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Minnesota Divorce Forms
This is a list of the most commonly filed divorce forms for the state of Minnesota. Following the list is a brief summary of each form and its purpose. This list of forms is not exhaustive and not all forms listed are required for every divorce. Due to unique case situations and special divorce filing procedures in Minnesota, certain forms may or may not be required by the Minnesota courts.
This form gives the Respondent 30 days to file an Answer or face a default against him or her. It also includes temporary restraining provisions that enjoin 1) the disposal of assets, 2) harassment of the other party and 3) maintain the continuity of all existing insurance policies.
Petition for the Dissolution of Marriage
This form, signed and acknowledged by the Petitioner, identifies the parties, their children, establishes the residency and gives irretrievable breakdown as the grounds; establishes that neither party enjoys protections under the Servicemembers' Civil Relief Act and that they have been separated. It also for asks for relief that may include child support and alimony, medical insurance, the sale of the family home and use and possession of motor vehicles.
Admission of Service
When the Respondent agrees with the action, he or she signs this Admission of Service, by which he or she agrees to waive formal service of the Summons and Petition. The Admission of Service gives him 30 days to serve an Answer on the Petitioner.
This one-page form, signed by the Respondent, is used to admit, deny or claim insufficient knowledge about allegations made by the Petitioner in the Petition. The Answer may include a Counterpetition, which essentially sets forth the Respondent's version of the facts of the marriage. The Answer and Counterpetition may be preliminaries to a contested divorce.
Marital Termination Agreement (MTA)
The Marital Termination Agreement (MTA) spells out the terms and conditions of the marital dissolution, including the distribution and division of assets and liabilities, spousal and child support, and visitation. The Parenting Plan is attached as an Appendix.
Waiver of Counsel
When both the Petitioner and Respondent agree, both sign a joint and notarized Wavier of Counsel statement stating that each "freely and voluntarily" waives his or her right "to be represented by counsel" for the purpose of negotiating a Marital Termination Agreement. This Waiver is required of Pro Se filers.
Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, Order for Judgment, and Judgment and Decree
Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, Order for Judgment, and Judgment and Decree end the marriage. The Findings of Fact are used in support of Conclusions of Law, which deals with the obligations of the spouses in conjunction with the dissolution of the marriage. The Marital Termination Agreement of the spouses is the basis for the Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, Order for Judgment, and Judgment and the Decree.
The Parenting Plan, which must be signed by both parents and notarized, tells with all facets of custody and visitation, including residential and preschool, school schedules, the summer schedule, vacation(s) with each parent, schedules for holidays and special occasions, priorities, transportation arrangements, telephone contacts, restrictions, decision making, rights of first refusal, sickness, and dispute resolution.
Certification of Representation and Parties
This form, which is filed only by the counsel filing the initial action, is used to make a record of the address of the parties. It is called Form 104.
Scheduling Information Statement
This form, filed by the Petitioner, gives the court an idea of the complexity of the case and the amount of time it will take to prepare for it. It establishes that all parties have been properly served and whether or not the case will move by default, and, among other facets of the action, gives the contours of child custody decisions and lists deadlines for filing motions. This form is filed within 60 days of the initiation of the divorce, and within 30 days of filing the Scheduling Information Statement, the court must issue a Schedule a Hearing Order.
Notice of Motion and Motion
In contested actions, either the Petitioner or the Respondent may file a Notice of Motion and Motion, by which he or she 1) puts the other side on notice that he or she intends to ask the court for 2) relief specified in the Motion. This Notice of Motion and Motion includes an acknowledgment.
Affidavit of Service or Affidavit of Personal Service
These Affidavits, signed by the person delivering the divorce papers to the Respondent, authenticate that he or she made the service and that the party received the paperwork. It is notarized.
Affidavit of Service by Mail
This Affidavit, signed by the person who mailed the divorce paper to the Respondent, authenticates that he or she mailed them. The form is notarized.
Application for Temporary Relief
Depending upon the situation, either the Petitioner or the Respondent may file an Application for Temporary Relief after the divorce has been started. This application, which includes a financial profile of the both the husband and wife, asks for temporary spousal and child support.
Application for Service by Alternative Means
This form documents the efforts by the Petitioner to locate a Respondent who cannot or will not be found. This application is a preliminary to the court permitting the Petitioner to attempt service by mail at the Respondent's last known address, or if that is impossible, Service by Publication in a legal newspaper.
Default Scheduling Request
A Default Scheduling Request can bring about an Administrative Dissolution of Marriage, which can be approved without a hearing, when the spouses have reached agreement and there are no minor children, and the parties have reached agreement, or if there are minor children and the respondent has not answered the petition and 20 days have lapsed in addition to the 30 days of the Summons, or if there are children and the parties have signed an acknowledged agreement and are represented by legal counsel.
Certificate of Dissolution
Following the Decree of Dissolution, this form is used to record the entry of a Court Order restoring the names of either the Petitioner or the Respondent.
When custody is in dispute, a Minnesota court issues a custody order that is in the "best interests of the child." Joint custody will only be awarded if parents have shown the court that they are willing and able to cooperate. A court also examines several factors with the child's welfare in mind. They include (1) the child's preference, (2) each parent's health, (3) the child's health and whether any special needs exist, (4) each parent's relationship with the child, (5) which parent has been the child's primary caretaker, (6) each parent's ability to provide a stable environment for the child, (7) any history of domestic violence or child abuse and (8) any allegations of abuse.
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