If my wife lives in Wisconsin and I live in Minnesota, which state should our divorce take place?

Stillwater family law attorney, Matt Ludt, discusses forum selection in divorces.

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Phone: (651) 430-9700


Again, the legal answer is it depends. A lot of times it’s gonna depend on the facts of the case. Each state’s got different custody and parenting time laws. Both have very different child support laws, even property division that could be different, but in that sort of circumstance you may be fueled by other priorities. For instance, if you need a temporary order quickly, meaning one party maybe needs – parties can’t stay in the same house and they gotta decide who’s gonna leave and how it’s gonna get paid for, Wisconsin’s the way to go, because you can get a temporary hearing within a matter of two weeks from filing, whereas it takes a lot longer than that in Minnesota.

Now, alternatively, if you’ve been separated for a while and you’ve met somebody else and maybe they’re pregnant and you wanna get remarried, blah, blah, blah, you wanna file in Minnesota, because you can move forward pretty quickly, whereas in Wisconsin, from the time you file, you gotta wait 120 days before the divorce can be entered, and then there’s another 6-month period you have to wait before you can get remarried. That’s ten months right there, so sometimes that’s the priority, but ultimately you need to talk to an attorney that’s licensed in both states to really get a feel for it, because your priorities are gonna differ in a way that a generic “Which state?” question can’t answer.