Getting divorced is a lot more complicated than getting married, and likely for good reason. Each state's divorce laws are different and each has their own procedural requirements, so it is important to work with experienced professionals who know and understand the law.
In Minnesota at least one spouse needs to be a resident of the state for at least 180 days prior to filing for divorce. A petition for dissolution or for legal separation should be filed in the county where either spouse resides. Parties have the ability to represent themselves in these proceedings but it is always better to have an experienced advocate to navigate the process for you.
Minnesota is a no-fault divorce state which means it recognizes an irreconcilable breakdown of the marriage relationship. Minnesota also recognizes legal separation. A legal separation does not terminate the marital status of the parties, but rather determines the rights and responsibilities of both husband and wife arising out of the marital relationship. One or both parties can petition for a decree of legal separation and if neither party contests the granting of the decree nor petitions for a decree of dissolution, the court shall grant the legal separation.
In cases where custody is likely to be contested, mediation may be ordered. There are exceptions to this though, like when there is evidence of physical or sexual abuse.
Minnesota is an equitable distribution state. Marital property shall be divided without regard to marital fault, and will base the property distribution on the following factors: length of the marriage, age, health, and occupation of each party, income, income potential, vocational skills or each party, and the contribution of each spouse to the marital property, including the contributions as a homemaker. These are case-by-case determinations and can be complicated calculations, particularly if the marriage lasted many years.