If you’re having second thoughts about your nuptials, you’re not alone: According to the American Psychological Association, between 40 to 50% of all marriages end in divorce, and the rate increases in subsequent marriages. On average, couples stay together three years before filing for divorce, but for some, the desire to separate may come immediately after “I do.”
In Minnesota, there is no waiting period before you can file, and the state became no-fault in 1979, which means that you do not need to provide proof that the marriage is irreconcilable. If you recently married, there are a few things you need to know:
• Proof of Residence.
Either you or your spouse will need to have proof of living in the state for at least 180 days in order to file for divorce. If you are newlyweds who recently moved to Minnesota, you will need to spend at least six months in the state before you can file with the courts.
• Relocation Options.
If you plan to move out, you will need to know where you are going to live during and after the divorce. You will want to document the items in the home before you leave if you worry about your spouse trying to hide assets.
• Wedding Gifts.
There is no written rule about what happens to wedding gifts after a short marriage. Miss Manners suggests that all gifts belong to the couple, once the wedding takes place. However, Emily Post suggests that if a marriage only lasted a few months, the couple should return the gifts. Common courtesy also strongly encourages couples to return any family heirlooms they may have received.
• Friends and Family.
The people around you will also be affected by your divorce. They may ask you why you changed your mind or why you got married in the first place. You do not need to give them any details, but knowing what to say before they ask will help you prepare for those conversations. Consider when you will tell people as well; you may wish to let a few close friends know about your divorce before you make the announcement public.