Our Practice Areas

Family Law Q & A

Can I terminate visitation if I am not being paid the support I am owed?

No. Tempting as it may be to tie visitation to child support payments, they are separate considerations. In most, if not all, jurisdictions the right to visitation is never conditional on payment of child support.

Is a particular age at which children may dictate which parent they live with.

No, the child may be asked by social services (and on rare occasion by the court itself) about his or her feelings regarding each parent and their respective living environments. Children of advanced age may voluntarily express a preference to live with a certain parent. However, there is no rule that a child over a certain age may determine his or her future living status.

Can I get child support if I never married my child's other parent?

Yes. Both of a child's biological parents owe that child a duty of financial support. You can work with a family law attorney and the child support enforcement office to obtain a support order. If you are a mother and your child's paternity has never been established, you may need to initiate a paternity proceeding and establish paternity before a support order can be entered.

If all assets are held in my spouses name do I not have any interest in them.

No. There is a common misconception that being the title holder of property is somehow determinative of an award by the family court. In actuality, any property acquired during the marriage, other than traceable premarital holdings, inheritances, or gifts received by a specific party (which can also be divided in part if unfair hardship will otherwise result), is subject to division by the court. The fact that title is in the name of only one party can be inconsequential. The court generally disregards title in dividing property. However, courts may take title into account when determining whether a particular asset has maintained a nonmarital component. For example, retaining funds brought into the marriage or received by bequest or gift in an individual account can serve as evidence that the party intended to preserve the nonmarital nature of the asset.

It is legally advantageous to be the party initiating the divorce process.

It makes no difference. Individuals are frequently concerned that the court will favor the party who files the divorce. In fact, the party initiating the divorce has no special rights over and above the other party.

Will the other party be penalized for marital misconduct.

Generally, No. Minnesota is a "no-fault" state. Therefore, the court is generally required to disregard alleged wrongdoing, unless it affects the best interests of the children.