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Minnesota Family Law

Minnesota Family Law

Minnesota Family Law: A Comprehensive Guide

Family law is the branch of law that deals with various legal issues that may arise within a family setting. It includes the laws regulating marriage, divorce, child custody, child support, alimony, domestic violence, adoption, and many others. In Minnesota, family law is governed by unique statutes and case laws, which vary from those of other states.

This article is a comprehensive guide to Minnesota family law, providing updated information on the various legal issues that may arise in a family setting.

Marriage Laws in Minnesota

Marriage is a legally binding union between two consenting adults. In Minnesota, marriage is regulated by Minn. Stat. Chapter 517. According to this statute, marriage is available to anyone who is:

– 18 years or older,
– not currently married, and
– not closely related by blood.

The state recognizes two types of marriages:

– Traditional marriage: This is the marriage between a man and a woman.
– Same-sex marriage: This is the marriage between two people of the same sex.

In 2013, Minnesota became the 12th state to legalize same-sex marriage. The Supreme Court’s decision in the landmark case of Obergefell v. Hodges in 2015 ensured that same-sex marriages were recognized in all states, including Minnesota.

Divorce Laws in Minnesota

Divorce is a legal process that dissolves a marriage. In Minnesota, divorce is governed by Minn. Stat. Chapter 518. According to this statute, the following grounds are recognized as valid reasons for divorce:

– The irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.
– Adultery.
– Impotence.
– Willful desertion for one year.
– Cruel and inhuman treatment.
– Habitual drunkenness for one year.
– Felony conviction and imprisonment.

Minnesota is a “no-fault” state, meaning that spouses can file for divorce without proving that one party was at fault. In such cases, the cause of the divorce is cited as the ‘irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.’ However, in some cases, a person may have to prove fault to secure favorable child custody arrangements or spousal support.

Child Custody Laws in Minnesota

Child custody laws determine who has legal and physical custody of a child following a divorce or separation. In Minnesota, child custody laws are governed by Minn. Stat. Chapter 518.17. Under this statute, there are two types of child custody:

– Legal custody: This refers to the right to make important decisions about a child’s upbringing, such as the child’s education, religious upbringing, and medical care.
– Physical custody: This refers to the parent with whom the child primarily resides.

In most cases, parents share legal custody of their children. However, physical custody can be contested, with both parents seeking primary custody of their children. In such cases, a judge will make a decision based on the child’s best interests, taking into account the child’s needs, the parents’ financial and emotional stability, and any history of abuse or neglect.

Child Support Laws in Minnesota

Child support refers to the financial assistance that a noncustodial parent provides to the custodial parent to support the upbringing of their child. In Minnesota, child support laws are governed by Minn. Stat. Chapter 518A. According to this statute, the following factors are considered when calculating child support:

– The financial resources of each parent.
– The child’s financial needs.
– The custody arrangement.
– The standard of living the child would have had if the parents had remained married.
– Any other relevant factors.

Child support is typically calculated using the Parental Income for Determining Child Support (PICS) guidelines, which take into account the income of both parents and the number of children involved.

Alimony Laws in Minnesota

Alimony, also known as spousal support, is the financial assistance that a higher-earning spouse provides to a lower-earning spouse following a divorce. In Minnesota, alimony laws are governed by Minn. Stat. Chapter 518.552. According to this statute, the following factors are considered when determining alimony:

– The financial resources of each spouse.
– The standard of living the spouses had during the marriage.
– The length of the marriage.
– The age and health of each spouse.
– Any other relevant factors.

Alimony is not automatic in Minnesota, and a judge may award it only if the spouse seeking it can demonstrate a financial need, and the other spouse has the financial capacity to provide the support.

Domestic Violence Laws in Minnesota

Domestic violence refers to any act of violence or abuse that occurs within a family setting. In Minnesota, domestic violence laws are governed by Minn. Stat. Chapter 518B. According to this statute, the following acts constitute domestic violence:

– Physical harm or fear of harm.
– Sexual violence or coerced sexual conduct.
– Threats of harm.
– Stalking or harassment.

