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Forms to Start a Divorce

To choose the correct divorce forms, first answer the questions below, then select your forms:

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Q: Do you have minor children with your spouse?

With Children: 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.
  • The Wife is pregnant OR gave birth to a child during the marriage (even if the Husband is not the father of the child). Minnesota law presumes that a husband is the father of a child conceived or born during the marriage to the wife. EXCEPT: Use the "without children" forms if paternity was established in another man making him the legal father instead of the Husband.
  • In same sex marriages, a child conceived or born during the marriage that is not legally adopted by the other spouse, may or may not be presumed to be the legal child of both spouses. Ask a lawyer for advice. If both spouses claim to be the legal parents, the divorce "with children" forms are probably most appropriate, but changing the forms may be required.

Without Children: A divorce is considered to be without children if the spouses do not have minor child together, the Wife is not pregnant, and the Wife did not give birth during the marriage to a child from another relationship. In those situations, use the "without children" court forms.

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Q: Do you and your spouse agree how to settle all issues?

Agree: If you and your spouse agree on all the issues of your divorce from the start of the process, AND you can both sign and notarize the same document, you can complete one Joint Petition form.

Do Not Agree: If you do not agree on all key issues at the start of your divorce, then choose a& link under "Do not agree" in the table below. Later in the process, if you can reach an agreement with your spouse, you can sign and file a "Stipulation"(agreement) form to finish the case.

IMPORTANT! Talk to a lawyer 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).

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

You can complete divorce forms using an online document assembly tool called I-CAN!, or you can download and print the forms to fill them out by hand.

Agree on All Issues?   with
Children
without
Children

 

Yes, agree on all issues at start of divorce.

»

I-CAN! Divorce Forms

OR

Joint Divorce Petition
with Children
 
(download & print)

I-CAN! Divorce Forms

OR

Joint Divorce Petition
without Children
 
(download & print)

 

Do not agree on all issues at start of divorce.

»

I-CAN! Divorce Forms

OR

Divorce Petition
with Children
 
(download & print)

I-CAN! Divorce Forms

OR

Divorce Petition
without Children

(download & print)

Limited situations: If both spouses agree on all issues when starting divorce AND will sign a joint document, AND were married less than 8 years with no real estate, total debts under $8000, total personal property value less than $25,000, and no domestic abuse, then they may use the Summary Dissolution without Children form packet. Read the law on "summary" divorce at MN Statutes §518.195 to see if you qualify.

COURT FORMS REVIEW: If you fill out your forms on a computer (with Word, PDF or I-CAN), a Self-Help Center staff member can review your completed court forms BEFORE you print them. Contact Us @SHC for more details.

See also Legal Advice Clinics & Self-Help Centers. It is always a good idea to get legal advice to protect your best interests in any legal action, even if you have reached an agreement with the other party.

 

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