MN Divorce – Child Issues

The Role of Mediation in Minnesota Divorce

As I have written about in the past, mediation is an important component of the divorce process in Minnesota courts. There is also another process that is similar, but different. This process is known as “Early Neutral Evaluation.” What is the difference? In mediation, the role of the mediator is to help the parties reach .. read more

Minnesota Divorce and Child Custody

The issue of child custody and parenting time can be contentious in divorce proceedings.  I always advise people that it is best to resolve disagreements about child custody and parenting time amicably.  This can happen in discussions between the parties, but more likely it will happen in negotiations between the attorneys or in mediation. If .. read more

Minnesota Divorce and Daycare Costs

Often, people who divorce have young children who go to daycare during the day or after school.  Daycare costs can be a significant part of a family budget, especially when families are divorced. In Minnesota, divorce courts require each party to contribute towards daycare expenses and after school care expenses.  As long as these expenses .. read more

MN Divorce and the IRS tax exemption

Often I am asked about which parent is entitled to claim the income tax dependency exemption for minor children after divorce.  The answer is “it depends.” In Minnesota, the divorce court may award the right to claim the income tax dependency exemption to either parent.  Courts frequently allocate the exemptions equally, provide that both parents .. read more

Minnesota Divorce and School Selection

Once in a while I am asked about what happens when two divorced parents (or two parents who are in the divorce process) cannot agree on which school their children should attend.  In Minnesota, the right to select a child’s school is one of the rights that is included in the “bundle” of rights called .. read more

Minnesota’s child support law

People who are getting divorced in Minnesota often ask questions about Minnesota’s child support laws.  The Minnesota child support statute changed significantly in 2007.  If you were divorced before 2007, you are probably operating under the “old” system.  If you were divorced after 2007, you are operating under the new system.  You can read the .. read more

Minnesota Paternity, Parental Rights and Parenting Time

Here’s the deal: Maternity is a matter of fact.  Paternity is a matter of opinion.  Until the genetic DNA test results have been returned.  And, until a district court judge has signed a court order. If you are a father and you are not married to your child’s mother, you have no parental rights unless .. read more

Minnesota Divorce and College Tuition

Sometimes people ask whether, as part of their divorce decree, the court can impose a requirement that their soon-to-be ex-spouse pay for college tuition for the children.  The answer is “No.” In Minnesota, a divorce court has jurisdiction over minor children only until they become adults.  In most cases, a child becomes an adult when .. read more

MN Orders for Protection and Divorce

In Minnesota, there is a type of court order that is called a “domestic abuse order for protection.”  This is an order that is intended to protect an abused party from an abuser.  Typically, a domestic abuse order for protection provides that the abuser may not have contact with the abused party, and that if .. read more

The Future of Divorce in MN

I have practiced divorce law in Minnesota since 1992.  During that time, there have been significant changes both to the law, and also changes to the court system itself.  In my opinion, the most significant change to divorce law in the past 20 years is the change to the way child support is calculated.  Now, .. read more

MN Divorce and Guardian ad litems

In contested Minnesota divorce cases, a guardian ad litem is a person who is appointed by the court to represent the interests of children in a divorce proceeding.  Typically, the guardian ad litem does not perform a custody evaluation or parenting time evaluation.  However, he or she will participate in the process, appear at court .. read more

MN Divorce and Income Tax Exemptions

Often people who divorce in Minnesota forget to address the issue of the income tax depdency exemptions for their minor children.  This issue should not be overlooked because, cumulatively, it could save a spouse tens of thousands of dollars on his or her income tax return. From the perspective of the Internal Revenue Service, after parents .. read more

MN Divorce and Child Alienation

As a divorce attorney, one of the things that I find most troubling is a parent who alienates the children from the other parent as a form of retaliation.  Sometimes this alienation is deliberate.  A parent wants to get even with the other parent so they tell the children bad things about that parent.  Sometimes .. read more