Q & A: What happens when one party to a divorce is located out of state?

Courts in Minnesota usually only have power over people and things in Minnesota. This power is called jurisdiction.

If the respondent was served outside of the State of Minnesota, or if the respondent could not be found and was served by publication or other special service, the Minnesota court might be limited to making only the following decisions:

  • Dissolve the marriage
  • Give custody and parenting time rights of any children who are under the court's     jurisdiction, or
  • Award the ownership of property located in Minnesota.

When the respondent is served in another state, a separate child support proceeding can be started with the help of the county support enforcement agency and the county attorney. In this proceeding, the Minnesota court tells the court in the other state that a parent who lives in the other state owes child support.

Click here for more information on Divorce and click here for more information on Child Support.