SOME OF OUR PRACTICE AREAS

DIVORCE IN MINNESOTA

image29

 Minnesota is a no-fault divorce state, meaning that either party may file and both parties will receive a fair division of marital assets. We can help you through your divorce with your parenting rights and financial interests intact.

COLLABORATIVE DIVORCE

image30

 We have all heard stories about ugly, expensive divorces that leave spouses fighting for years. At Dove Fretland, we can help you avoid the turmoil and expense of emotional divorce litigation. Find out what Collaborative Divorce is all about.

CONTESTED COMPLEX DIVORCE

image31

The attorneys at Dove Fretland are known not only for their ability to litigate complex contested divorce, but also for effective use of their experience, knowledge and talents to achieve negotiated settlements. 


SPOUSAL SUPPORT & ALIMONY

image32

If your previous or pending Minnesota divorce includes issues related to spousal maintenance, turn to Dove Fretland, PLLP, for help. Some of the laws governing spousal maintenance are changing. Feel free to contact our office to schedule a consultation regarding your unique set of facts. Click on More Information below.

CHILDREN

image33

In Minnesota when parents have difficulty agreeing on custody and parenting time rights, the child's best interests will always be the court's highest priority. 


SAME SEX DIVORCE & FAMILY LAW

image34

Now that same sex marriage is legally recognized in Minnesota, couples can enjoy the same benefits & protections of marriage as heterosexual couples. 

Whether you and your partner are married or unmarried, the attorneys at Dove Fretland, PLLP, can help you protect your rights when your relationship dissolves.

DIVORCE IN MINNESOTA

DIVORCE

 There are very few times in our lives when we are confronted by anything as emotional as divorce. We plan our futures and build our lives around our marriage and family. When we can no longer make our marriage work, it is only natural that we let our worries get the best of us. Wherever you are in the Twin Cities metro area, we can help you get through this with your parenting rights and financial interests intact. 

NOBODY WINS IN DIVORCE

Minnesota is a no-fault divorce state, meaning that either party may file and both parties will receive a fair division of marital assets. Divorce is not just the end of your marriage — it is also the beginning of your new future. Our lawyers understand what divorce is all about and we know how to find solutions that will help protect your rights — today and five years after the dust has settled on your divorce decree. 

ARRANGE AN INITIAL CONSULTATION

Attorneys Laura K. Fretland & Lori McLaughlin of Dove Fretland Law

 Our attorneys represent clients in courts throughout the Twin Cities seven-county metro area. Our office hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and we can make evening and weekend appointments by special arrangement. Call us at 952-479-4376 to arrange an initial consultation with one of our  experienced Minneapolis divorce attorneys. You may also use our convenient contact form to describe your circumstances. We cannot give legal advice over the phone. 

COLLABORATIVE DIVORCE

COLLABORATIVE MARITAL DISSOLUTION

What Is Collaborative Divorce All About? Collaborative divorce was developed as an alternative to the highly confrontational, conventional divorce. It is a relatively new option for divorcing couples to resolve disputes respectfully without going to court. It is a humane approach to ending their marriage and is especially effective when children are involved.


SOME BENEFITS OF A COLLABORATIVE DIVORCE:

  • Improved input from the children. Children are given a voice in the process, alleviating potential trauma that sometimes lasts for generations.
  • Increased control during the divorce process. Decision-making is directly in the hands of the spouses involved in divorce rather than the attorneys or judge.
  • Reduced time to complete the divorce. The focus on collaboration and mutual respect can reduce the time it takes to resolve issues that arise during the divorce.
  • Shared use of coaches such as financial and child specialists reduces costs.


Staying out of court often means less stress & lower costs. In a collaborative divorce, clients agree not to go to court. Communication is vastly improved during a collaborative divorce because the process is more open and less confrontational. As a result, couples are able to lay the foundation for a healthier relationship during and after the divorce.


TEAM BASED APPROACH:

  • The collaborative approach is team-based. The process involves attorneys for both parties and may also involve divorce coaches, a financial specialist and, if needed, a child specialist. These professionals work as co-equal problem-solvers, rather than adversaries. As issues arise, the most qualified professional identifies solutions that will most effectively bring resolution.
  • To start the collaborative divorce process, each spouse selects an attorney. The attorneys will then help the parties decide whether to use personal coaches or a single neutral divorce coach. The divorce coaches provide emotional support to both parties during the divorce.
  • The next phase of the process consists of one-on-one meetings between the parties and the coaches to gather information and to enhance communication, self-management and negotiation skills, which are useful during the divorce process.
  • The neutral financial specialist will meet with both parties to gather the necessary financial data. The child specialist, if needed, will meet with the child(ren) to assess any special concerns. The child specialist, along with the parents and the coaches, helps develop a co-parenting plan unique for your children.
  • During the final phase, the focus is on exploring options and settling issues. Each spouse will meet with his or her attorney, divorce coach(es) and financial specialist to reach the final agreement. Once completed, both parties craft a final settlement, together with their attorneys. 


