Unfortunately, there isn’t a Minnesota divorce kit that anyone can hand you for a quick and easy do-it-yourself, DIY divorce. However, to keep the cost of divorce lower, you can work with a lawyer to get assistance filling out divorce papers and discuss what to expect throughout the process. (Kind of like the cool kid giving the geeky kid their homework in every rom-com.) We are here to guide you through the divorce paperwork. So let’s get started.
Here’s what the typical divorce in Minnesota and its many steps look like.
If your spouse and you need amicable divorce advice, we can help. Below you will find our divorce checklist to ensure you bring in everything needed to get started.
Before you log on to your initial consultation, it is important to collect and bring along the following items. Jessica Sterle will help you complete the paperwork and ensure it is accurate, complete, and organized to help make your divorce as quick and easy as possible. You will need copies of:
- Paystub for the past three months. If self-employed, a copy of the Profit and Loss statement for the year so far.
- Any employment bonuses and/or commissions for the past twelve months.
- Each parties’ individual federal and state tax returns for the past three years including any W-2s or 1099 forms.
- Any business federal and state tax returns for the past three years.
- Each parties’ prenuptial agreement.
- Any partnership agreements or employment contracts.
- The most recent 401(k), Roth or traditional IRA, pension, or other similar retirement plan and/or pension statement.
- The statement from the month of marriage if a spouse had a 401(k), Roth, traditional IRA, or other retirement plans prior to the marriage.
- The legal description of any real estate one or both parties own.
- Any appraisals for the real estate within the last six months.
- The past three months of statements for debts not paid off in full each month obtained during the marriage whether the debts are in one or both parties’ names.
- Any bank statements for the past three months no matter if the accounts are in one or both parties’ names.
- If a spouse had a retirement account, pension, bank account, or other specific assets prior to the marriage and he or she wants to pursue keeping that specific asset and/or its non-marital value in the divorce, Minnesota law states that the spouse has the burden of proof to show what that asset was worth at the time of marriage. Thus, the law requires that the spouse provide documentation of the statement for the month of marriage showing how much money he or she had in a retirement account, pension, bank account, or other assets at the time of marriage.
- If a spouse owned real estate prior to the marriage that he or she still owns at the time of the divorce, Minnesota law states that the spouse has the burden of proof to show what the real estate was worth at the time of marriage, what the mortgage was at the time of marriage, what the real estate is worth today and what the mortgage balance is today in order to determine what the real estate value is during the marriage. The documentation for these four balances must be available at the time of the divorce.
- A market analysis or appraisal for any real estate the parties currently own.
- The valuation of any cars, SUVs, trucks, motorcycles, and other vehicles using www.nada.com or www.kelleybluebook.com. Follow the link for used consumer vehicles. Specify the year, make, model, and features of the vehicles and print off the valuations.
- Documentation for stocks, bonds, and cryptocurrencies.
If you have children, you’ll also need copies of the following:
- Information from his or her employer or health insurance carrier shows how much of the monthly premium is for single, family, and employee +1 coverage health insurance
- Information from his or her employer or health insurance carrier shows how much of the monthly premium is for single, family, and employee +1 coverage dental insurance.
- Daycare fees for the past three months.
You may want to file for divorce yourself, and that is possible. The issue is that once things are final it is nearly impossible to go back to fix errors and to relitigate issues that were missed. A divorce is done correctly when working with a Minnesota divorce lawyer to assist you in filing for divorce giving you a better chance of having a positive outcome in the end. Hiring a divorce lawyer to assist in filling out divorce papers can help you navigate:
- Working with your spouse to start dividing any assets and or debts.
- Closing all joint credit cards or bank accounts.
- Change your will, health care directives, and any estate planning documents you may have set up. If you do not have any of this, it is important to start this process for you and/or your children.
- Avoid legal repercussions from:
- Moving out and/or taking children with you.
- Dating while separated.
- Moving money.
Are you ready to get some advice and help with your divorce papers? Schedule an online divorce consultation with Jessica Sterle.