DIY Divorce: The Quickest and Easiest Way to Divorce in Minnesota

Unfortunately, there isn’t a Minnesota divorce kit that anyone can hand you for a quick and easy do-it-yourself divorce. But to reduce the cost of a divorce, you can work with a lawyer to get help completing divorce papers and to discuss what to expect throughout the process. We are here to guide you. So, let’s get started.

Here’s what the typical Minnesota divorce looks like:

 

If your spouse and you need help with an amicable divorce, we can help. Below you will find our divorce checklist to ensure you bring in everything you need to get started.

Divorce checklist

Before your initial consultation, it is important to collect and bring along the following items. Jessica Sterle will help you complete the paperwork and ensure that it is accurate, complete and organized. That helps make your divorce as quick and easy as possible. You will need copies of: 

  1. Paystubs for the past three months. If self-employed, bring a copy of the profit and loss statement for your company’s year so far.
  2. Any employment bonuses and/or commissions for the past 12 months.
  3. Each parties’ individual federal and state tax returns for the past three years including any W-2 or 1099 forms.
  4. Any federal and state business tax returns for the past three years.
  5. Each parties’ prenuptial agreement, if one exists.
  6. Any partnership agreements or employment contracts.
  7. The most recent statement for a 401(k), Roth or traditional IRA, pension or other retirement plan.
  8. 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 says 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.
  9. The legal description of any real estate owned by one or both parties.
  10. A market analysis or appraisal for any real estate the parties own.
  11. Any appraisals for the real estate within the last six months.
  12. If a spouse owned real estate prior to the marriage that he or she still owns at the time of the divorce, Minnesota law says 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. Those numbers determine what the real estate value has been during the marriage. The documentation for these four balances must be available at the time of the divorce.
  13. The past three months of statements for debts not paid in full each month and amassed during the marriage, regardless of whether those debts are in one or both parties’ names.
  14. Any bank statements for the past three months, no matter whether the accounts are in one or both parties’ names.
  15. The valuation of any cars, SUVs, trucks, motorcycles or 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 the valuations.
  16. Documentation for stocks, bonds and cryptocurrencies.

If you have children, you’ll also need copies of the following:

  1. Information from an employer or health insurance carrier showing the monthly premium for single, family and employee-plus-one health insurance coverage
  2. Information from an employer or health insurance carrier showing the monthly premium for single, family and employee-plus-one dental insurance coverage.
  3. Children’s day-care fees for the past three months.

You may want to file for divorce yourself, and that is possible. But once a divorce is final, it’s nearly impossible to go back and fix errors or re-litigate missed issues. You have a better chance of a positive outcome by working with a divorce attorney. Hiring a divorce attorney to help you fill out papers can help you navigate:

  1. Working with your spouse to start dividing any assets and or debts.
  2. Closing all joint credit-card or bank accounts.
  3. Changing your will, health-care directives and estate-planning documents. (If you do not have these, it’s important to start this process for you and your children.)
  4. Avoiding legal repercussions from:
    1. Moving out and/or taking children with you.
    2. Dating while separated.
    3. Moving money.

Are you ready to get some advice and help with your divorce papers? Schedule an online divorce consultation with Jessica Sterle.