Divorce with Children

Divorce with Children Can Be Difficult – Talk to an Experienced Divorce Lawyer

Divorce is difficult. People are forced to make complex decisions regarding their future at a time when they feel that all they care for is vulnerable to being lost, including their children. 

When it comes to custody, the question that jumps to mind is “Who Gets The Kids?” Because custody is difficult and explosive, people going through a divorce with children often seek experienced legal counsel to advise them on these complex issues and to advocate on their behalf in negotiations and in the courtroom.

Navigating the divorce process requires an appreciation for childhood development, parent-child relationships, recognition of financial complexities involved in single-parent households, and an understanding of the Minnesota laws and case decisions that govern custody outcomes.

The attorneys and staff of Atticus Family Law will help you identify your priorities, show you how they are related to one another, and develop an action plan. We operate with a ‘big picture’ perspective so that your overall plan takes into account what is best for you, your children, and your financial security, both during the divorce and in the long run. Family law is what we have chosen to do, to help clients like you through these important life transitions. 

Common Issues in a Divorce with Children

Before a divorce can be granted, several decisions must be made regarding various aspects of the marriage and the marital estate. These decisions may include:

  • Custody and Parenting Time: A decision must be reached by the parties, or decided by the court, as to who will have physical custody of minor children.  Decisions must also be made for the non-custodial parent regarding parenting time (also referred to as visitation) for weekdays, weekends, holidays and summertime. These decisions need to serve the best interests of the children and must take into account the realities of both parents, including any mental health, chemical dependency, and domestic abuse concerns. 
  • Legal Custody: The important decisions of children’s lives, including medical care, religious upbringing, and schooling, typically need to be made by both parties. In some cases, the parties or the court decides to award this decision-making authority to just one parent. 
  • Child Support: This is awarded to account for the costs of everyday living needs of the children, including medical insurance support and childcare costs. Child support does not cover all costs associated with raising a child, and further decisions need to be made about how to divide additional expenses such as insurance co-pays and braces. A skilled attorney can help you anticipate and account for many of these costs during the divorce process.
  • Division of Assets and Debts: In a divorce, there needs to be an equitable division of marital assets. These assets can include houses, vacation cabins and/or land, household furnishings, retirement and bank accounts, small businesses, vehicles (including recreational vehicles, boats, and motorcycles) and other personal property, including jewelry and antiques. Debts may include mortgages, loans, and credit cards. The assets and debts need to be valued, assessed for their non-martial qualities, and divided in a manner that is fair to both parties.
  •  Spousal Maintenance: Decisions need to be made regarding the award of financial assistance, popularly referred to as “alimony,” from one party to the other, especially when one spouse may not have worked outside the home during the marriage and is not in a position to be immediately self-supporting.

Trust Your Case to an Experienced Minnesota Divorce Lawyer

If you need legal representation in a divorce, contact us at Atticus Family Law. We are committed to helping you develop a plan that values your priorities as well as protecting your interests in negotiations and in court.

Family Law

Atticus Family Law handles
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Our attorneys are experienced in
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Personal Perspective From An Atticus Family Law Attorney

A Father’s Story – “Her life was chaos”

In 2013, Atticus Family Law was hired to represent the husband/father in a Hennepin County divorce with children. Let’s call him Cameron*. The parties had been married for 13 years and had three wonderful children. Cameron was the owner of a small business that while successful, nevertheless required daily attention to keep its customers happy and to be able to provide for the family. His wife Ashley, on the other hand, was not employed full time, no longer interested in being married, and in many regards did not know what she wanted. While she had moved out of the home, the separation still had a lot in the balance.

Our client had a lot to juggle. As the only parent at home with them, Cameron had to care for the children and make sure that all their daily needs were being met while also needing to manage the business actively. He had to make their income go even further as his wife’s independent living expenses exceeded the money she earned. 

There was consistent conflict trying to make joint decisions with Ashley as to when she would see the children, when she wouldn’t see the children, when she should be seeing the children, her financial needs; not knowing what she wanted, Ashley would oscillate between positions and contradict herself. Cameron tried earnestly to breathe new life into the marriage; ultimately, he called it. At that point, Cameron retained our services and we served her with divorce papers.

Ashley initially had retained an attorney who was productive. Then she stopped paying him, and all momentum was lost. 

She then failed to show up for the initial hearing; it was rescheduled with the judge’s warning that her absence would result in a default divorce. While Ashley showed for the next hearing, there was more start and stop by her as her life was chaos. Ultimately, the court ordered a moderated settlement conference with a moderator who was a former judge. After a long day we were able to negotiate a global settlement. And because we used a binding agreement, Ashley could not back out of it if she continued to oscillate & change her mind!

We secured for Cameron sole physical custody of the children with an opportunity for Ashley to see the children if she was stable. The agreement provided limited support for her with a clear end date, and it swiftly addressed the division of property and debt so that the parties’ lives could be fully dissected.

I had the fortune of talking with Cameron recently. The kids are happy and well adjusted. They see their mom on occasion. Otherwise, the stress, anxiety, chaos, and friction that was their lives prior to and during the divorce has been over for years. These are the types of outcomes that we like to create.

– Alexandra Reynolds

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