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Your Guide to Divorce and Residency Requirements in Minnesota

by | Feb 14, 2022 | Divorce

To be eligible to file for divorce in Minnesota, you and your spouse must satisfy the state’s residency requirement. Without establishing valid residency, a Minnesota court will not allow a couple’s divorce petition to move forward. At Kohlmeyer Hagen, Law Office Chtd., we want to ensure that you have knowledge you need to navigate the divorce process. In this article, our Mankato divorce lawyer explains the important things you should know about divorce and residency in Minnesota.

Minnesota Divorce: A Six Month (180) Residency Requirement

You can get divorced in Minnesota regardless of your state of marriage. The residency rules state that either you or your spouse must have lived in Minnesota for a minimum of six months (180 days). To be clear, only one spouse needs to be an active resident of Minnesota in order to satisfy this requirement. If you and your spouse have both lived in Minnesota for the last six months, you can file for divorce in the state. If only one of you has been a resident of Minnesota for the last six months, you have the right to file a divorce petition in the state.

Exception: Military families face some unique challenges. The state has a somewhat relaxed residency requirement for members of the armed forces. If you or your spouse is a military member who kept official Minnesota residency, you can still file for divorce in the state even if you currently live in another location due to active duty service. To learn more, contact our Minnesota military divorce attorneys.

You Should File a Divorce Petition in the Proper County

By meeting the 180-day residency requirement, you have the right to file for divorce in Minnesota. When you do file a divorce petition, it is imperative that you initiate the case in the appropriate venue—otherwise the process will be delayed. These are county-level cases. Under Minnesota law (MN Stat § 518.09), you generally need to file a divorce petition within the “county where either spouse resides.”

In other words, you may be able to file for divorce in two different counties if you and your spouse live apart. Most often, the county where a valid divorce petition is initially filed will have jurisdiction over the case. As an example, imagine that a married couple in Rochester is ready for a divorce. They should file their petition at the court in Olmsted County. As long as at least one of the spouses has resided within Minnesota for a minimum of 180 days, they will meet the residency requirements.

Are You and Your Spouse Going Through a Divorce in Southern Minnesota?

We are here to protect your legal rights and financial interests. At Kohlmeyer Hagen, Law Office Chtd., our Minnesota family lawyers have deep experience helping people navigate divorce. If you have any specific questions about divorce and residency requirements, please do not hesitate to contact us for your strictly confidential case evaluation. With office locations in Mankato and Rochester, we provide family & divorce representation throughout Southern Minnesota.