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Same-sex couples divorce law and procedures in Minnesota

With much of the nation still up in arms over the issue of same-sex divorce, Minnesota, in comparison, has been settled on this issue for years now. Some are not aware that same-sex marriage has been legal in MN prior to the Supreme Court's decision earlier this year determining that barring same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. However, Minnesota does allow same-sex couples a divorce or dissolution of marriage under state law. There are certain laws that need to be met in order to qualify for a same-sex divorce in MN.

The requirements for same-sex couples to divorce are not much different from traditionally married spouses. At least one of the spouses needs to be living in Minnesota for 180 days in order to begin filing for divorce.

A couple may also file if they were married in Minnesota on or before August 1, 2013 and each party to the marriage now lives in a state that does not allow the dissolution of the parties' same sex marriage. This helps same-sex couples that are unable to be granted a divorce in other states.

As mentioned above, some states do not currently recognize same-sex marriage or divorce. Happily, Minnesota is not one of those states. Dissolution of marriage is available to both same-sex couples and opposite-sex spouses. Legal issues may exist for same-sex couples residing in other states, which is a shame. However, there shouldn't be too many unforeseen barriers for same-sex couples somehow connected to the state of Minnesota.

For those thinking of divorce, the ability to legally make this happen should be the last concern. Often property division, child custody and other big life changes will likely accompany this change. Same-sex couples may need to weed through these issues in the same way heterosexual couples do. There is much to be determined once divorce is the option on the table.

Source: mncourts.gov, "Divorce/Dissolution," Accessed Nov. 1, 2015

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