I’ve Filed for Divorce in Minnesota. What’s Next? Go!

As early as three weeks after filing for divorce, the parties must appear before the judicial officer assigned to their case. This first appearance is called the "Initial Case Management Conference." The ICMC is an informal hearing. No arguments are presented, or decisions made - except for a determination concerning how to move forward in the most efficient manner. Any issues that are not resolved among the parties can be resolved through … Read More

What Is An FENE…And Why Do They Work?

More and more Minnesota counties are providing divorce litigants with an opportunity to resolve their financial issues through a process known as "Financial Early Neutral Evaluation." Settlement success rates in the FENE model are astonishing - as high as 75% in some jurisdictions. An FENE involves a half-day session (or two, or three, or four) with a court-appointed neutral. This neutral typically is an experienced family law attorney, or a … Read More

The Four Phases Of A Contested Divorce In Minnesota

About half the cases we handle are more contested divorces. These are marital dissolution cases in which the litigants don’t expect to reach agreement early and, instead, need the intervention of the court system in order to reach a resolution. These divorces typically involve four distinct segments. The first segment of work in a contested case involves the case workup. This is where we put together the initial pleadings in the case and … Read More

Anoka County Taking A Shot At Early Neutral Evaluations In Divorce Cases

Following Hennepin County's lead, and a statewide trend, the Anoka County District Court has implemented a pilot early neutral evaluation program for divorcing couples. The evaluations focus on the two key issues involved in a dissolution: custody of children and economics. Couples can divert from the court system and meet with qualified "neutrals" who will facilitate settlement discussions and (unlike traditional mediation) offer opinions … Read More