Minnesota is a no-fault state in regard to divorce, so spouses do not have to claim grounds like adultery or cruelty to file for a legal end to the marriage. Often, one or both spouses no longer want to be in this relationship, even if there are no specific grounds. Occasionally a Family Law Lawyer in Rochester MN represents a client whose spouse left the area a long time ago, and now this client wants to file for divorce.
Under the fault system, the grounds would have been categorized as abandonment or desertion. Since Minnesota no longer recognizes grounds for divorce, the filing is done with the reason noted as irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.
Notifying the Spouse
The situation is a bit tricky, however, because the law requires notifying the spouse about the divorce filing. If the client of the Family Law Lawyer in Rochester MN has no idea where the spouse is, some investigative work is in order. It’s easier now to find people because of social media and the Internet in general, as long as they are not actively in hiding.
Alternate Means of Notice
Sometimes people do hide, starting life over in a different region with a new name. If reasonable attempts have been made to locate this person and serve the divorce papers, the next step is to publish the filing in newspapers. Legally, this is known as alternate means of notice.
Provisions in the Petition
In this type of situation, it’s crucial to hire an attorney with an organization such as Rolsch Law Offices. The spouse may show up at the last minute and contest certain aspects of the petition for divorce. An attorney can write the petition to include provisions that are important to the client, such as specifics regarding any children from the marriage as well as division of assets.
If the spouse does not answer the petition, the court will typically grant a default judgment of divorce. The court does not expect an abandoned spouse to go to extraordinary lengths to find the wife or husband who took off and never returned.