Child custody battles are often the most stressful and frustrating part of any divorce or paternity case. You deserve a legal team that will give your case the attention it deserves.
At Johnson/Turner Legal, we're committed to shouldering the burden of child custody battles so parents can focus on what's really important: their kids.
As part of that commitment, every client we get receives a team consisting of a Minnesota child custody attorney, two paralegals, a client engagement specialist, and a life coach. Our team isn't only there to handle your case—we'll also help you manage stress and maintain a strong relationship with your children moving forward into your custody arrangement.
We know that for many parents, legal fees are a concern. The last thing we want parents to be worried about it whether they'll be charged for a call, which is why we use a flat-fee pricing model. When you work with us, we tell you up-front how much your fees will be. At Johnson/Turner Legal, you pay for our services, not our time. That means you never have to worry about hidden fees or unexpected costs.
We have offices all over Minnesota – Forest Lake, Blaine, Lake Elmo, Wayzata, and Woodbury – to better serve you. Get in touch to our location nearest you for more information about your rights under Minnesota custody laws.
Everything the court does is intended to serve the best interest of the child. In determining what is the best interest of the child, the court considers:
As a parent, if you disagree about who should have custody or what the parenting time schedule should be, then a court will most likely order that an expert evaluate and determine what custody and parenting time arrangement will serve the best interest of the child.
The custody and parenting time evaluator will delve into the lives of the parents and the children. He or she will conduct psychological evaluations and, if necessary, chemical dependency evaluations. The evaluator will meet with the parents, the children, and other people who have watched the parents with their child, such as school counselors, grandparents, daycare providers, teachers, and coaches.
After the evaluation is complete, the evaluator will issue a recommendation regarding custody and parenting time directly to the court. Through this entire process, it is highly beneficial to have a child custody attorney in Minnesota to advocate for you.
A Parenting Time Expeditor (PTE) is a court-appointed individual who is delegated the authority to work with parents to resolve disputes over the applicability and enforcement of parenting time orders. The PTE does not have the power to alter the court-ordered parenting time, but does have the power to resolve disputes regarding the application of the court-ordered parenting time. The role of a PTE is defined by Minn. Stat. § 518.1751.
Parties who have had a history of difficulty working together cooperatively in carrying out the court-ordered parenting time are good candidates for the appointment of a PTE. Also, parties who have or are considering agreeing on a parenting time schedule that allows a large degree of flexibility among the parents may be good candidates for the appointment of a PTE.
In both circumstances, if a dispute arises over such issues as dates of child exchanges, make-up time, whose holiday is it, trading parenting time to accommodate special events, or other parenting time disputes, the court system is not designed to provide quick resolutions of such disputes. Most of the time, by the time a party calls their attorney, schedules a hearing, files and serves motion paperwork and gets in front of a judge, the disputed parenting-time period is long past and too much money has been spent.
The PTE provides a much more responsive, and typically less expensive, means of resolving parenting time disputes. When a dispute arises, one of the parties contacts the PTE by phone, e-mail or mail to inform the PTE of the problem. Then the PTE will contact the other parent to hear from him or her about the problem. The PTE first attempts to facilitate an agreement between the parties to resolve the dispute, but if the parents are unable to agree, the PTE has the court-delegated authority to make a decision that is binding on the parties, subject only to an appeal to the district court. The entire process can be done in hours or days, rather than weeks or months and is typically much less expensive than the court alternative.
Typically, the parties divide the costs of the PTE's services.
If the court is concerned that the well being of a child is compromised by either or both parents, it will appoint a Guardian ad Litem. The purpose of the Guardian ad Litem is often to make recommendations to the court regarding what custody and parenting time arrangement will be in the best interest of the child.
We break down our approach to child custody into four phases: The foundation-building phase, the settlement-focused phase, the litigation phase, and the conclusion phase.
Our child custody lawyers in Minnesota will walk you through each of these phases, so you know exactly what to expect if you bring us on board for your child custody battle.
During the foundation-building phase, we take the following steps:
Once we build the foundation for your case, it's time to start moving forward in earnest. This brings us to the next phase.
Coming to a settlement outside of the courtroom is often less stressful and more cost-effective than pursuing a final decree from a judge.
If possible, our Minnesota child custody attorneys will try and encourage the other party to settle with you. This involves the following steps:
Of course, not every case can be settled. When an alternative resolution isn't available, we move on to the next phase.
During litigation, we take all the necessary steps to protect your parental rights and advocate for you in court, including:
Once the trial is over, it's time to move on to the final phase.
During the conclusion phase, our Minnesota child custody lawyers take the following steps to wrap up your case:
Should your condition or circumstances change post-decree, we can also help you file for an order modification to make sure your child custody order accurately reflects your current needs and status. To learn more about that, visit our modifications of orders page.
At Johnson/Turner Legal, we understand the leap of faith parents take when they put us in charge of their child custody case. We don't take the responsibility lightly, and we'll do everything in our power to help you reach a positive resolution in your case.
Schedule a consultation from a Minnesota child custody lawyer. Contact us online or via phone at (651) 371-9117. We have offices all over Minnesota, including Forest Lake, Blaine, Duluth, Lake Elmo, Wayzata, and Woodbury.
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