The decision to divorce can be painful, but it only represents the beginning of a difficult process. Next: serving papers to your soon-to-be ex-spouse. If you don’t anticipate working together to arrive at an agreement, you will need to select the appropriate forms and notify your ex promptly. Unfortunately, this is often easier said than done.

Preparing Necessary Forms

In Minnesota, forms related to divorce reference a ‘dissolution of marriage.’ If you initiate the legal proceedings, you will be known as the ‘petitioner,’ while your ex will take on the role of ‘respondent.’

The process begins with filing two main documents: a summons and a petition. The summons simply represents a legal notice, intended to alert the respondent to upcoming legal action. If the summons is not answered within thirty days, it may be possible to achieve a default judgment, which can immediately dissolve the marriage.

The petition for divorce outlines the basic facts of the situation, including the name and address of each party, as well as the names and ages of any impacted children.

Options For Serving Papers

While some couples enter into divorce together, many situations call for an alternative approach. On occasion, summons can be served through the mail alongside a separate form designed to acknowledge the service of official divorce documents.

If the other party is not expected to cooperate, the best approach involves in-person service from somebody other than the petitioner. This process should be discussed thoroughly with an attorney before proceeding.

Are you ready to take the next step in your divorce? Look to a trusted family lawyer to streamline the process. The team at the Brown Law Offices will provide valuable guidance every step of the way. Reach out today to learn more about your legal options.

Photo of Jason Brown Jason Brown

Jason Brown founded the Brown Law Offices, P.A. in 2003 after working for several years as an associate attorney in downtown Minneapolis. He graduated with honors from Mankato State University in 1997 and the William Mitchell College of Law in 2000.

Jason has…

Jason Brown founded the Brown Law Offices, P.A. in 2003 after working for several years as an associate attorney in downtown Minneapolis. He graduated with honors from Mankato State University in 1997 and the William Mitchell College of Law in 2000.

Jason has successfully litigated against some of the more recognized family law attorneys in the Twin Cities. He has been named a “Super Lawyer” by Thomson Reuters, and one of the Top 100 Family Law Attorneys in Minnesota by the Society of Legal Advocates.

In addition to his work as a lawyer, Jason serves as a mediator, and court-appointed early neutral evaluator, in divorce and family law cases throughout Minnesota. He frequently writes and speaks concerning divorce and family law issues, including several invitations to present seminars for the Minnesota Judicial Branch in St. Paul.

Beyond family law, Jason has represented hundreds of clients accused of a serious crime, including arson, fraud, unauthorized computer access, burglary, felony strangulation and obstruction of justice. He also provides estate planning services.

Local media appearances by Jason include WCCO Radio, KARE 11 Television, Fox 9 Television and WCCO Television. His national media appearances include NBC News, Time Magazine, USA Today and the Huffington Post.

Jason is the former chairperson of the Family Law Section of the Minnesota Trial Lawyer’s Association, and taught divorce and family law coursework within the paralegal program at North Hennepin Community College. He publishes the Minnesota Family Law Blog, which has been recognized as a “Top 25″ by the Minnesota State Bar Association.

Outside of the office, Jason enjoys playing the bass and electric guitar and spending time in the north woods of Wisconsin.


Areas of Practice
  • Divorce
  • Custody
  • Adoption
  • Restraining Orders
  • Prenuptial Agreements
  • Criminal Defense
  • Estate Planning
Notable Cases
  • Representation of Four Grandparents in Minnesota’s First Quad-Parenting Adoption
  • Representation of Client in Minnesota’s First Same-Sex Divorce
Bar Admissions
  • Minnesota State Bar, 2000
  • US District Court – District of Minnesota, 2002
Education
  • William Mitchell College of Law, 2000
  • Minnesota State University, Mankato, 1997
Joined Firm
  • 2003
Professional Associations & Activities
  • Minnesota State Bar Association
  • Presenter, Various CLE Courses
  • Monthly Columnist, Minnesota Lawyer Newspaper