Call us at 952-479-4376 to arrange an initial consultation with one of our experienced lawyers. You may also use our convenient email contact form to describe your circumstances. We will reply as quickly as possible to arrange an initial case evaluation. We cannot give legal advice over the telephone 

Collaborative Divorce
Collaborative Divorce

CONTESTED COMPLEX DIVORCE

Contested Complex Marital Dissolution

Although Minnesota family law judges expect divorcing couples to work out their differences through an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) process, sometimes resolving complex issues just isn't possible. If your divorce will include serious disputes related to child custody, alimony or property, having the right lawyer on your side will make a significant difference.


COMMON CONTESTED COMPLEX DIVORCE ISSUES

  • Child custody and parenting time rights
  • Level of child support
  • Marital property division, classification of marital property
  • Spousal maintenance
  • Litigation over the validity of a prior prenuptial agreement
  • Business or professional practice valuation, ownership rights
  • Real estate, primary residence
  • Pension, retirement interests, investments


Litigation is necessary in cases where there is high degree of conflict, when one party is unwilling to share information or actively hides it, or when a settlement cannot be reached through other means. Each party retains an attorney who assists him or her in obtaining a legal judgment, including going to court, if necessary. The litigation attorney's role is to gather information through formal discovery methods if needed. The attorney then prepares the best possible presentation of the client's position. The attorney will work toward a settlement, and if needed, advocate the client's position in court. Since we opened our doors in 1983, our lawyers have been very successful helping clients litigate cases in court.

Initial Consultation

Call us at 952-479-4376 to arrange an initial consultation with one of our Minneapolis divorce attorneys who has experience in contested complex divorce. You may also use our convenient email contact form to describe your circumstances. We cannot give legal advice over the telephone.

SPOUSAL SUPPORT/ALIMONY

SPOUSAL SUPPORT/ALIMONY

Spousal support (alimony) in Minnesota is not determined by state guidelines statutes, the way child support is awarded. Laws regarding spousal maintenance give judges discretion when determining the reasons temporary support may be awarded. Permanent alimony is typically reserved only for cases of long-term marriage, when one spouse will be at a distinct financial disadvantage from loss of income.  If the judge or referee agrees to order spousal maintenance, he/she will then determine how much support will be ordered and for how long.


Listed below are some of the FACTORS considered by the judge in making 

a decision on whether to grant spousal support under Minnesota alimony laws:


  • Ongoing needs of each party
  • Current property and income of each party
  • Current and future earning potential of each party
  • Standard of living established during marriage
  • Age, physical and emotional condition of both parties
  • Length of the marriage
  • Existence of a premarital agreement or post-nuptial agreement
  • Other factors that the courts find equitable and just.

Arrange an Initial Consultation

Call us at 952-479-4376 to arrange an initial consultation with one of our Minneapolis  family law attorneys who has experience in spousal support and alimony cases. You may also use our convenient email contact form to describe your circumstances. We cannot give legal advice over the telephone. 

CHILDREN: CHILD CUSTODY

CHILD CUSTODY: PHYSICAL & LEGAL

Count on it: When parents file for divorce in Minnesota and have difficulty agreeing on custody and visitation rights, the child's best interests will always be the court's highest priority. Protecting your child's future is one of the most important issues to be addressed during the divorce or paternity process. At Dove Fretland, PLLP, we are dedicated to creating child custody agreements and parenting time/visitation schedules that enable a safe, healthy future for your child.


Two Types of Custody Under Minnesota Law. In most divorces involving children in Minnesota, there will be two types of custody consideration the courts must deal with:


  • PHYSICAL CUSTODY: Determines which parent the child will live with as primary caregiver and residence. Judges have discretion to consider two types of physical custody. Sole physical custody is when one parent is awarded the primary responsibility of the day-to-day care of the child. Joint physical custody requires both parents to share in the responsibilities. Joint physical custody does not necessarily mean a 50-50 split in parenting time, however. Physical custody awards may include specifics regarding which parent is responsible for particular aspects of the child's upbringing.
  • LEGAL CUSTODY: Refers to a parent's right to make decisions about a child's health care, education and religious upbringing. In Minnesota, legal custody is most commonly shared between both parents. The primary exception is when there is an issue (such as abuse) that could affect a child's safety.


Contested Custody and Custody Evaluations. When parents are contesting custody, an evaluator will interview the parents, the children and witnesses named by each party. From these interviews, the evaluator will prepare a report that includes recommendations for custody and visitation. This is based on the best interests of the child. These recommendations will have a significant influence on the final outcome.


