Family Law 101

Family Law 101: Do I Really Need a Prenuptual Agreement?

Prenuptial agreements are not just for the rich  and famous.  A prenuptial agreement allows couples to dictate how their property,  including property they brought into the marriage, will be divided in the event of death or dissolution of their marriage. Effectively, parties to a prenuptial agreement agree that they will determine the law that applies, rather than allow Minnesota law to determine each party’s rights and obligations. So, while everyone believes their marriage will last forever, the reality is that not all of them do. Also, parties may decide to be married later in life, once they have accumulated some wealth and property interests, and they may want a prenuptial agreement to ensure that their property is protected.

Family Law 101: Modification of Child Support Following a Child’s Graduation

In light of recent graduations, many child support obligors assume that their child support payments will automatically reduce upon their child’s graduation. However, if there are other children in the family still eligible for child support, the amount of child support will remain in effect unless the child support order provides for an automatic reduction due to emancipation, or the obligor brings a motion for modification.

Family Law 101: Father’s Rights to Custody and Parenting Time

Most people may be surprised to learn that a father  has no legal rights to custody or  parenting time with his child if he was not  married to the child’s mother at the time of the child’s birth. In Minnesota, if a child is born to an unwed mother, the mother is the sole legal and physical custodian of the child. A father has to bring a legal action to obtain rights to custody and parenting time, even in cases where paternity is uncontested.

Family Law 101: Calculation of Child Support

Minnesota uses an income shares module to determine the appropriate amount of child support  each party shall pay for a child.  Child Support is comprised of 3 parts: basic support, medical/dental support, and child care. The amount of child support an obligor may be ordered to pay to the other parent depends on the combined gross income of both parents and the amount of court-ordered parenting time the obligor has with the child. The non-custodial parent, or parent with less parenting time, will pay the custodial parent child support.