FAQ’s

We answer some of the most commonly asked questions when it comes to divorce and child-custody.

Will this divorce or child custody matter ever end?

Divorce – Yes, it will end eventually. However, it is important to note that it all depends on how much conflict is involved and the personalities each party has. Traditionally, it may take a matter of a few months to finalize a divorce. In the easiest process if both parties agree to everything, it can take weeks. But, in the most rare and extreme  circumstances it can take years. Yes, you read that correctly, years – plural…At the Law Office of Tiffany Dust, we do our best to point out alternatives to help keep the process moving forward.

Child Custody – Yes and no…We often recognize a child’s birthday whether by celebration or not. But, rarely do we ever take time to reflect on that the fact that when your child became a part of your life (whether by birth, adoption or otherwise), it was on that same day that you became a parent to that child. From the court’s perspective, absent of terminating your parental rights, child custody issues/battles may end when the child passes through high school. However, in certain circumstances, for a number of reasons, custody may continue past adulthood.

In more high-conflict matters, issues of child custody may come up over and over again in a seemingly endless cycle. We understand the never-ending nightmare that happens in high-conflict matters and are here to help navigate through it by providing strategies to help prepare for the next issue that may arise.

 

Do I have to go to court or can we go to mediation and when is it appropriate?

Mediation or any other type of Alternative Dispute Resolution is strongly encouraged in most circumstances. When agreements are reached through mediation, the Court’s involvement typically decreases as it may involve simply a review of the agreements reached and then issuing an order based on the agreements. However, the court may still wish to hear from both parties. The main point is that it is an easier process that requires minimal court involvement compared to trial.

 

We have children, what will happen to them during the divorce?

There are many opportunities to reach informal agreements on how to manage child custody and parenting time. Sometimes parties will agree to try to resolve matters through Early Neutral Evaluation and/or mediation. These informal processes are designed to help parties find creative solutions to issues ranging from after school activities to more serious concerns including chemical dependency. 

There is no guarantee on what will happen next. But, having an attorney who understands your thoughts, concerns, and one who is able to answer questions you have, can make a huge difference in ensuring your voice is heard throughout your case.

 

I have a child with my abusive Ex and I thought leaving him and getting a restraining order meant I would not have to communicate with him: Do I really have to continue talking to him?

Yes, in fact, leaving an abusive situation does not sever the relationship entirely when children are involved, and the most difficult part is realizing how much communication is necessary no matter how traumatizing it is to do so. You will likely be expected to discuss important details related to your child/children’s health, education, emotional needs, and more. Ignoring your Ex may result in losing custody of your child.

There is hope however, by setting boundaries and using tools that create a safe space for communicating with your Ex, you may find it extremely easy and dare we say it…enjoyable to do so? I know, it seems impossible, but please ask us how this happens. At the Law Office of Tiffany Dust, we assist you with building communication tools and skills that will help you in your case.

 

What is supervised parenting time and when does it apply?

Supervised parenting time is generally awarded when there are concerns for a child’s safety. Supervised parenting time involves supervision by someone else for the purpose of observing and reporting on problems, if any, arise during the supervised parenting time. Sometimes the supervisor can be a family member or by a professional service at a neutral location. Supervised parenting time is not always permanent, meaning that in some cases, upon successful completion of supervised parenting time, a parent may receive unsupervised parenting time. 

Finding an attorney who understands how and when to request supervised parenting time is important to provide peace of mind knowing that at least one other person is present during parenting time who is at least there to ensure your child’s safety. 

If you have supervised parenting time, then finding an attorney who can help guide you through the process to build trust with the other parent is also important as well. 

 

My spouse and I have separated, when can I get a divorce? (specific to Minnesota)

Generally, the State of Minnesota does not have a “cooling off” period requirement before filing for divorce. A cooling off period sometimes requires that parties file and then wait six or more months first before a divorce is granted. This is not the case in Minnesota. In Minnesota, either party can file for divorce at any time and the court may grant the divorce without having to wait a specific cooling off time period to end. However, it is important to note that in some instances, a divorce even absent a cooling off period may take months to finalize.

 

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5775 Wayzata Blvd., Suite 700 St.                              Louis Park, MN 55416

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