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Minnesota Family Court: What to Expect

At The Law Offices of Daniel J. Brazil, we often address questions from clients asking what the legal process looks like when it comes to family law issues. We have provided a summary below that addresses these frequently asked questions, but is by no means comprehensive. In fact, the process can change based on your particular circumstances.

For more specific information about what to expect in Minnesota family court, or for help preparing for your case and to get a better handle on the full family law and divorce process in Minnesota, reach out to our experienced family court lawyers today.

What to Expect in a Minnesota Family Court Trial

A hearing before a family law judge is nowhere near as dramatic as those portrayed on television or in the movies. Instead, these hearings are usually held in small chambers without anyone from the public in attendance. You will attend any and all hearings with your lawyer. Your spouse and his or her lawyer will also be in attendance. One judge will preside over the hearing – the court will not sit a jury to hear your case.

During your divorce hearing, the judge will hear from you and your spouse. Your lawyer will question, or examine, you while you are on the stand. Your spouse’s lawyer will then have the opportunity to cross-examine you. The same will happen with your spouse. Each attorney can also call other witnesses to testify, if necessary.

It is important to understand that the court is not there to help you address your marital problems. Instead, the court is there to gather all information necessary to determine the legal issues at hand, including property division, spousal maintenance/alimony, child support, and child custody (parenting time). Indeed, any emotional appeals made by a participant to a divorce case can often hurt that participant’s stance in the eyes of the court. Logic and facts rule the day in any hearing.

Minnesota Family Court: Timelines

To start a family court trial, your attorney will need to file all necessary motions and responses with the court. Once your attorney has filed all motions, the court will set a date for your hearing as far out as a few months.

Your hearing will generally last a day or two. If you are involved in a contested divorce, you should expect several days in court, spread out over time. Once the judge has heard all testimony and received all evidence in the case, the judge then has up to 90 days to issue its determination of your case. The court will mail the decision to you.

If you are unhappy with the result, you do have the right to appeal this determination. This appeal must take place within 60 days following the court’s decision. An appeal can take anywhere from one-to-several years to come to a conclusion.

Let Us Help You Prepare for Your Minnesota Family Court Hearing

You can expect to face much of the same processes and timelines regardless of whether you are in a Minnesota family court in Hennepin County, Ramsey County or elsewhere in the Twin Cities. Learn more about how to prepare for your family law trial by reaching our Minnesota divorce law and family court attorney. Contact our Minneapolis law firm online or call us at 612-874-6109. We are your advocates for justice.