FAQs About Family Law Matters

No two family law issues are the same. However, facing legal concerns can leave you with a lot of concerns and doubts, including divorce questions or child support questions. Here are some of the most common family law questions we receive at Kniess Law, LLC:

How do I obtain custody of my child?

Many parents worry about losing time with their children when going through a divorce. This is an understandable concern — the relationship with your child is often one of the most important things in your life, after all.

However, there is no certain way to obtain child custody. Every family is different, and they must find a custody arrangement that works best for them and their individual needs.

What you can do in custody proceedings is put the best interests of your child first. The child's best interest standard is one of the most significant factors family courts consider when determining child custody. If you do the same, you can protect both your child as well as your parental rights.

It is also beneficial to consult with an experienced custody attorney to safeguard your short- and long-term interests.

How does the UCCJEA really affect my interstate family case?

Families in recent years have been very mobile. Americans move 11 times on average in their lifetimes. This can leave families with a lot of child custody questions when they move across state lines.

The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) made this situation a little easier for multistate families. Both Minnesota and Wisconsin have adopted this Act. The Act establishes:

  • The aspect of a child's "home state," and the continuing jurisdiction of that, or another, state
  • Communication between the courts of states a child has significant connections with
  • Determines which court decides a custody case

For example, two parents live in Minnesota with their child. Upon the parents' divorce, one parent moves not far across the border with the child. The question of where the custody order should be modified may become an issue. Similarly, if both parents and the child move out of state after a divorce, they will need to ensure the proper state modifies the order so that it is enforceable.

How can I obtain my full spousal support in a same-sex divorce?

Spousal support is one of the complex aspects of same-sex divorce, along with property division. This is because one of the main factors to determine these aspects is how long you and your spouse were married.

Minnesota only legalized same-sex marriage in 2013. And this can cause some problems for same-sex couples who have been together since before then. For example, if a same-sex couple got married in 2013 but had essentially lived together as a married couple since 2000, Minnesota law would not recognize the 12 years before the couple got married. This is due to the anti-palimony laws that are still in effect.

"Palimony" provides alimony for unmarried couples who cohabited for a long period of time. Divorcing same-sex couples might be able to obtain a fraction of both alimony and palimony, but Minnesota does not recognize it. This can result in an unfair determination of spousal maintenance. Kniess Law can help you pursue a more equitable outcome, considering this issue.

Pursuing your divorce through mediation may be the best chance for same-sex couples to obtain a fair spousal support agreement.

What does it mean to file a no-fault divorce?

A no-fault divorce means that spouses can simply cite that their marriage is irreconcilable to obtain a divorce. You do not have to prove any sort of wrongdoing, such as adultery or domestic abuse, to file for divorce. Many states nowadays, including Minnesota, are no-fault states.

How does equitable distribution work?

Minnesota follows the laws of equitable distribution when dividing property during a divorce. In equitable distribution, property is divided fairly, not necessarily equally, between the spouses. There are many factors used to calculate equitable distribution, including:

  • The age and health of each spouse
  • The current and future financial circumstances of each spouse
  • How much each spouse contributed to obtaining marital property
  • The existence and/or directions of marital agreements
  • The value of the marital property and the spouses' separate property

Answering All Your Questions · Contact Kniess Law, LLC, Today

Dealing with family law issues is not easy. You may have a lot of questions as you face an uncertain future. However, it is our goal to help you build something new and beautiful out of the broken pieces of the past.

Contact our firm online or call our Woodbury office at 651-393-9072 for a free consultation to discuss your questions with an experienced lawyer.