Jun
18

Minnesota Child Support and Parenting Time: No Guarantees

A common question is: “Since I’m paying child support, I’m automatically entitled to parenting time with my kids, right?” The frustrating answer for many parents is: no; simply paying child support does not automatically grant a parent the right to parenting time with his or her children.

Under Minnesota law, when a child is born to an unmarried mother, the mother automatically has full legal and physical custody of the child. Minn. Stat. § 257.54. Even if the father signs a Recognition of Parentage and is on the birth certificate, this does not grant the father any rights to...

Oct
6

Adoptions: Frequently Asked Questions

We frequently receive inquires and questions about adoptions at Wilson Law Group. An adoption is when a person or persons legally create a parent-child relationship when there is no parent-child biological relationship. By law, an adopted child has the same rights to inherit, receive social security benefits, and the same protections as biological children.  Though each family is different, here are some of the common questions we receive about adoptions:

Can my current spouse or partner adopt my child?

This is a typical scenario that we see at Wilson Law Group. Fortunately,...

Sep
21

Why Should We Go to Mediation?

Why Should I Go to Mediation with My Spouse if We Are Divorcing?

A couple who is in the process of divorce understandably may not be on good terms with each other.  But this does not mean that is futile to meet and have a conversation, as long as it is in an appropriate setting, with the mutual intention of working towards an agreement.  

Mediation and Social or Financial Early Neutral Evaluation are types of alternative dispute resolution processes that are encouraged, and often court ordered, for couples seeking to divorce in Minnesota.  In many cases, these processes pave the way for...

Sep
21

New and Improved - the Best Interest Standard for Child Custody in MN

Minnesota’s New “Best Interest Factors” for Child Custody

This summer Minnesota enacted significant changes to Minnesota Statute Section 518.17, which defines the best interests test for child custody matters.   Previously, when tasked with decisions regarding child custody and parenting time, Minnesota courts engaged in a two-step process. The first step involved weighing 13 “best interest” factors.. These 13 factors included everything from the wishes of the child to the ability of a parent to raise the child in an environment that provided appropriate cultural and religious...

Nov
8

Custody Determinations and Orders for Protection - Minnesota Statute 518.17

An Order for Protection (OFP) is a civil order prohibiting a family or household member from contacting the petitioning party when domestic abuse has occurred, or there is an imminent threat that domestic abuse will occur.  A judge can grant an Order for Protection for up to two years, and there is no cost to file.  A parent can apply for an Order for Protection for herself or himself.  A person may also apply on behalf of his or her minor child if the child has been the victim of abuse or a threat of abuse exists.  The petition process itself includes a sworn written statement that...

Apr
9

Counting Hours Worked for Child Support - Not All Hours Are the Same

In Minnesota, the child support amount the court orders a person to to pay is a function of several economic factors. These factors include both parent’s gross monthly income, the costs of medical and dental insurance for your joint child(ren), any non-joint children living in either home, the cost of child care, and the amount of time that the joint child(ren) spends with each parent. A judge or child support magistrate enters these factors into the Minnesota Child Support Calculator to determine a child support obligation. Although plugging numbers into the Minnesota Child Support...

Nov
25

Family Court Jurisdiction over Non-Residents of Minnesota

Wilson Law Group regularly represents clients seeking a divorce from a spouse living outside of Minnesota.  We encounter a common situation where the parties have been separated for years, often by borders or oceans, but have not actually divorced.  Eventually, the spouse recognizes the time has come to dissolve the marriage, for various personal reasons.  The passage of time does not simply render the parties divorced (an unfortunate myth that continues to persist), and any subsequent marriages are invalid if the prior marriage is not dissolved. 

When the spouse is living outside of...

Jun
18

Where's Mommy - Planning to Help Children When a Parent Is Unavailable

All parents panic at the thought of an emergency that separates a parent from a child and leaves the child temporarily with no immediate care provider.   No parent wants the state to take responsibility for their child, or consider foster care for a temporary situation when better options exists.   This parental concern is even stronger for parents who fear contact with Immigration & Customs Enforcement or another law enforcement agency.  There are legal tools that help a parent prepare for such a scenario.  

In many cases, the period of separation is less than twenty-four hours and...