10 Family Law Questions
Sometimes you just want the facts, just the facts Ma’am. And that is what this post, a down and dirty look at some very common questions (I bet I answer at least 4 of these a week on the phone!). You won’t find any crazy long-winded answers here, just what you need to know.
While it may be frustrating to ask your lawyer a series of questions only to hear “it depends” all too often in response, it’s an unavoidable fact of life (and law) that the correct answer frequently IS “it depends.” And having your lawyer simplify the issue too much won’t ultimately do you any good.
However, you may be pleased to hear that, under Minnesota law, there are a few occasions when there actually is a straightforward, succinct answer to your question. Here are ten of them.
1. What do I have to show to get a change in the current custody arrangement?
That a change in circumstances has occurred and that modification is in the best interests of the child and that there has been endangerment.
2. When does a child support judgment expire?
20 years after its entry, although it can be renewed for another 20 years.
3. What are the different kinds of monthly child support?
Regular cash payments, child care support, medical support and unreimbursed medical bills.
4. Can my soon-to-be ex agree to waive child support?
No, an agreement to waive child support is not enforceable; it’s considered to be against public policy.
5. Will the court consider the fact that my ex cheated on me in deciding whether or not I have to pay spousal support?
No, marital misconduct is not a factor in the court’s determination of whether spousal support is necessary.
6. Where do I file a petition for custody of my child?
In the county where the child permanently resides or the county where the child is currently found.
7. Will a court enforce our prenuptial agreement?
Yes, if it complies with all legal requirements (okay, maybe there was a little bit of “it depends” there!)
8. There is a paternity action against me, alleging I am the father of a child. Do I need an attorney, and what if I can’t afford one?
You need an attorney, but if you can’t afford one, you can be represented by a public defender if you request one from the Judge or court administrator.
9. If one of my relatives gave money to me rather than to both my spouse and I, will we have to split this money if we get divorced?
No, if the gift was really only to you, it would be considered your own, non-marital property and you won’t have to split it (unless you “co-mingled” the money.)
10. Do grandparents have any visitation rights?
Yes, If one parent of a child dies, the grandparents on that side of the family can request parenting time rights; that request may or may not be granted by the court.
Information obtained in mankatofamilylaw.com may contain knowledgable 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.
I received an email from a reader and thought I’d share it:
I read your blog and found it very helpful, but I couldn’t find the answer to my question.
My ex husband and I divorced and agreed to joint legal/joint physical custody. We have a set parenting schedule that calculated to my having them a little more than 50% of the time and him the rest. The judge issued C Support on a 50/50 split which isnt correct at all (the judge counted in school time as his parenting time?). This is a huge hit to C Support. Since the divorce two years ago, his parenting time has been less and less. I dont mind completing paperwork, but I do not even know where to start. I have a C Support Case worker but she hasn’t been too helpful.
Any suggestions? I live in Hennepin County
Thanks for the comment reader! Short answer is you need to have 45.1% if it’s 46%…47%…49%…it doesn’t matter as the three levels are between 0-10%, 10.1-45% and 45.1%+ of overnights.
As for actual parenting time, it doesn’t really matter that much since the child support magistrate will only look at the percentage of overnights the order says he has.
It sounds like you need him to follow the order or modify the order in family court so it shows the actual percentage of parenting time you have.
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