Parenting Plans: An Option for Minnesota Custody Disputes

Once a divorce or paternity action has been initiated, physical and legal custody issues may arise, along with a need to determine the appropriate parenting time schedule. Rather than fighting over custody labels, Minnesota law allows the litigants to simply enter into an agreement called a “Parenting Plan.” The details of a Parenting Plan are finalized by the parents themselves, and are not based on an Order of the Court; Judges have no … Read More

Minnesota’s Social Early Neutral Evaluation Model for Divorce and Paternity Cases

More than 95% of the cases we handle settle short of trial. When custody issues are involved, many of our clients participate in a process known as social early neutral evaluation - an SENE. In a social early neutral evaluation, the lawyers and clients will meet with a pair of evaluators. These individuals are usually social workers, custody evaluators, or experienced family law practitioners. The team will consist of one male and one female, … Read More

How Is Paternity Established In Minnesota?

Paternity must be established in order for the father of a child to seek physical custody, legal custody or parenting time with a child born outside of marriage. In the absence of establishing paternity, a father has no custodial rights, or the ability to exercise parenting time, unless the parties agree otherwise. Minnesota law provides two ways for a father to establish paternity of a child: (1) a signed Recognition of Parentage; or (2) a … Read More

Candid Advice From A Guardian Ad Litem

The Minnesota Guardian Ad Litem Program provides advocates who represent the best interests of abused and neglected children in court. They play a pivotal investigative role in protective services cases, and other situations involving allegations of endangerment of a child. The Minnesota courts web site provides a number of resources for litigants who may encounter a Guardian Ad Litem as part of their case: Online GAL Brochure, in English, … Read More

What Are The Common Parenting Time Schedules? How Is Child Support Affected By Them?

In recent years, Minnesota's child support statutes have shifted from a "label-based" model to a "parenting schedule" based model. It used to be that child support was calculated based upon the type of custody (whether joint physical or sole physical) arrangement the parties were awarded by the court. New emphasis has been placed on the actual amount of parenting time that has been awarded, as opposed to mere labels. For that reason, the … Read More