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Minnesota lawmakers propose "Cooperative Private Divorce"


People living in Maple Grove and the rest of Minnesota might agree that divorce can often be a very difficult experience for separating spouses. Their troubles are sometimes compounded when the divorce process involves various hearings in court, resulting in significant legal expenses. However, recent developments in the Minnesota legislature may soon change that.

According to news reports, Minnesota lawmakers are considering a proposal called "Cooperative Private Divorce," which would provide couples with the option of finalizing their divorce outside of the courtroom. If passed, the new law would mean that couples can finalize their divorce, including the divorce agreement itself, without appearing in front of a judge at any point. However, the formal bill has not been introduced yet, and it seems unlikely that the introduction of the bill will happen in the current legislative session.

A representative from Minnesota University's Department of Family and Social Sciences welcomed the proposal, saying that privacy, which this new type of divorce in Minnesota would provide, will make the entire divorce process simpler. Fighting spouses, whether in litigation or mediation, he said, would surely benefit from the "Cooperative Private Divorce" system. The existing divorce system, however, would be available for those who choose to obtain their divorce in the traditional way.

If the proposal eventually becomes a law, it will require couples to have an in-depth understanding of the divorce process in order to ensure that the various aspects of divorce, such as property division, child custody, alimony and spousal support, are resolved fairly.

Source: CBS Minnesota, "Lawmakers Looking For Way to Make Private Divorce Possible," March 13, 2015

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