Call us at 952-479-4376 to arrange an initial consultation with one of our experienced lawyers. You may also use our convenient email contact form to describe your circumstances. We will reply as quickly as possible to arrange an initial case evaluation. We cannot give legal advice over the telephone


 HAVE THINGS CHANGED IN YOUR LIFE SINCE YOUR DIVORCE? VISIT OUR CUSTODY AND SUPPORT MODIFICATIONS information page. 

CONTACT US FOR YOUR INITIAL CONSULTATION

Call us at 952-479-4376 to arrange an initial consultation with one of our experienced lawyers. You may also use our convenient email contact form to describe your circumstances. We will reply as quickly as possible to arrange an initial case evaluation. We cannot give legal advice over the telephone 

CHILDREN: CHILD SUPPORT

CHILD SUPPORT

Dove Fretland, PLLP has represented hundreds of clients in child support matters, including unique cases involving self-employed persons and cases where both parents had high incomes.


ONLINE CALCULATOR - A GOOD STARTING POINT

The size of child support payments is dependent on the incomes of both parties. The State of Minnesota offers an online calculator which can help you get started with the process. Although, determining the correct level of child support may require investigation and research. Special problems arise in cases where a parent is self-employed or unemployed. 


Call for an Appointment

Call us at 952-479-4376 to arrange an initial consultation with one of our experienced lawyers. You may also use our convenient  Email Contact Form to describe your circumstances. We will reply as quickly as possible to arrange an initial case evaluation. We cannot give legal advice over the telephone 

CHILDREN: MODIFICATION OF CUSTODY & CHILD SUPPORT

MODIFICATION: CHILD SUPPORT and/or CUSTODY

Circumstances change in people's lives — the courts know that. One parent may start a new relationship or remarry. The other parent may lose a job or take a new job out of town. The child may decide that the weekly parenting schedule no longer fits his or her social calendar.


Why Parents' Shouldn't Just Work Things Out Between Themselves. Informal changes to child support, parenting time (visitation) and legal residence for the child are not legally binding and can result in costly litigation if things go wrong. Everything may be fine for a while, but when an issue arises about the child's welfare or best interests, handshake deals often break down.


When it is necessary for divorced parents to change custody, parenting time or child support payments, it is best to bring a motion before the court, petitioning for a formal custody or support modification. In bringing the motion, the parent must have witnesses, affidavits or other documents to demonstrate a basis to modify custody. The court will only look at facts that have changed since the original custody order was put in place and will not revisit prior arguments regarding the original judgment.


If your divorce or child custody matter was handled by a court in the Twin Cities area and you need to modify your judgment, turn to Dove Fretland, PLLP. From our offices in St. Louis Park, our Minneapolis child custody modification attorneys represent clients throughout the Twin Cities seven-county metro area.

Set up a Consultation

 Call us at 952-479-4376 to arrange an initial consultation with one of our experienced lawyers. You may also use our convenient email contact form to describe your circumstances. We will reply as quickly as possible to arrange an initial case evaluation. We cannot give legal advice over the telephone.

FAMILY LAW FOR SAME SEX FAMILIES

SAME SEX DIVORCE & FAMILY LAW

Both married and unmarried couples have always had to deal with questions of financial responsibilities, property and parental rights. Gay and lesbian couples know this better than anyone. For years, their relationships were not legally recognized in Minnesota, but now, these couples can enjoy the same benefits of marriage as heterosexual couples.

 

Experienced Minneapolis Lawyers To Help You Through


Whether you and your partner are married or unmarried, the attorneys at Dove Fretland, PLLP, can help you understand and protect your rights when your relationship dissolves.

We have more than 30 years of combined experience in Minnesota family law. We are dedicated advocates for families, no matter what form they come in. We are here to help you find solutions to issues of child custody, property division, support agreements and more during this difficult time.


Finding Cooperative Solutions While Standing Up For You


Divorce is often a contentious and frustrating time for couples. Rarely do both parties agree on big issues like who will have primary custody of children and how marital assets will be divided. Even argumentative times can be approached with understanding and negotiation, and it is often in a family's beset interest to work together as much as possible when divorcing.


We know how to use opportunities for collaborative divorce when possible to help our LGBT clients arrive at divorce agreements that work for their personal goals. Our experience has shown that couples who can retain control over decision-making, rather than handing over control to a judge in court, often walk away with a more positive outlook. This is especially important when trying to foster cooperative relationships between parents who will have to work together to raise children after a divorce is final.

 

  • While we value negotiation, litigation does play a key role in our success. If your case requires a strong presence in court, we will provide that for you.


Our top priority will be to find the right solutions for you and your loved ones.

Start the Process

Call us at 952-479-4376 to arrange an initial consultation with one of our experienced lawyers. You may also use our convenient  email contact form  to describe your circumstances. We will reply as quickly as possible to arrange an initial case evaluation. We cannot give legal advice over the telephone.