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Practice Areas

Family Law

Dissolution of Marriage - Divorce

In Minnesota, the process of getting a divorce is referred to as a dissolution of marriage. Dissolving your marriage can be very emotional and complicated. It's important that you have a good, experienced, competant Minnesota Divorce Attorney. It is important to be thoroughly informed of what will occur throughout the dissolution process and how it will affect you and your family. It is also important you understand the responsibilities you may face once the dissolution of marriage has been finalized.

In Minnesota, it is not required that you prove grounds for dissolution of marriage as is customary in some states. If one person wants the marriage to be dissolved, the Court will grant a dissolution. Typically, to begin a divorce action, one party serves a Summons and Petition for Dissolution of Marriage upon the other party. The Summons initiates the Court proceedings and the Petition tells the court what the petitioning party is asking the Court to do. Once the divorce process has begun, the parties will work toward resolution of custody, parenting time, property settlement and other issues.


Custody

Custody of your children is one of the most, if not the most important thing in your life and your children's lives. You need a seasoned custody attorney in Minnesota that knows the ins and outs of Minnesota Custody Law. There are two types of custody: legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody is the right of a parent be involved in major decisions in a child’s life including education, health care and religion. Physical custody means the routine daily care, control and residence of a child. Typically, parties are awarded joint legal custody. This means that both parents will weigh in on decisions such as where the child will go to school, receive their medical care, and religious training.


Every parent should know that if a mother was not married to the child’s father at the time of conception, the mother has full legal and physical custody of the child until there is a court order that says otherwise. Until one of the parents of the child petitions the Court to establish custody and parenting time, the father will have no enforceable custodial or parenting time rights to the child.


Parenting Time

Parenting time is a term that refers to how much time each parent spends with their children after a dissolution of marriage or after the establishment of custody. Parenting time involves a routine schedule that includes holidays, summers, vacations, and non-school days. Parenting time determinations are made based on the best interests of the child. Contact our Minnesota Family Law attorney today.


Step-Parent Adoption

A stepparent adoption is a complicated process because after the adoption is complete the biological parent's rights are terminated and the adopting parent will have all of the legal rights to the child as if the child was born to him or her. The stepparent assumes full legal responsibility for the child, raising that child as their own until they are an adult. The adoptive parent along with their spouse (the biological parent) will make all of the decisions regarding the child’s medical care, education, activities, and religion. Because the biological parent's rights to their child are terminated through the adoption process, Minnesota Statutes have safe guards to ensure that a biological parents’ rights aren’t wrongfully terminated


Prenuptial Agreements

Marriage is one of the events in life that change it dramatically. It is a change of personal status and of legal status. A prenuptial agreement is a legally binding agreement that both parties sign prior to a marriage that states what the distribution of assets will be if the marriage were to ever dissolve.


Postnuptial Agreements

A postnuptial agreement is one that is created between a couple after they are married which details what will happen if the marriage were to end in divorce. Postnuptial agreements are very similar to prenuptial agreements but there are more procedures that must be completed and requirements that need to be met in order for the agreement to be enforceable.


Cohabitation Agreements

Many couples live together, buy homes together and share financial responsibilities without being married. There are very little legal protections for couples who cohabitate without getting married. Cohabitation agreeements protect the couple's individual financial and property rights in the event of a separation. 


Child Support
When going through a divorce, custody matter, paternity or any other family court matter, it is very important that you understand your rights. Child support is typically paid by one parent to another to help provide for the needs of the child. Child support is broken down into basic support, medical support, and child care support.


In Minnesota, to calculate child support, both parents’ incomes are taken into consideration and a lengthy formula is used to determine the amount of support that should be paid from one parent to another. The statutes are set up as a method of calculation that takes into account both parents’ gross income, the number of children they have , how much time each parent spends with the children and the cost of raising a child at various income levels.​

Estate Planning

In general, Estate Planning is the process in which you put certain things in place to ensure that your property and assets go where and to whom you want upon your passing. It is also the process by which you do your best to ensure that when you pass, the process of dealing with your affairs, property and assets is as simplified for your family as possible. Last, there are certain considerations that need to be made to protect your assets, including consideration of estate taxes and medicaid/medical assistance asset recapture. Your goals can be accomplished through things like wills, trusts, and titling of assets. 


It's also important to plan for unexpected life events and ensure that if necessary, you have a trusted individual who is legally able to make decisions for you in the event that you cannot. This can be done through legal documents such as  Power of Attorney and Health Care Directives. 

Probate

Probate is the process by which an individual's estate is settled after their passing. Sometimes, probate is as easy as distributing assets by giving them to the individuals named in a will or listed as a beneficiary. Other times, it is necessary for the Court to be involved to issue orders that allow the Estate's assets to be distributed.