News Item
Guide & File Divorce Interviews Now Available in All Divorce Types

Posted: Wednesday, April 22, 2020


This helpful tool and many others are available while court services are limited

The Minnesota Judicial Branch has launched the Guide & File interview for “Starting a Divorce in MN,” which is now available for all divorce types. This tool will assist litigants in creating all of the required forms to start a divorce with or without children, or a joint petition with or without children. Learn more by visiting the Guide & File Help Topic.
“The Judicial Branch is committed to assisting court customers during this unprecedented time.  Many services and online tools, including the new Guide & File interview, are available for the public to get their questions answered and complete documents for their cases” said State Court Administrator Jeff Shorba.
The Statewide Self-Help Center accepts calls at (651) 435-6535, Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and also responds to email questions sent through its contact form. Find basic information about more than 40 common legal topics, court forms, videos and tutorials, and more on the Judicial Branch public website. Translated

Guide & File – An online interview tool for certain case types

Guide & File is a free, online, mobile-friendly interview tool that asks simple questions and uses the answers to complete the appropriate court forms. It also gives helpful information throughout the interview to explain legal terms and concepts. The resulting forms can be printed, and many may be electronically-filed with the court.
Litigants who plan to file by paper are asked to contact the court for the current process for filing paper copies. Guide & File is available for the following case types:
  • Conciliation Court
  • Eviction
  • Affidavit of Service (for Conciliation Court and Eviction)
  • Restraining Orders (Orders for Protection and Harassment Restraining Orders)
  • Starting a Divorce (now for all Divorce types)
Contact the Statewide Self-Help Center or guide and file support with questions or to request support with Guide & File.

Fillable Smart Forms – Forms with built-in intelligence

Fillable Smart Forms can be used to make it easier to complete forms and electronically file cases. Responses in Fillable Smart Forms can auto-populate to fields that ask for the same information, “hide” questions that do not apply, and allow for longer answers in some answer fields. Fillable Smart Forms reduce extra and unnecessary pages, and can easily be saved and prepared for eFiling. The Forms can also be printed and completed on paper.
The answers to FAQs explain how users can change their internet browser settings to more easily open the Forms. Fillable Smart Forms cannot be used on mobile devices or with Chromebooks.

eFile – Submitting documents to the court electronically

Documents may be submitted to the court electronically using the eFile and eServe (eFS) system. More information about eFiling is available at, with helpful training materials on the eFile and eServe Training tab.
Contact the eFile Support Center with questions or for support with eFS: (612) 902-9585, or (844) 918-1724 for those calling long distance from a land line phone. Support is available Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Minnesota State Law Library – Online tools and support available by phone and email

Minnesota State Law Library (MSLL) staff will continue to deliver legal information services via the MSLL website, by email (quickest response time), and by phone (651) 297-7651. The Library has access to many online legal resources and can assist people looking for legal information. Since physical access to the Library is not currently available, Library staff may mail items to patrons when emailing is not an option.

Contacting the Court

In order to make it easy for the public to find their county-specific district court information, an easy-to-find drop-down menu has been added to the Minnesota Judicial Branch COVID-19 webpage. Each district court’s phone number and email contact form, along with any courthouse-specific information, will show up based on the county selected. For information about filing and cases at the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court, please contact the Office of the Clerk of Appellate Courts.