Family Law

Rochester, MN Family Lawyer

At Rochford Langins Jarstad LLC, we are here to assist you with your family law needs. A divorce can be an emotional and difficult time in people’s lives. There is usually a sense of uncertainty about the process and what to expect, but a lawyer can help guide you through the process and advocate on your behalf. Below are some of the most frequently asked questions regarding divorce, however, each case is unique. We can also assist clients with custody, child support and parenting time issues. Please contact our office to speak with an attorney about your specific situation.

Have Questions? We can help.

What are the grounds for getting divorced?

Minnesota is a no-fault state, which means one party’s actions (i.e. adultery) do not need to be used as grounds for a divorce. Also, you do not need your spouse’s consent to obtain a divorce. Generally, a proceeding is based on ‘irreconcilable differences’ in which the marriage is beyond repair.

How long do I have to live in Minnesota to get a divorce?

One of the parties must be a resident of Minnesota for at least 180 days prior to filing a divorce proceeding.

Does it matter who initiates the proceeding?

Both parties are entitled to the same results in court regardless of who initiates the proceeding.

How is property divided in a divorce in Minnesota?

Minnesota courts must determine a ‘just and equitable division’ for marital property. That does not mean the division must be equal. Since Minnesota is a no-fault state, one party’s misconduct (i.e. adultery) is not a factor in determining property division. Some factors that the court will consider include length of marriage, income, debt, contribution in acquiring the property, and contribution to the home (e.g. who cared for the children).

Will I be able to see my kids?

As a general rule, the state favors joint legal and physical custody when possible. However, joint physical custody does not mean equal parenting time. Having a plan for parenting time in place pending resolution of the divorce proceeding can be beneficial for the children.

Do I have to pay child support?

Child support includes three components: basic support, medical support, and childcare support. There are numerous factors that affect the amount of support owed including income of both parents, whether there are non-joint children and parenting time.

Can I receive spousal maintenance? Will I have to pay spousal maintenance?

Maintenance is not a guarantee and there is no set formula for determining the amount or length of time that maintenance may need to be paid.

Do I need to hire an attorney?

You are not required to have an attorney to represent you. The state of Minnesota has forms available online and at local courthouses. While these forms come with directions, the process can still be complex and emotional. Having an experienced attorney to help guide you through the process can be extremely beneficial. Additionally, if you appear in court you will be held to the same standards and expectations as a represented party.

Can my spouse and I hire the same attorney to represent us both?

No. One attorney cannot represent both parties in a divorce proceeding. Both parties are not required to be represented, but if only one attorney is involved, they can only represent one party.

What is the difference between a legal separation and divorce?

Legal separation and divorce cover many of the same issues: property division, support, custody, etc. Many people choose legal separation for religious reasons.

How much will hiring an attorney cost?

Ultimately, the costs associated with a divorce proceeding vary on a case by case basis. After learning about your specific situation, an estimate can be provided with the caveat that sometimes issues arise that are unpredictable or unforeseen. Our billing procedures will be detailed in the retainer agreement.

How long will it take to complete the divorce proceeding?

This will depend on the specific facts of your case. If there are major disputes on issues that need to be litigated in court, the process could take six to 12 months or more. If there are no major disputes and the matter is settled outside of court, it could be resolved in less than six months.