How long does it take to go through a divorce or custody case?


The best answer to this question is the cliché “every snowflake is different.”  Every family court case, or those involving a divorce or child custody case, moves at its own pace.  There is no specific deadline requiring these cases to come to a certain end.  There are a number of factors that have a direct […]

Can I change my child’s last name?


There are times when a parent may want to change a child’s name because of a divorce or a custody matter.  The most likely reason a parent is interested in changing a child’s name is because of a breakdown of the parent’s relationship.  Name changes often involve changing a child’s last name, or surname, but […]

How does the number of divorces in the United States rate compared to other countries?


It seems every few months there are stories about the divorce rate in the United States and how it compares to years past.  But how does the rate of divorce in the United States compare to the rest of the world?  The comparative chart at provides some answers. Perhaps to no one’s surprise Ireland […]

How to separate finances of your ex-spouses from yours?


Finances are just as much a bone of contention during the marriage as they are in the divorce itself.  Unraveling your ex-spouse’s debts and assets from yours can be complicated after you consider a home, a vacation property, vehicles, credit cards and so on.  An uncooperative ex-spouse who may or may not have been good […]

What is a CHIPS case?


A CHIPS (Child in Need of Protective Services) is a type of court case that deals with the safety, health, care and welfare of children.  This sort of case can include parents who may have drug addiction, untreated mental illness or who are physically abusing their children.  The purpose of these cases is to either […]

Why do I have to take a parenting class?


The Minnesota legislature passed a law several years ago requiring parents going through a divorce or custody case to take a class to learn how to parent post-court.  The court provides these parents with a number of classes they can take some of which are offered only online.  The Volunteer Attorney Program in Duluth offers […]

Does having an Order for Protection against me let me keep my guns?


Hunting and enjoying the outdoors are ways of life especially in Minnesota.  Having an Order for Protection against someone can have a serious impact on his or her ability to keep guns whether for sport or personal protection. An Order for Protection activates a specific federal statute, 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(8), prohibiting a person who has an […]

What is a good legal resource for unmarried parents?


Earlier blog posts discuss the rights unmarried parents have when it comes to their kids.  LawHelpMN has put together a well-rounded article on the legal issues parents who have kids outside of marriage should consider. Here is a link to the article that I believe all unmarried parents should review.  Click on the link […]

What if I cannot afford court filing fees for my family court case?


Minnesota courts charge filing and other fees in a variety of cases including those involving divorce, child custody, parenting time and child support.  Not everyone can afford to pay all of these fees.  State law requires court fees and costs can be waived in certain circumstances. In family court, a person must provide the court with […]

Can I change my will during a divorce?


People going through a divorce often do not want their soon-to-be ex-spouse inheriting their assets such as real estate or bank accounts.  While death is a tough topic to think about, divorces should involve some estate planning early on in order to best protect what you own if your not-quite-my ex-spouse outlives you or dies […]