DIVORCE & CHILD CUSTODY
Divorce, Child Custody, Paternity & Child Support
An Aggressive, Proactive Approach
According to a 2016 Pepperdine Law Review Article, "Do Lawyers Matter?" whether you have legal representation does matter. According to the article, an individual with an attorney is more likely to be successful in their divorce, child custody, and domestic violence case.
All parties must follow the laws, rules, deadlines, and procedures whether or not they are represented by an attorney;
Failure to comply with the court's rules could result in a negative outcome;
A judge's decision will have a substantial impact on you and your children's entire lives.
It is extremely difficult to later change a divorce order whether the order was by an agreement between the parties or after a trial.
An experienced attorney is not only able to more quickly focus on relevant issues to resolve the case more quickly, but a lawyer also understands the long-term impact of any proposed agreement. In contested family law matters, a lawyer that has experience with a judge's tendencies is in an invaluable asset to your family law case.
Whether it is an uncontested or contested matter, it is especially important to consult an attorney if there are children, property, a retirement account, non-marital property, debt, or any business interest. If any of these factors exist, you have too much to lose without proper legal representation as a divorce, child custody, or domestic abuse action can have an unanticipated impact on many other areas of your life, including:
Will or trust;
Long term debt liabilities;
Your retirement accounts;
Decision-making authority relating to your children; and
Parenting time with your children.
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The personal nature of matters like divorce, child custody, paternity, and orders for protection makes family law matters a unique area of the law. When you need the guidance of an attorney, it is important to select a lawyer who is not only experienced and knowledgeable but is also personal and empathetic to your case.
Family law matters blur the lines between personal, emotional and legally objective issues. Perhaps more than any other area of the law, divorce, child custody, protection orders, and parenting time modification matters strike a fundamental emotional nerve in clients that can impact the outcome of their case.
Many people who experience family law litigation become frustrated because their lawyer fails to treat their legal concerns as seriously as they do. Our team prides ourselves on our ability to handle complex divorces, custody, paternity and protection matters without losing sight of the details that often mean the most to the clients we represent. Our law firm takes our representation of you seriously and we understand what is at stake: Your relationships, your children, and your property.
You deserve a family law lawyer that provides compassionate, experienced representation. We have guided clients to positive outcomes in a wide variety of situations.
An uncontested divorce is where the parties agree to many, if not all, of the basic terms of the divorce. An uncontested divorce can make for less hostility and less time in court, especially if the divorce is handled by a law firm experienced in handling uncontested divorces.
Uncontested divorces typically only take a few months to conclude—sometimes uncontested divorces can be completed quicker (our firm have been able to complete an uncontested divorce in as little as two weeks). Uncontested divorces are encouraged by the court as couples many times—especially when children are involved—must continue to work together even after the divorce is completed.
Even in an uncontested divorce, it is highly encouraged to obtain experienced legal representation as there are many terms contained in a divorce settlement that must be worked out individually and that can have significant implications even after your divorce is completed.
We have implemented a proven process to efficiently and effectively assist our clients to reach an uncontested divorce agreement acceptable to the court while protecting our clients' legal rights.
While divorce is the right option for many couples, it is also a complicated and sometimes terrifying process. In a contested divorce, the spouses have disagreements concerning some aspect of their divorce. Their dispute many times relate to (1) their children (child custody, parenting time, visitation); (2) property or asset division (including whether an asset is non-marital); (3) division of debts; or (4) the award of spousal maintenance.
Contested divorces typically require the parties to participate, at least in part, with the court process before the divorce can be finalized. Divorce—especially ones that are contested—are complex. When a spouse contests a divorce, he or she needs to file documents explaining the issue and his or her side of the argument. The parties will not be divorced one day, or even months, after the divorce is filed, the contested divorce process takes some time.
In a contested divorce, you need experienced and aggressive legal representation to make a favorable outcome on your behalf more likely. We highly encourage an individual involved in a contested divorce to speak with an experienced Minnesota divorce lawyer who can inform them of their legal rights and ensure they are fully protected.
When clients speak of "child custody" what they are typically referring to is "parenting time" or visitation, which is the amount of actual time the parent spends with their children. Whereas "child custody" is the ability to make decisions on behalf of your children.
Legal Custody refers to the right to for making decisions in how to raise your children, including childcare, education, religious training, and health care. Physical Custody means the ability to schedule appointments or other events for the child, whether or not it is during the other parent's parenting time.
No matter how you refer to the actual designation, child custody and parenting time are the most common disputes in family court. Parents are extremely concerned with the safety, education, and overall well-being of their children. Many times custody and parenting time decisions become even more difficult following a breakup, as parents tend to be distrustful of whether the other parent is best capable of attending to the well-being of their children.
Judges will always make custody and parenting time decisions based upon the "best interest of the child." In Minnesota, the best interest standard is based upon the court's examination of 12 statutory factors. Check out our video series for a more in-depth discussion about Minnesota's Best Interest Factors.
Our experienced team of child custody attorneys know how contentious child custody and parenting time cases can be. We have the experience to fight for you and your children to work to secure the most appropriate outcome.