Posts By: Gerald Williams

Developments in Gay Divorce in Minnesota

Posted by & filed under Same Sex Divorce.

The latest development in gay divorce in Minnesota happened in probate court.  On August 1, a Hennepin County District Court judge upheld a probate court referee’s ruling that a surviving partner of a same-sex marriage was entitled to inherit the decedent partner’s assets.  The couple was married legally in California in 2008, moved to Minnesota… Read more »

College Expenses and Divorce

Posted by & filed under Divorce.

In a divorce, the Minnesota courts cannot impose on a parent the obligation to pay for college. This is because Minnesota family law does not govern children who have reached majority.  The family court will not interfere with the application of existing college funds to tuition expenses, and cannot interfere with the provisions of an… Read more »

Waiting Period for Divorce – Misguided Idea

Posted by & filed under Divorce.

A bill has been introduced in the Minnesota Senate for a two-year waiting period in contested marriage dissolutions that involve children.  The concept of a waiting period is misguided if its purpose is to encourage (force?) parents to stay together “for the kids.” The current law provides that if one spouse (not both) asserts that… Read more »

Alcoholic and Chemically Dependent Parents and Child Custody

Posted by & filed under Custody.

If a couple with children separates, and one of the parents is alcoholic or chemically dependent, should the family court: a.    Terminate the addictive parent’s parental rights; b.    Restrict and/or supervise the addictive parent’s parenting time; c.    Condition the addictive parent’s parenting time on his or her sobriety; or d.    Leave… Read more »

Same Sex Divorce in Minnesota – Part 2

Posted by & filed under Same Sex Divorce.

As a followup to my November blog post about gay divorce, it is interesting to note Minn. Stat. Section 517.03, which dates back to 1997, and reads as follows (note the italicized parts): (a) The following marriages are prohibited: (1) a marriage entered into before the dissolution of an earlier marriage of one of the… Read more »

Irretrievable Breakdown of the Marriage

Posted by & filed under Divorce.

Under Minnesota law, the statutory basis for dissolving a marriage is one spouse’s (or both spouses’) assertion that there has been an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.  It is important to note that it is not required that both spouses assert that the marriage cannot be saved. In many cases, one spouse wants to end… Read more »

Same Sex Divorce in Minnesota

Posted by & filed under Same Sex Divorce.

Now that gay marriage has been legalized in some states, the time has come to tackle the issue of gay divorces.  There is some debate in the legal community about how (or even whether) same-sex divorces should be handled in Minnesota.  Minnesota law provides that a person who has resided in Minnesota for 180 days… Read more »


Posted by & filed under Parenting Time.

One way that the internet helps connect a child and a parent who do not live together is a web service called Readeo.  Essentially, Readeo ( is a bedtime story over the internet.  Both the parent and the child can see and hear each other, and either one can turn the pages of the book… Read more »

Dividing Retirement Interests in a Divorce

Posted by & filed under Divorce.

It is important to consider some distinctions in retirement interests and the way they are divided in a divorce.  A Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) is commonly needed so that both spouses can have separate interests in a retirement account without problems associated with tax penalties and early withdrawals. The QDRO process involves the two… Read more »