What my rights are to seek a divorce after a 6 month separation and a spouse who refuses to talk to me?

UPDATED: Sep 17, 2011

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What my rights are to seek a divorce after a 6 month separation and a spouse who refuses to talk to me?

My husband and I have been separated for 6 months and he refuses to see me or talk to me about anything, including a divorce.

Asked on September 17, 2011 under Family Law, Minnesota


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

First of all, MN does not require a separation before divorce, just that 1 of the parties be a resident for 180 prior to filing.

The fact is that, you do not need your spouse's consent to obtain a "dissolution of marriage" ( i.e. divorce). You can obtain what s known as a "divorce by default". The way ot works is this, if you start the divorce process and serve you spouse notice of the divorce, he'll have 30 days to respond to the petition. If he fails to respond he will be in "default". This means that the he will have forfeited the opportunity to participate in the divorce process. The court can enter the decree without hearing his side of the story. 

Note: However, a defaulting spouse can approach the court later for relief and any issues (the parenting schedule for minor children, the comprehensive disclosure of all debts, etc.) cannot be fully addressed without both parties particiapation. 

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