Southern Minnesota Divorce Attorney
Balancing Emotions With Cold Hard Facts
The difficulty in divorce is two-fold: on the one hand, it is usually emotionally draining, and another difficulty is that you need to defend your rights and not get an unfair deal in terms of finances or child custody and parenting time. You don’t want your emotions to overwhelm your ability to make sure you get the best arrangement possible for you and your children. Balancing the emotional issues with the cold hard facts can be a real problem for anyone facing a divorce.
Skilled Divorce Negotiators and Litigators
At Kohlmeyer Hagen Law Office, we focus on skilled negotiation in family law matters. Sometimes we have to be aggressive to solve problems, and we are fully prepared to take that approach if needed. However, we can often find a more amicable and efficient solution, which helps everyone in the long run and saves time, money and emotional energy.
Even under the best of circumstances, divorce presents a myriad of problems. We can use our experience and skill to help you solve these problems. To talk with one of our lawyers for a free initial consultation to learn how we can help you, call our firm or e-mail us.
Our Approach to Handling Divorce Issues
Divorce brings up issues that touch some of the most important issues in the participants’ lives. We take the time at the beginning of every divorce case to learn about the client’s values and hopes regarding each of these important issues. We will work hard to get you the best outcome possible according to your values. Can we guarantee results? I’m afraid the State Bar prohibits that, but we can promise that we will do the best work we possibly can to protect your assets and children.
Military Divorce | Specialized Language and a Mountain of Acronyms
We have exceptional credentials to handle your divorce if you or your spouse has military experience. The chair of the family law division, Jason Kohlmeyer, spent 6 years in the Army. This gave Jason the experience that only a person who has gone on an FTX or stood in line at the Class Six can understand. There are special issues involved in military divorces, and we are comfortable handling the specialized language and the mountain of acronyms and regulations that are involved in military divorces.
Divorce is a stressful experience. With the right attorney, however, you can get the divorce you want and set yourself up for a successful future. Contact one of our Minnesota divorce attorneys with questions. Listed below are just some of the common family law matters our firm handles.
How A Lawyer Can Help in a Divorce Case in Minnesota
Every divorce proceeding is as unique as the two parties divorcing. There are different needs when it comes to emotional support. Families respond differently to the news and divorce proceedings. The assets involved are a testament to the different lives lived by the couples involved in a divorce proceeding; not even the cars are the same as another couples’.
Despite the many distinct attributes of each individual divorce proceeding, one thing remains true for every couple: divorce never comes at a convenient time. There will never be an appropriate moment to initiate the separation of a life you have connected to another’s.
Proceedings can become lengthy and time consuming. Asset division will remind you of purchases you had long since forgotten. When all is said and done you will find yourself planning for a life as an individual rather than a couple. For these reasons, among others, it is often helpful to have an advocate on your side.
Do I Need to Hire a Minnesota Divorce Lawyer?
In Minnesota the answer to this question is always, “no.” There is no law requiring that divorcing spouses retain counsel or appear represented during the divorce proceedings. There is, however, a law that says that parties who represent themselves are held to the same standard as attorneys. This includes understanding the types of evidence that are permitted, how to present that evidence, when to file motions and pleadings, and how to go about doing so. Every technicality required by the law will be applied equally. A quick glance at the Minnesota dissolution of marriage statutes will offer some insight into the level of technicalities that may appear during a divorce proceeding. Without sound training and experience, a divorcing party may find themselves lost in a river of paperwork without a paddle.
Should I Hire a Divorce Lawyer?
The real question here is if a divorcing party should have an attorney representing their interests. The answer, of course, is most likely going to be “yes.” If you have an uncontested divorce, with no children, and no assets to divide you may be able to represent yourself adequately. In the alternative, if cars, homes, paintings, dishes, clothing, bank accounts, credit cards, or electronics (just to name a few) are up for division, you might want to enlist some help. Even if custody appears agreeable during initial conversations with the other party that does not mean they won’t change their tune. Having a court order verifying who will spend Christmas, birthdays, summer vacations, and weekends with the children will avoid last-minute crises.
How Much Will My Divorce Cost in Minnesota?
Worried about divorce cost and how it will affect your finances? Once you have reached the conclusion that your marriage is beyond repair you will undoubtedly have many thoughts spring into your mind. As a divorcing parent, concerns over your children’s well being will likely be in the forefront. As a divorcing homeowner, anxieties over moving or purchasing a new home will surely develop. As a divorcing human being, worries about whom to talk to and how to best break the news will surely manifest. Somewhere in between these tiny spurts of anxiousness a question of price will wander into your mind; how much is this going to cost me? There are a few basic price tags in Minnesota that will be useful to understand prior to beginning the dissolution of your marriage.