Domestic violence is taken very seriously in Minnesota, and the state provides various protections for victims, including restraining orders, emergency custody, and criminal charges.

Adoption Laws in Minnesota

Adoption refers to the legal process of creating a parent-child relationship between individuals who are not biologically related. In Minnesota, adoption laws are governed by Minn. Stat. Chapter 259. According to this statute, the following parties are eligible to adopt:

– Adults who have lived in Minnesota for at least six months.
– Married couples who are adopting together.
– Single adults who are 21 years of age or older.
– The child’s stepparent.

Adoption can be a complex legal process, and prospective parents are encouraged to seek the guidance of an experienced adoption attorney.


Family law is a complex and ever-changing area of law, with unique statutes and case laws in each state. This article has provided a comprehensive guide to Minnesota family law, covering the legal issues that may arise within a family setting, including marriage, divorce, child custody, child support, alimony, domestic violence, adoption, and many others.

If you are facing a family law issue in Minnesota, it is recommended that you seek the advice of an experienced family law attorney, who can guide you through the legal process and ensure that your rights are protected.

What You Need to Know About Minnesota Family Laws

There are plenty of legal niches out there for the industry:

1. Personal Injury Law

2. Bankruptcy Law

3. Finance Law

4. Labor Law

5. Intellectual Property Law

6. Probate Law

7. Estate Planning Law

8. Criminal Law

And then, of course, there’s MN “Family Law,” probably the most comprehensive niche out there next to Criminal Law.

This is about Minnesota and what you can expect, though. If you have any of these following issues, Minnesota Family Law would be your way to go:

1. Divorce Issues

2. Marriage Requirements

3. Adoption Procedure

4. Surrogacy Options

5. Juvenile Adjudication

6. Child Abuse

7. Domestic Violence

8. Annulments of Marriage

Too many to count, actually. So know your legal issue in regards to MN Family Law, whatever it may be….

If Your Minnesota Family Law Issue Is Divorce….

Recognize that you might be dealing with one or more of these legal issues under MN Family Law:

1. Property Distribution

2. Child Support

3. Child Custody

4. Alimony

5. Parenting Time

One key point here: if you have only one of these specific issues under Minnesota Family Law, it’s crucial that you find an attorney specializing in that particular issue. If it’s a child custody matter, seek a custody attorney. And so on and so forth.

The Concept of Marriage as a Legal Institution Under MN Family Law

The fact is Minnesota Family Law regards marriage as a legal matter because you’re entering into a contract. A legal contract. By MN Family Law, you could get married in a courthouse with the appropriate paperwork filed.

By law, this is what you would need for a valid marriage under Minnesota Family Law:

1. A Marriage License

2. Witnesses

3. Justice of a Peace/Ordained Person

You also have to be of age, and the marriage has to be valid according to MN Family Law (valid divorce decree from a prior marriage or proof of being unmarried).

So by all means, the concept of marriage is a legal institution and falls in line with what Minnesota family laws are all about.

Adoption and How It Plays a Role in the Minnesota Family Laws

It’s a legal process in that it’s the transfer of parental rights, basically.

Besides the fact that a birth parent consents to an adoption – effectively handing over all legal rights, parental rights, everything – even adoptions involving wards of the court involve legal matters.

Through a process and approval according to Minnesota family laws, a prospective adopting parent can file for adoption of a child and go through the motions of transferring all rights held by the state into the hands of that adopting parent.

To do that requires due process of law. It’s a legal process under Minnesota family laws.

You can easily find family law firms in regards to that for the purpose of finding a lawyer specializing in Adoption Law.

Those Are a Few Examples

As you can see, of course, there are many more. Whatever your issue may be, if you know that it can fall under those specific sub-niches, you’ll know exactly what to look for: family law firms.

Simply do the process of finding a good shortlist of family attorneys specializing in your case and go from there.