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Minnesota Court Records

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The Difference Between a Divorce and an Annulment in Minnesota

Divorces or annulments are the two legal ways of calling a marital union off in Minnesota. On one hand, dvorce is the process of severing legal ties between couples who cannot work out marital differences after making provisions for alimony, child custody, and support if there are children involved. On the flip side, an annulment is a legal procedure of declaring a marriage null and invalid as though it never existed. In most cases, a marital union can be annulled if a party cannot give consent due to mental illness or one party could not consummate the marriage with sexual intercourse and hid that other information from the other before marriage. The family division of the Minnesota district court has jurisdiction to hear and oversee cases about divorces and annulments.

What is a Minnesota Divorce Decree?

A divorce decree speculates the final decision of the court concerning divorce. The document records the terms and conditions set and agreed upon for the divorce; meanwhile, if there are children involved, there will be a court hearing to ensure that each party has a good understanding of the decisions. Afterward, the judge will sign the divorce decree, and the court will issue a notice to the divorcees that the divorce is final. The divorce decree will also include information such as;

  • File number of the case and title.
  • The names and any other names of the parties
  • The date of the judgment and the decree.
  • The former name and the new name of the party whose name was changed.

The records contained in documents related to family court include both marriage and divorce records. Both types of records contain information that is considered very personal to the parties involved, and it is recommended that those parties maintain these records with care in order to make changes in the future. The personal nature of these records results in both being considerably more difficult to find and obtain when compared to other types of public records. In many cases, these records are not available through either government sources or third party public record websites.

What is an Annulment in Minnesota?

In alignment with section 518.02 of the Minnesota statutes, an annulment under Minnesota is the legal process of declaring a marital union invalid, thereby making every marriage record nonexistent. That said, there are specific grounds considered to be sufficient or insufficient before granting an annulment. Sufficient grounds for marriage annulment include;

  • A party was not up to the legally approved age for marriage.
  • One of the spouses lacks the mental awareness to consent to marriage during solemnization.
  • Inability to conceive, impotence, and infidelity.

Minnesota is an open records state, which means vital records are readily available to the public, following the Minnesota data practice act. However, in Minnesota, vital records only consist of marriage records, birth records, divorce records, death records, adoption records as records for annulment are not provided. Annulment records are obtainable at the court.

Annulment vs Divorce in Minnesota

Divorce and annulment in Minnesota aim to dissolve a marriage legally. A divorce requires strict plans for welfare, finance, and properties, while in the case of an annulment, the goal is to nullify a union that was not meant to be. These differences also affect the judicial processes required to obtain either of them. Getting a divorce requires one of the spouses to have lived in Minnesota for at least 180 days or more. Furthermore, the couples will file certain summons and petitions for dissolution of marriage, including information about debts, children, and property owned. This process often takes a maximum of 60 days before getting a final decision on the divorce. On the other hand, an annulment proceeding is quicker than a divorce. Generally, annulments are finalized within 90 days, depending on the circumstance surrounding the case.

Is an Annulment Cheaper Than Divorce In Minnesota?

Yes. In the case of finances, divorce costs more. Divorces generally involve a division of marital properties and assets coupled with the payment of alimony in some cases. Weighing both options, an annulment is cheaper.

What is an Uncontested Divorce in Minnesota?

An uncontested divorce is when the participating couple agrees to the terms of the divorce, or a spouse does not counter the divorce petition. According to chapter 518.06 of the Minnesota Statutes, the court can allow a decree of legal separation in the case that both parties settle the essential issues of divorce such as child custody, division of property, alimony, child support, division of debt, and parenting time. The process is often easier when the couple has few properties and no minor children involved.

Where to Get an Uncontested Divorce Form in Minnesota

With or without children, the couples need to complete a joint petition form for an uncontested divorce. The spouses will also make use of the Summary Dissolution forms to meet the criteria of the Summary Dissolution Process, according to MN Statutes § 518.195. As soon as the papers are in order, the court administrator files the decree of dissolution after 30 days. In the case of Summons and Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, the respondent has 30 days to respond, or a default divorce judgment will be ruled against the respondent.

Records that are considered public may be accessible from some third-party websites. These websites often make searching simpler, as they are not limited by geographic location, and search engines on these sites may help when starting a search for a specific or multiple records. To begin using such a search engine on a third-party or government website, interested parties usually must provide:

  • The name of the person involved in the record, unless said person is a juvenile
  • The location or assumed location of the record or person involved. This includes information such as the city, county, or state that person resides in or was accused in.

Third-party sites are independent from government sources, and are not sponsored by these government agencies. Because of this, record availability on third-party sites may vary.

How Do I Get a Copy of my Divorce Decree in Minnesota?

Requestors can obtain divorce decrees at the county courthouse that attended to the divorce case. However, the request process may vary, and some counties provide online access to divorce decrees. Nevertheless, Minnesota has Minnesota Trial Court Public Access Remote View Portal to search for case records.

Divorce and marriage records may be available through government sources and organizations, though their availability cannot be guaranteed. This is also true of their availability through third-party websites and companies, as these organizations are not government-sponsored and record availability may vary further. Finally, marriage and divorce records are considered extremely private due to the information they contain, and are often sealed. Bearing these factors in mind, record availability for these types of records cannot be guaranteed.

How Do I Get a Minnesota Divorce Decree Online?

Interested parties can access Minnesota divorce decrees electronically through the Minnesota Trial Court Public Access Remote View Portal. To gain access, parties must input the case number.

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