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Minnesota Dissolution of Marriage Definitions

This collection of definitions will help clarify some unique characteristics to the Minnesota Dissolution of Marriage laws, process and paperwork which is filed with the court.

Filing Party Title:
Petitioner

The spouse who will initiate the Dissolution of Marriage by filing the required paperwork with the court.

Non-Filing Party Title:
Respondent

The spouse who does not initiate the Dissolution of Marriage with the court.

Court Name:
State of Minnesota, District Court, County of ____________, __________ Judicial District

The proper name of the court in which a Dissolution of Marriage is filed in the state of Minnesota. Each jurisdictional court typically has a domestic relations or a family law department or division.

Child Support Enforcement Website:
http://www.dhs.state.mn.us/ecs/ChildSupport/Default.htm

The state run office devoted to enforcing existing child support orders and collecting any past due child support.

Document Introduction:
In Re the Marriage of:

The lead-in verbiage used in the legal caption or header of the documents filed with the court. The introduction typically prefaces both spouse’s names.

Initial Dissolution of Marriage Document:
Petition for Dissolution of Marriage

The title and name of the legal document that will initiate the Minnesota Dissolution of Marriage process. The filing spouse is also required to provide the non-filing spouse a copy of this document.

Final Dissolution of Marriage Document:
Finding of Fact, Conclusions of Law, Order for Judgment and Judgment and Decree

The title and name of the legal document that will finalize the Minnesota Dissolution of Marriage process. This document will be signed by the judge, master, or referee of the court to declare your marriage officially terminated.

Clerk’s Office Name:
County Clerk’s Office

The office of the clerk that will facilitate the Dissolution of Marriage process. This is the title you would address letters to or ask for when contacting the courthouse.

Legal Separation:

The grounds for a legal separation in Minnesota are that it will be granted if the court finds that the spouses need a legal separation. One of the spouses must have been a resident of Minnesota for at least 6 months before the petition for legal separation is filed. [Minnesota Statutes Annotated; Chapters 518.06 and 518.07].

Property Distribution:
Equitable Distribution

The applicable Minnesota law that will dictate how property and debt is to be divided upon Dissolution of Marriage.