Forms to Start a Divorce

There are many different divorce forms. Choosing the correct set for your divorce is important.

If you and your spouse have an agreement on all the terms at the start of the divorce you will generally use a Joint Petition (with or without children).

If you and your spouse do not have an agreement at the start of the divorce, you will generally use the forms for a Petition for Divorce (with or without children). 

Keep the following in mind when selecting the best forms for your situation:
 

Q: Do you and your spouse have an agreement on all the terms and are working together to file for divorce?
 

  • Yes.
    • Use the Joint Petition With or Without Children or the Joint Petition for Summary Dissolution (if you meet the requirements described in more detail below).
  • No.
    • If you and your spouse do not agree on all the terms at the start of the divorce, use the Petition for Divorce (with or without children). 

      IMPORTANT! Talk to an attorney about your legal rights and how an agreement will affect you before you sign anything. If you have been physically or emotionally abused by your spouse, be careful when trying to reach an agreement on the divorce. Your safety is most important. Mediation resources are available at Settle Out of Court (ADR)
Q: Do you and your spouse have minor children (joint children) together (or one spouse is currently pregnant)?
 
  • Yes.
    • Use the “With Children” court forms if:
      • You and your spouse have minor children together (under age 18 or 18 but still in high school). This includes biological and adopted children; or
      • One spouse is pregnant; or
      • A child was born during the marriage from another relationship. MN law presumes that a husband is the father of a child conceived or born during the marriage to the wife.

        EXCEPTION: If paternity was established either by court order or by signing a Recognition of Parentage AND Spouse’s Non-Paternity Statement you may file for a divorce without children if no other joint children or spouse is not pregnant.

        If you are not sure, you should talk with an attorney for legal advice.
  • No.
    • Use the “without children” forms if:
      • You and your spouse do not have a minor child together (biological or adopted);
      • Neither spouse is pregnant; and
      • Neither spouse gave birth during the marriage to a child from another relationship.

Click a link in the table below to select your divorce forms:

Review the table below for help in choosing the best forms for your situation.  You can click on the links within the form to select your forms.
 

 
Agree on All Issues?   with Children without Children
Yes, agree on all issues at start of divorce.

»

Joint Divorce Petition
with Children 

 
Joint Divorce Petition
without Children
 
 
Do not agree on all issues at start of divorce.

»

Divorce Petition 
with Children
 

Divorce Petition with Children*
(online interview)
 
Divorce Petition
without Children

 

*NEW!* Use Minnesota Guide & File to create the forms you need to start a Divorce Petition with Children. This online interview is used when you and your spouse have minor children together (under 18 years of age) and do not have an agreement at this time. When completed, you can print the forms needed to start your Divorce with Children. Electronic filing through Guide & File is not yet available for this interview, but is coming soon. For more information, visit our Guide & File Help Topic.

Summary Dissolution
 
  • Limited situations: If you and your spouse agree on all issues when starting the divorce process and are working together to file, you may be able to use the streamlined Summary Dissolution process if:
    • you were married less than 8 years;
    • you do not own any real estate;
    • your total debts are under $8,000;
    • the total value of your personal property is less than $25,000; and
    • there has been no domestic abuse.
Read the law on Summary Dissolution at MN Statutes § 518.195 to see if you qualify.