In Minnesota, as in just about every state in the country, there is a fee to file a document with the court. In our state both parties are responsible for payment when it comes to divorce fees. Although the fees to file for divorce can vary from county to county, the average cost is $400. If you have very low wages or can demonstrate to a judge that you cannot afford this fee, the judge may waive the fee altogether. This is known as “in forma pauperis.”
In general, a simple divorce can start at about $1,500. Most Mankato divorce attorneys will handle a divorce at an hourly rate. The price of a divorce will vary based on the complexity of the divorce. The issues in dispute between the spouses may also complicate the divorce. For example, if there are children involved and both parties agree on custody issues, the divorce is far less complex than a couple who cannot agree on this issue. Remember, when it comes to divorce there is no right to an attorney like there is when a criminal matter is at hand.
Divorcing on a Budget
Unfortunately, there is no exact price tag when it comes to divorce. The best that any attorney can do is to explain every aspect of pricing in a retainer agreement, which is the contract you sign when you hire an attorney. Keep in mind that civility and decorum will assist you if you are attempting to keep your costs low. Although you will want an attorney to ensure that every asset is accounted for and that your future is secured, the more you are able to compromise with your spouse, the better off you will both be. When spouses let emotions get the best of them, there are sure to be more unnecessary spats. We understand the frustration you will undoubtedly experience and we know how to keep it to a minimum.
Mankato Divorce Lawyer
At Kohlmeyer Hagen Law Offices we understand that your divorce is the most personal event you will ever ask for assistance with. We recognize the stress that divorce will place on your everyday life. We are here to help. We will ensure that your divorce is handled professionally and advocate your interests down to the last detail. Contact our offices today for a free consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions
About Divorce Law
How Much Will My Divorce Cost?There is no set amount. If you can reach an agreement with your spouse on child custody, child support, the division of marital property and debt, and alimony, then the cost will be much less than if you fight over every issue. Some divorces are expensive because attorneys must retain experts like child psychologists or forensic accountants. This is a good question, but there is no one answer.
Does the Mother Automatically Get Custody?No. Minnesota law does not allow a preference for mothers or fathers when it comes to custody. Instead, the law is to look at what is in the child’s best interests. That test looks at many factors, such as how well-adjusted the child is in the current environment and the ability of each parent to care for the child. It is also possible to have joint custody.
How Much Child Support Will I Pay?Minnesota has created guidelines that will determine child support. Some of the factors that go into the formula include the number of children being supported, each parent’s income, and how much time each parent has the child. You can use a calculator to estimate the amount you will pay or receive. Judges can add money to this guideline amount, e.g., for educational or child care expenses. There might also be situations where your child has extraordinary needs, so a parent needs to pay more than what the guideline recommends.
We had a prenuptial agreement. Will this affect the divorce?Yes. If the prenup is valid, then a judge should enforce it. Of course, you might have signed the prenup under duress or threats, which could make it void, and a prenup must be procedurally proper.
I really don’t intend to stay in contact with my children. Can I avoid paying child support?No, you can’t. Each parent has a legal obligation to support children, regardless of whether they want to stay involved in their children’s lives.
The house is in my name, so that means I get it after divorce, right?Maybe. Minnesota divides marital property equitably, which means fairly. To determine what property is marital, you typically look at when you obtained the asset, not whose name is on the deed or title. If you bought the home while married, it is probably marital property. The same is true of a vehicle or any other property you buy. If your spouse bought the home before marriage, some or all could be marital property, if you made mortgage payments while married. Carefully review your property with an attorney.
I stayed home to raise the kids and have no income or savings. Will I be bankrupt after a divorce?You shouldn’t be. Minnesota recognizes that each spouse can make unique contributions to a marriage. Not all contributions are financial. For this reason, you have a right to a share of marital property even if you didn’t pay monthly bills. Of course, if you and your spouse did not accumulate many assets, then you will have much less to use to support yourself. You could also qualify for spousal maintenance, which is a monthly amount your ex pays to you. Maintenance can be temporary or permanent.
When Do I Start The Divorce?This is always a tough question to answer because, believe it or not, I’m not happy when people get divorced! Yes, I know I make my living as a divorce attorney and I still have a few student loans that need to be paid, but one of my favorite phone calls is when a client calls and tells me that it looks like they are getting back together and please stop the divorce. Because of this, I believe that it must be the client’s choice when they should get divorced, not the lawyers.
Don’t wait to contact us | 507.625.5000
Contact us as soon as possible. The sooner you call us and get us on the case, the more time we wil have to prepare your defense. Even if you are not sure you want to hire us, call us and talk with one of our Mankato criminal defense attorneys. We offer a complimentary, no-obligation consultation. Talk to us and see what we can do for you.
Awards & Recognitions
Tier – 2 Minneapolis
Avvo.com – an independent lawyer ranking organization
Minnesota Lawyer Newspaper
Award limited to no more than 5% of Minnesota Attorneys
2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
American Bar Foundation
National Trial Lawyers