Ending a marriage can often be a difficult and emotionally challenging process. Emotional ties are disrupted, property divided and custody, parenting time and monetary questions can be stressful. There are many issues that will need to be decided after divorce proceedings have been initiated. If there are children, where will they live? Property acquired together with your spouse during marriage will need to be divided according to plans decided upon between you and your spouse in a settlement, or by a judge. We understand that you may be facing difficult decisions and our vast experience as divorce lawyers can offer you the expert legal advice you need.
Minnesota does have a no-fault system for marriage dissolution or divorce, which means that the bad actions of either spouse are irrelevant in obtaining a divorce. However, that doesn’t mean that those actions won’t affect the outcome of the divorce. At McCullough & Associates, P.A., our divorce attorneys have years of experience representing our clients. We work closely with our clients to explain the process, the realities of their situation and work to help restructure their family in ways that will work best for them.
In practice, however, most parties in Minnesota use one of two main, well-established processes: mediation and early neutral evaluation.
Social Early Neutral Evaluation (SENE) is another option for parents to use when they are not in agreement on issues relating to their children. In this process, the parties sit down with two evaluators, one male and one female, and discuss their concerns and thoughts regarding custody and/or parenting time issues. The evaluators generally begin by having the petitioner (the person who started the case) discuss their thoughts on the children, how the parties have parented, and what they believe would be the best custody and parenting arrangement. After the petitioner has spoken, the respondent is then allowed to give their thoughts on the same topics. Both parties are in the room when the evaluators hear from each parent, and both are instructed not to interrupt or interject but rather listen, take notes, and they will be given an opportunity to respond to the other parent’s comments. During the conversation the evaluators often will ask questions, gather information, and try ensure that each party has had an equal chance to be heard, as it is important for each party to feel that it has been a fair process. After the allotted period of time, the evaluators leave to discuss the issues and return with a recommendation, which they present to the parties.
Our St. Paul divorce attorneys are well versed in Family Law issues and in handling the sensitive legal issues facing people going through a divorce. We work hard to ensure our clients receive the best results from difficult situations. If you are facing a divorce, call the legal team at McCullough & Associates.