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Guide & File for Starting a Divorce Now Available

Posted: Friday, January 3, 2020

Guide & File for Starting a Divorce Now Available

New Guide & File makes creating divorce forms easier to complete by asking questions and populating court forms for self-represented litigants

The Minnesota Judicial Branch has launched a new Guide & File interview for beginning a divorce. Guide & File can be used by people who are seeking a Divorce with Children, Divorce without Children, or a Joint Petition with or without Children when parties are in agreement.
Guide & File is available through the Minnesota Judicial Branch website and takes the guess-work out of completing court forms. Unlike traditional court forms, where users fill in fields with their information, Guide & File is an interview tool that asks simple questions and uses the answers to complete the appropriate court forms. The resulting forms can be printed or may be electronically-filed with the court. Guide & File can be used on mobile and desktop devices.
“Guide & File interviews have proved an effective way to support Minnesotans who are representing themselves in court,” said State Court Administrator Jeff Shorba. Expanding Guide & File into the area of divorce is especially important because divorce forms are some of the most-used forms on the Judicial Branch website. When people use and complete the correct forms, their cases can move more efficiently, which can contribute to a more timely resolution.”
Guide & File first launched in June 2018. To date, Guide & File has been used to create more than 28,000 documents and to eFile almost 4,000 cases directly through Guide & File in 84 different courts across all 10 judicial districts in MN.  
In addition to starting a divorce, Guide & File interviews can be used to create multiple forms, including: starting a conciliation court case, starting an eviction case, filing an affidavit of service in a conciliation court or eviction case, and requesting a Harassment Restraining Order (HRO) and/or Order for Protection (OFP). Additional divorce interviews, including forms to finish a divorce, will be rolled out in 2020. Expansion of Guide & File interviews is one strategy for achieving Strategic Goal 1: Access to Justice, in the Minnesota Judicial Branch Strategic Plan. Learn more by visiting the Guide & File Help Topic.