Frequently asked questions

How Long Does It Take To Get A Divorce?

The time it takes to get a divorce varies greatly and depends on a number of factors. In general, the more you and your spouse can agree on, the less time it takes. A simple uncontested divorce might only take a few months, whereas a complicated divorce, or one in which the parties disagree and argue about everything, may take two years or more.

How Much Does A Divorce Cost?

The cost of a divorce varies greatly. Each party will generally be required to pay: * A filing fee. This varies by county, but is typically around $400. * Attorney fees (if represented). * Other costs, such as expert witness fees. Attorney fees can vary from less than $1000 to tens of thousands, depending upon the issues involved, the complexity of the case, and the ability of the parties to come to agreement. At Kruse Family Law, we offer both traditional "full-service" representation, which requires a retainer fee and is billed hourly, and "limited-scope" representation, in which the client pays a flat fee for performance of specific services. The latter option offers a way to save money, but does require that the client be willing and able to handle the remaining elements of the case on his or her own.

What If My Spouse Or Partner Has Harmed Or Threatened Me Or Our Children?

If you or your children are being harmed or threatened, you can ask the court for an Order for Protection (OFP). An OFP will order the abuser to stop abuse and threats. It can also order him or her to leave the home and stay away from a workplace or school. You can ask for an OFP for you, your children, or both. You don't need a lawyer for an OFP. Forms are available at the courthouse and the clerks will help you fill out the application. For more information, click the "Domestic Abuse" link on the "Resources" page.

How Should We Tell Our Kids About Our Divorce?

Telling your children that you are getting a divorce is never easy, but there are things you can do to soften the blow. First, plan what you are going to tell the children and, if possible, you and your spouse should tell them together. It is important to assure your children that the divorce is not their fault. Do your best to answer their questions and let them know that you are there for them if they want to talk about it at a later time. Children react differently and it is important to keep monitoring how they are doing from time to time. If the children are having difficulty, you should consider counseling or therapy.

Will I Have To Pay -- Or Will I Get -- Spousal Maintenance (Alimony)

There are no set formulas for determining spousal maintenance (also known as alimony) and the courts have lots of discretion in awarding it. Minnesota law sets forth a number of factors that the court is supposed to consider, including: * The financial resurces of the spouse seeking maintenance. * The time needed for education or training to allow the spouse seeking maintenance to get a full-time job, and how much that spouse is likely to earn. * The standard of living during the marriage. * The length of the marriage. * The age and physical and emotional condition of the spouse seeking maintenance. * The ability of the other spouse to pay maintenance while still meeting his or her own needs. The basic issue boils down to the needs of the spouse seeking maintenance weighed against the ability of the other spouse to pay it. It is rare for spousal maintenance to be awarded in a short-term marriage (one that has lasted less than seven or eight years).

Does It Matter Who Starts The Divorce?

In general, it doesn't matter whether you or your spouse starts the divorce process, however, if you live in different counties, being the person to initate the divorce may allow you to determine the county in which in is handled.

What Information Do I Need To Gather For My Divorce?

Every divorce is different but, in general, you should gather the following, if possible: * Tax returns for the past three years (personal and business). * W-2s, K-1s, and 1099s for the past three years. * Your past five paystubs, as well as year-end paystubs for the past three years. * Documentation of any other income not reflected on the above. * Bank statements for all accounts for the past three years. * Credit card statements for accounts for the past three years. * Statements from any retirement or brokerage accounts for the past three years. * Mortgage and HELOC statements for the past three years. * Deeds, purchase agreements, appraisals, and closing documents relating to any real estate you or your spouse own or have owned in the past five years. * If you own a business, the balance sheet, P/L statements, and other interim financials for the past three years, as well as the Articles of Incorporation, LLC Operating Agreement, or similar documents. Keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive list; other documents may be requested or needed.