Minnesota Paternity Law

Legal Father“Paternity” is defined as the “legal” father of a child. As the legal father, he is obliged to financially support that child until the child reaches adulthood at the age of eighteen. In some cases, the father may have to request a court appearance to schedule parenting time and custody of the child.

In the state of Minnesota, when the child is born and the father is present during the birth, it is at that time, both parents will have signed a Recognition of Parentage. Recognition of Parentage establishes paternity for the purposes of child support. Unless ordered by the Court, the father has no legal binding rights to that child. When a parenting plan is reached between the two parents, it is then in the hands of the Court until the agreement is apart of the Court order. Read Full Post

Court Budgets and Families

Court budgets are stretched to the limit, and families are bearing the brunt of this.  Previously, parties had access to free or low-cost custody evaluations, free mediation service, and free visitation or parenting time evaluations.  Ironically, all of this access was available in may counties some 15 years or more ago, when there was more of an assumption on the idea that the mother was the primary party and that the father should have a cookie-cutter ‘every other weekend and one day a week’ parenting schedule.  Now, society recognizes the value of both parents in their children’s lives and, in the vast majority of my cases, both parents play active roles in parenting their children.  More than one judges have commented that  the only thing harder than picking between two bad parents was picking between two good parents. Now, attorneys and other professionals have worked with judicial officers and court administrators to present a variety of options, most on some kind of sliding fee scale, to parents seeking resolution to custody or parenting time disputes.  Common types are Early Neutral Evaluations and Moderated Settlement Conferences.   With few exceptions, most of these services are fee-based.  They are voluntary programs and usually the professionals charge well below their regular hourly rate.  ...