Inconvenient Forum

Posted on Tuesday, June 20th, 2017 by Marc Beyer and is filed under Divorce, Minnesota.

I recently blogged about the 180 Day Rule and how you (or your spouse) must live in Minnesota for 180 days before you can file for divorce here. But, what happens when you are divorced in Minnesota, but then you and/or your spouse move out-of- state after the divorce? If only one or neither of you resides in Minnesota, but you have post-decree issues that require going back to Court, can the case still be heard in the Minnesota courts?

As a practical matter, if neither party asks the Court to transfer jurisdiction, yes, the Minnesota could, and probably would, hear your post-decree matter. But, if your divorce involves minor children and custody issues, a Minnesota court may decline to exercise its jurisdiction at any time “if it determines that it is an inconvenient forum under the circumstances and that a court of another state is a more appropriate forum. The issue of inconvenient forum may be raised upon motion of a party, the court’s own motion, or request of another court.”

The above-quoted language is taken directly from the “Inconvenient Forum” statute found at Minn. Stat. § 518D.207. The full text of the statute can be found here.

As set forth in the statute, the Court is to analyze eight factors in determining whether Minnesota is an inconvenient forum. And, while the Court can raise the issue on its own motion, the Court is also required to allow the parties to submit information on the statutory factors before transferring jurisdiction.

So, if there is a post-decree out-of- state move, the Court could transfer your case (if it involves custody) to another state if it determines that Minnesota has become an inconvenient forum. These matters are decided on a case-by- case basis, and the Court’s application of the statutory factors to the circumstances of your case.

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If you are facing divorce and any of the divorce-related issues such as spousal maintenance, child support, child custody, property division, or domestic abuse matters, you need our experienced Minneapolis divorce attorneys to help you. Contact Beyer & Simonson in Edina, Minnesota today at (952) 303-6007.