Posts By: Gerald Williams

Good Guys Finish First

Posted by & filed under General Family Law.

One of the most difficult things to encounter in family court is an opposing party who is willing to lie. When my client is reeling about the other party’s dishonesty in court, and expressing the sincere desire to “fight fire with fire,” I often sound like my mother did when I was a kid: “Two… Read more »

Tax Effect on Assets in Divorce

Posted by & filed under Divorce.

When two spouses divide assets in a divorce, it is important to pay with attention to the tax consequences connected with certain assets.  The clearest example is retirement assets.  Usually, when someone receives a payment or distribution from a retirement account, it is a taxable event.  So, someone in a twenty-eight percent tax bracket, who… Read more »

Contested Child Custody and Mental Illness

Posted by & filed under Custody.

In a contested child custody dispute, if one of the parents suffers from mental illness, it is a factor to be considered in the court’s custody decision. Many parents going through a custody battle suffer from conditions such as clinical depression, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder or a personality disorder. The statutory provision of Minn…. Read more »

Children and Passports

Posted by & filed under Custody.

Children under the age of sixteen are not issued passports without the consent of both parents. The Two-Parent Consent Law was revised in February 2008 to include all children 16 and under, and not just children 14 and under. Both parents must be personally present for the passport application submission, to provide identification and original… Read more »

Orthodontia Costs and Child Support

Posted by & filed under Child support.

If a parent is ordered to pay child support, it is likely that the child support obligation will include a “basic” support obligation, coupled with child care support and medical support. Orthodontia costs are included as part of medical support. Basic support is based upon the income of both parents, based upon a statutory table… Read more »

Custody Neutrals

Posted by & filed under Custody, Guardian ad litem, Parenting time expeditor.

Custody evaluations, guardians ad litem, early neutral evaluators, parenting consultants and parenting time expeditors.  They are all objective and impartial. Here are the distinctions: Custody evaluators are appointed by the court or contracted with privately by the parties. The evaluator will meet with the parents, meet with or observe the child (depending on how old… Read more »

Divorce Mediation – With or Without an Attorney?

Posted by & filed under Divorce.

When a divorce case is submitted to the family law mediation process, the parties sometimes will have their attorneys present, and sometimes will not. Most mediators will not insist on the attorneys being present or on the attorneys being excluded from the process. However, it is also the case that most mediators will require that… Read more »

Marital Interest in Real Estate

Posted by & filed under Divorce.

When a married couple owns a home, both spouses have an interest in the home, whether or not the house is titled in both spouses’ names.  So if one spouse lives in a home for two years before the marriage, then gets married, the other spouse’s name does not need to be added to the… Read more »

Paternity Presumptions

Posted by & filed under Custody.

Minnesota law provides for certain paternity presumptions that govern when there is a dispute over paternity.  When a child is born to a married woman, the mother’s husband is presumed to be the father. When a child is genetically linked to a man, the man is presumed to be the father. In cases in which… Read more »

Grandparent Visitation

Posted by & filed under Custody, General Family Law, Parenting Time.

Generally, a grandparent’s right to see their minor grandchild is derivative of the child’s parent’s right to parenting time.  That is, the maternal grandparents have access to the child during the mother’s parenting time, and the paternal grandparents have access to the child during the father’s parenting time.  In most cases, grandparents do not have… Read more »