, which can be obtained from the clerk of the court. This form will be reviewed by the court. If approved, you will not have to pay to file your case documents.

When you submit your documents, the clerk of the court will stamp each form with the date. A file will then be created in court. You will have to send the signed and stamped photocopies of the documents to the respondent as soon as possible. This brings us to the next point.

3. Serving the Documents

Service of process ensures that both parties involved in the divorce know about the goings-on, and have an opportunity to present their side of the story. Hence, it is a crucial step.

If you are planning to serve your spouse with the documents, and he/she has not hired a lawyer, you can send them to his/her most recent home address. If, however, he/she has engaged a lawyer, serve the forms at the lawyer’s office instead.

Special service rules come into effect if you plan to serve your spouse within Minnesota. Under this, you have two options.

  • If the respondent is willing to cooperate, you can mail the documents to him/her, and also provide an acknowledgement of service form for his/her signature. This acknowledgement should then be filed with the court.
  • You also have the option of asking the sheriff or a professional process server to locate your spouse and “personally” serve him/her a copy of the summons and petition. You will then have to file the affidavit of service with the court.

These rules are usually applicable to all cases, unless you are trying to serve someone who may be very hard to locate due to serving in the military, being in jail, or other factors.

D. Which Financial Disclosures Are Necessary?

The petitioner as well as the respondent are required to provide a financial disclosure statement. It details their financial condition, clearly mentioning their assets, debts, income, and expenses. This helps the judge decide on the appropriate child support amount, how the marital property and debt should be divided, and whether or not a spouse should receive alimony.

The financial disclosure should include supporting documents such as income statements, tax returns, and pay stubs. Make sure you provide clear and truthful details when completing this form.


Depending on your unique circumstances, getting a divorce in Hutchinson, MN can be either a straightforward or a convoluted process. A lot depends on the ability and willingness of you and your spouse to reach an agreement on all the matters involved in the divorce. Hopefully, the above information will help you understand the fundamentals of filing for a divorce in the state of Minnesota.

Reach Out to an Experienced Divorce Lawyer in Hutchinson, MN

The final verdict in a divorce case can have a lasting impact on the quality of your life. It is, therefore, crucial to have a qualified and skilled divorce attorney on your side. We understand this and are willing to work diligently to bring you positive outcomes, depending on your case facts. For a free consultation with a practiced Hutchinson divorce attorney, contact Carlson & Jones, P.A. at (855) 976-2444.


A Family Law Attorney in Buffalo, MN Looks at Millennial Prenups

Since many Millenials are children of divorce, when they get married themselves, they are willing to think outside the box if it means keeping their unions intact. So, it’s little wonder that these couples are increasingly entering into premarital agreements before they tie the knot.

Prenuptial agreements are much more than divorce insurance. Frequently, they make marriages stronger. Money is one of the leading sources of marital friction. And, prenups remove financial matters from the equation before these issues have a chance to create tension.

Most agreements between spouses, including premarital agreements, are enforceable. However, Minnesota lawmakers have not adopted the Uniform Marital and Premarital Agreements Act. So, prenups are only enforceable in rather limited circumstances. Therefore, only an experienced family law attorney in Buffalo, MN should handle these matters, whether you are trying to make or break a premarital agreement.

Making Premarital Agreements

Money is not just one of the most problematic issues during a marriage. It’s also one of the most problematic areas during a divorce. And, if the unthinkable happens, most Millennials do not want to pay the steep emotional and financial costs associated with divorce.

Prenuptial agreements clearly distinguish marital property from nonmarital property. So, if the parties divorce, family law attorneys in Buffalo, MN need not spend vast amounts of time classifying property. That’s assuming the prenuptial agreement is enforceable, as set forth below.

Premarital contracts usually also include spousal support limitations. These provisions give people additional peace of mind. If Wife has substantially more money than Husband, Wife and her family both know that Husband is not marrying Wife for her money.

Emotional issues might be a consideration as well, especially if either spouse has been married before and the union involves a small business. Frequently, Minnesota’s antiquated intestacy laws do not keep up with modern families. Prenuptial agreements clarify inheritance and succession matters. To make these decisions even clearer and easier to enforce, mand family law attorneys in Buffalo, MN also draw up executory documents, such as wills and estate plans.

Only a few matters are off-limits in this area, such as child custody and child support. These matters must be in the best interests of the children, as opposed to the best interests of the parents.

Buffalo, MN Family Law Attorneys and Breaking Premarital Agreements

No contract is absolutely ironclad. There is usually a way to undo almost any kind of contract, and premarital agreements are no exception. Prenups are only enforceable in Minnesota if:

  • Recorded in Deed Records: Since they often affect real property, prenuptial agreements must be recorded in the deed records of Wright County, or wherever the prenup was signed. If the spouses move, the prenuptial agreement must move with them.
  • Voluntary: There is almost always some pressure to sign a premarital agreement. Sometimes, there is excessive pressure, such as a “sign or else” ultimatum. These things are usually not enough to invalidate a premarital contract. But sometimes, the pressure gets too great, and the pact is involuntary.
  • Full Disclosure: This bullet is related to the previous one. Agreements are involuntary if a spouse did not know what s/he was signing. The omission must be material to the issues in the contract. And, most judges also require challenging spouses to prove they could not have obtained the information elsewhere.
  • Unconscionable: A 60-40 division is uneven but probably not unconscionable. A division like “I get all the assets and you get all the debts” is clearly unconscionable. Additionally, the agreement must have been unconscionable when it was made. Stock is a good example. These certificates could be incredibly valuable one day and worthless pieces of paper the next day.
  • Separate Counsel Throughout: Each spouse must have an independent Buffalo, MN family law attorney throughout the entire process, and each spouse must have an equal opportunity to consult with counsel. Wife cannot spring the agreement on Husband at the least minute, even if Husband has a Buffalo, MN family law attorney.

