In Minnesota, the family court will grant a divorce in certain cases without the parties coming to court to appear in person. If there are no minor children involved, the court will sign off on a stipulated decree (agreement signed by both parties) submitted by mail if the reviewing judge is satisfied that the stipulated decree appears to be fair to both parties. If there are minor children involved, the court may still sign off on a mailed stipulation if both parents are represented by counsel, and if the court is satisfied that the stipulation appears to be consistent with the child’s best interests and fair to both parties.
If there are minor children involved and one or both parties has no attorney, the court will require one of the parties to appear in person. Similarly, if the court receives a stipulated decree in the mail and is not satisfied that it is fair to both parties, or is concerned that it is not consistent with the best interests of a minor child, the court will require one or both parties to personally appear.
In most cases, the family court will find that the parties’ agreed-upon terms are, in fact, fair to both parties and (if a minor child is involved) consistent with the child’s best interests.