Minnesota Family Law

Minnesota family law practice areas include:

  • Divorce
    • Child Custody
    • Parenting Time (Visitation)
    • Child Support
    • Marital/Nonmarital Property Division
    • Spousal Maintenance (Alimony)
    • Mediation
  • Post-Divorce Matters
    • Custody Modification
    • Child Support Modification
    • Spousal Maintenance Modification
    • Parenting Time Modification
  • Paternity
    • Child Custody
    • Parenting Time (visitation)
    • Child Support
  • Third Party Custody
    • De facto Custodian
    • Third Party Visitation (“Grandparent Visitation”)
  • Domestic Abuse/Order For Protection
  • CHIPs and Termination of Parental Rights Matters

Collaborative Divorce vs. Traditional Divorce

A number of Minnesota couples who desire divorce are interested in the collaborative divorce option.

The Traditional Divorce Option

The traditional way of getting a divorce is to involve the court system from the beginning. Each party takes a position regarding what he or she wants from the outset. Sometimes, time, money, and emotions ensue to get a result as close to the position taken as possible. Position-taking and the adversarial nature of litigation may cause the parties positions to become even further apart and further away from a settlement. If the case is tried, results are limited by the options provided by the law. The court records of the case are open to the public. By the time the case is over, the parties may have spent a great deal of money on attorneys fees, leaving far less money for each to start a new life, and their relationship with each other may be far worse than it had been before the litigation.

The Collaborative Divorce Option

Collaborative family law is designed to have Minnesota couples make an attempt to resolve their legal issues cooperatively and non-adversarially. Options may be greater than the minimum that the law allows. The only lawsuit filed is for an uncontested dissolution of marriage once a settlement has been reached.

So how do you get started in getting a divorce the collaborative way? Your spouse and you would need to agree to have your case handled collaboratively. Each of you retains your own lawyer who is specially trained in the principles of collaborative family law and is a member of a collaborative family law practice group. Your spouse, you, and both of your attorneys meet in a series of conferences and make mutually agreed-upon decisions concerning your case.

Family Law Services

Child Abuse

Child abuse is a serious offense and it is important to report a possible case immediately. Minnesota offers certain protections for children who have witnessed abuse or have been abused themselves. The goal is for every child to have a home where they are safe and offered proper support.


After an annulment, dissolution, or legal separation, the court must order either sole or joint legal and physical custody of minor children. In deciding custody, the court must consider the child’s best interests and not prefer one parent over the other on the basis of the parent’s sex. There is a presumption that joint legal custody is in the child’s best interests. If the child is old enough the judge may ask her or his custody preference.

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is a real and dangerous issue. It is important to protect yourself, as well as your family, from the dangers of domestic violence, Domestic violence consists of the following when committed against a family or household member by a family or household member:

Name Change

Whether or not to change your name for any particular reason is a big decision because the process, while not too difficult, does require time and money. Therefore, before deciding to change your name you should take all factors into account so that you do not have to do it multiple times.


Required consents, order of preference, communication and contact agreements, access to biological parents information and original birth certificate are just some of the issues that are involved with the Minnesota adoption process. Whether you are looking to adopt, were adopted as a child or planning on putting a child up for adoption, our experienced adoption attorneys can help alleviate the stress involved in the process.

Child Support

Child support is court-ordered payment for the financial support of a child. Under Minnesota law, a child has the right to be financially supported by both parents. A parent, third party or County Attorney’s Office can ask for child support.


There are different ways to handle a divorce depending on what the two sides are trying to accomplish. The representation you choose will have a significant impact on the result.


Emancipation could be expected to occur by reaching the age of 18, by lawful marriage, or by court order.

Parentage (Paternity)

Paternity refers to the “legal” father of a child under Minnesota law. Once a man is established as the “legal” father of a child, he has an obligation to financially support the child and he may ask a court order for custody and parenting time.