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STATE OF MINNESOTA
DISSOLUTION OF MARRIAGE
You may file your divorce in the county where you live or the county
where your spouse lives. These instructions contain general information.
Filing fees, policies and procedures may vary by County.
If you cannot afford to pay the filing fee or other costs, ask the Court
Administrator/Deputy for an “IFP” application to waive fees. A judge
will decide if you have to pay, based on your application.
Helpful materials may be found at your public county law library.
For a directory, see http://www.lawlibrary.state.mn.us/cllppubdir.rtf.
For more information, contact your Court Administrator
or call the Minnesota State Law Library at 651-296-2775.
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Read These Important Notices
Can I handle my divorce myself?
The court does not require you to have a lawyer. You may represent yourself, which is
called “pro se.” The forms available from the court are designed for going “pro se”, but court
personnel cannot assist you in filling out the forms. The court expects every person who appears
in court without an attorney to know and to follow the law. If you act as your own attorney, you
must do what an attorney would do.
The danger in going “pro se” is that you will not recognize legal issues or problems in
your case, or you may delay your divorce by failing to follow required procedures. You may
get a divorce and learn later that you made serious mistakes that cost you money or create other
problems. Changing a divorce order is difficult, and for some issues, like division of
property, it is nearly impossible to change a divorce order.
The judges of Family Court recommend talking to a lawyer even if you plan to go “pro
se.” A lawyer can help you with all or ju