Generally, the challenging party must prove the agreement was invalid by a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not). That’s the lowest standard of evidence in Minnesota.

Furthermore, most premarital agreements have severability provisions. If a judge invalidates one part, the remainder is still in force.

Contact a Diligent Lawyer

Premarital agreements are not just divorce insurance. In many cases, they are anti-divorce insurance. For a free consultation with an experienced family law attorney in Buffalo, MN, contact Carlson & Jones, P.A. Convenient payment plans are available.

Love, Baseball, Premarital Agreements, and Buffalo, MN Divorce Lawyers

Those are four items you probably never thought you’d see in the same sentence. Yet beginning in the spring of 2011, they all came together. Well, all of them except for the Buffalo, MN divorce lawyers component. Nevertheless, the Frank and Jamie McCourt divorce saga has some important lessons for Wright County family law attorneys.

Some baseball fans might remember the McCourts. This billionaire power couple owned the Los Angeles Dodgers in the early 2000s.

Minnesota is one of the few states which has not adopted the Uniform Marital and Premarital Agreements Act. Generally, lawmakers in St. Paul do not follow trends. They either start them or ignore them. Nevertheless, the issues presented in the McCourt prenup matter are very similar to the ones Buffalo, MN divorce lawyers face on an ongoing basis.

Prenups in Minnesota and Buffalo, MN Divorce Lawyers: An Overview

Rich couples who own baseball teams are by no means the only people who should consider prenuptial agreements. For the most part, these pacts are much more than divorce insurance. Since they decide most financial matters in advance, prenups usually make marriages stronger. Money is the leading cause of marital distress. And, premarital agreements remove money from the equation.

In Minnesota, prenuptial agreements can cover more than property division, spousal support, and property management issues. These pacts also often address inheritance and succession matters, especially if the couple owns a family business and stepchildren are involved. Frequently, Minnesota’s antiquated inheritance laws do not jive with a couple’s intentions.

Generally, premarital agreements are valid as long as each couple had an independent Buffalo, MN divorce lawyer, the agreement was properly recorded in the deed records, it was not blatantly one-sided, and it was voluntary. Those first two requirements are largely technicalities. The second two requirements, however, merit closer attention.

Dodgers Bankruptcy

Aided greatly by Kirk Gibson’s impossible home run in Game One, the Dodgers won the World Series in 1988. After that, the club fielded a succession of underachieving teams. Fan interest waned, and so did team revenues. When the McCourts bought the Dodgers in the early 2000s, they probably thought their investment epitomized the old axiom of buying low and selling high. Little did they know that the Dodgers would sink even lower before they rose again.

The team finally bottomed out in June 2011. Reportedly, Frank McCourt, who was the only remaining owner, did not have enough cash to make payroll. So, the club filed bankruptcy.

Then, something else impossible happened. The Dodgers suddenly became contenders again, largely due to the emergence of pitching ace Clayton Kershaw. Notoriously fickle SoCal fans returned and the team’s revenue exploded. As a result, Frank sold the team for a whopping $2.15 billion.

Breaking Down the McCourt Property Agreement

Just before the Dodgers went to bankruptcy court, the team owners were in divorce court. Supposedly, things came to a head for the feuding couple when Jamie had an affair with her bodyguard.

The divorce was contentious to say the least. Lawyers spent most of their time on the property division. Since the team was on the edge of bankruptcy and almost worthless, Jamie agreed to give up her half of the team for about $180 million in cash and property. That seemed like a good deal at the time.

Jamie’s jaw probably fell open when she saw the news of the sale. After all, California is a community property state. So, she argued in court, half that $2.15 billion was hers.

Eventually, a Superior Court judge disagreed. As mentioned above, Buffalo, MN divorce lawyers can use these same arguments in Wright County.

  • Withheld Information: In both California and Minnesota, prenuptial agreements are invalid if a party withholds financial data. Jamie claimed that Frank misled her about the team’s value. However, the judge noted that Frank produced tens of thousands of financial documents during discovery. Additionally, even if Frank did lie to her, Jamie was a co-owner at the time. So, she could have reviewed all the financial data she wanted.
  • Unconscionable Agreement: By almost any definition, the property agreement’s result was unconscionable. It left Jamie $900 million shy of a 50-50 split in a community property state. However, the agreement was not unconscionable when it was made. According to the court: “Jamie simply chose the security of a guaranteed $131 million payment, plus more than $50 million in real and personal property, over the uncertainty and risk presented by the valuation and sale of the Dodger assets.”

So, Jamie lost her appeal and even had to pay her ex-husband’s legal fees. But her story has a somewhat happy ending. The longtime GOP fundraiser recently became the U.S. ambassador to France and Monaco.

Contact a Dedicated Attorney

Prenups are not just for billionaires. For a free consultation with an experienced Buffalo, MN divorce lawyer, contact Carlson & Jones, P.A. Convenient payment plans are available.

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