It’s a common misconception that In Minnesota Divorce Courts a woman has a big advantage over a man. After doing family law for over 22 years in Minnesota and going from Worthington to Rochester to Mankato on a daily basis I think I have a good perspective on how to answer this question. I can firmly say the answer is….no. Women aren’t favored in Minnesota family law courts.

Ok, but then why does it seem  mother’s get custody more often than fathers in Minnesota? Well that is a good question and it is a fact,  statistically, mothers receive full custody more often than fathers in Minnesota.  When I see this happened I will say that those cases the the mothers actually do the majority of the parenting. Now not all the time of course, there are fantastic dads and miserable moms, but often the mother is the primary caregiver. I believe the problem comes from fathers who think that even though they don’t do one-half of the parenting they believe they should get a 50-50 custody arrangement.

When I talk to many fathers who want either joint custody or even sole physical custody they often don’t know what goes into being the primary caregiver. While I don’t have statistics to back this up, I can say that at least from what I have seen the mother takes the kids to Doctor, Dentist, school activities, goes shopping, drives the kids to their friends, etc., etc. This is what is called primary caregiver.   Instead I hear complaints about it being a “stacked system” that the dads can’t win, blah, blah, blah. I’ve gotten plenty of father’s custody over the past decades, but these were fathers who deserved it, who worked hard to be a good dad, didn’t come and just watch tv or go to the bar; they coached their kids little league, took them to the doctor and stayed home when they were sick.

I think the problem is more one of perspective and not having a good family law attorney tell their client the likely outcome of the case.  What I have seen frequently are attorneys who style themselves “Father’s Rights” attorneys. I have no idea what this means. This is a great marketing gimmick but it really doesn’t mean anything because fathers have the identical rights that mothers have under Minnesota Law there is no special section in the Minnesota divorce code that give gender specific rights. Instead of giving good legal advice, these self-styled “men’s rights’ lawyers complain about the system, charge their client way too much to put a fight when they know they can’t win just to pad the bill.

If you are a man and reading this, you might be happy to hear you have an equal playing field in Minnesota courts, but that doesn’t mean you get any special rights, instead you’ll be viewed the same as your wife in court. Women reading this, don’t be disappointed, instead you need to listen when your lawyer tells you it’s not a slam dunk you’ll get custody and lifelong alimony check.

Information obtained in may contain knowledgeable content about Minnesota Family Law that may be considered beneficial to some; however, in no way should this website or its contents be considered legal advice. Mr. Kohlmeyer is a Minnesota licensed Attorney and cannot provide legal services or guidance to those outside of Minnesota. If you wish to retain Mr. Kohlmeyer as your Attorney in your Family Law matter, contact 507-205-9736.