Minnesota is a no-fault divorce state. A divorce will be granted in Minnesota without the necessity of proving that one of the parties is guilty of marital misconduct. In earlier times, a party to a divorce was required to demonstrate that the other spouse was at fault for causing a breakdown in the marriage. Adultory was by far the most common basis, but others included domestic abuse, abandonment and an inability to consummate the marriage.

Today, a party to a divorce in Minnesota must merely demonstrate that there has been an “irretrievable breakdown” in the marital relationship. One spouse must simply acknowledge as much, and the court will grant their request to dissolve the marriage. A relatively low threshold – and a tough pill to swallow for those who feel that there is no “justice” in their case unless the court takes into account marital misconduct.

Potential clients often ask, “Should I fight the divorce?” Yes, if you intend to do so outside of the legal arena through counseling or therapy. Once it is obvious that the marriage cannot be saved, your resistence should be limited to that which is necessary to obtain a favorable court order. Not wanting the divorce can be used as leverage against your spouse if they are anxious to conclude matters. Often, the impatient spouse will buy a quick resolution by making an extremely attractive settlement offer. This strategy should be balanced against overdoing it. If you are fighting the dissolution process out of anger or spite, you are likely to cause significant economic and emotional harm to you, your spouse and your children.