As followers of this blog know, I believe that the biggest challenge currently facing the family court system in Minnesota is lack of adequate funding. I think it is important that everyone communicate to their legislators how important it is that Minnesota courts be adequately funded. Lack of adequate funding results not only in fewer judges, but fewer law clerks, court reporters, administrative clerks, and other professionals who are needed to get work done.
In many Minnesota counties, it can take several months before a hearing for temporary relief can occur in family court. The rules of civil procedure only require 14 days advance notice. But, in many cases the actual hearing is scheduled months out into the future.
Historically, the court used to provide much needed services to divorcing families for free. These services included custody and parenting time studies and some limited mediation services. The costs for these services have shifted from the court to the persons who are getting divorced. They can be expensive. For example, it can cost $10,000 to $12,000 to hire a licensed psychologist to conduct a private custody evaluation. When people cannot afford these costs, they tend to be shut out of the process.
I give free initial consultations. Feel free to call me at (952) 270-7700 if you are planning to get divorced and have questions or concerns.