Like most Minnesotans, whether Republican or Democrat, I do not like to see our state government shut down.  I hope our elected representatives do what needs to be done to get our state open for business again.

The Minnesota court system will remain open for now.  It is possible that some services might be curtailed, but not during the month of July.

I believe that in the future, the courts will either provide fewer services to people who are getting divorced, or they will charge more for the service.  Presently, many courts have an “in-house” service that helps people resolve custody and parenting time disputes.  In some counties, this is called the “Custody Early Neutral Evaluation” program.  In other counties, it is called the “Social Early Neutral Evaluation” program.  Generally speaking, I think it is a good thing and most of the time my cases that go through the CENE or SENE program are settled.

Currently, many counties offer the CENE or SENE program at a very reduced rate to people who have financial limitations.  And, they offer it at a very reasonable rate to everyone else.  It’s possible that this could be one of the casualties of the financial straits our government is in.  I don’t think the CENE program will go away because its too important to the system.  But, I do think it will begin to cost more.

What a lot of people forget is that when taxes are kept low, fees for governmental services go up.  Right now, in most counties, the filing fee for a divorce case is $400.  (In Hennepin its $402.)  I expect that fee to increase.  The fee for sending a fax to the court is $25.  The fee for filing a formal motion is $100.  The person who is getting divorced pays these fees.

Feel free to call me at (952) 270-7700 if you have any questions or concerns about Minneosta divorce law and the Minnesota state government shutdown.