The states may be united, but that doesn’t mean they all handle family law in the same way. The laws vary greatly from state to state, and they may drastically affect the outcome of your case. If your ex currently lives in another state or wants to move to another state with your child, you need a St. Paul, MN interstate family lawyer who understands the challenges you face.
Here’s how to choose the right interstate family law attorney for your case.
The Difficulties of Custody and Interstate Divorce in St. Paul, MN
An interstate divorce has different challenges that must be considered. Varying state laws may have a significant impact on divorce proceedings, especially when it comes to finances. For example, one state may be far more likely to award alimony (also called “spousal maintenance”), while another rarely allows spousal maintenance. Some states also handle the division of marital property differently than we do in Minnesota. For example, Wisconsin is a community property state, which means all marital assets are divided 50/50. In Minnesota, the assets will be divided fairly but not necessarily equally.
The same applies to child custody. Some states are much more likely to push a 50/50 parenting arrangement, while others will be fine with one parent having primary custody. Where you file a divorce or custody case can have a dramatic effect on the case’s outcome for both parties. If you’re considering a move, understanding the differences between the laws of your current and potential future state is critical to ensuring you can achieve a satisfactory outcome of your divorce or custody proceeding.
The Basics of Choosing A Family Law Firm in St. Paul
Even clients who aren’t dealing with an interstate divorce or child custody case need to choose the right family law firm for their case. You can do this by gathering information about a number of St. Paul family law firms before narrowing down your choices. How you narrow down those choices depends on what you are looking for in an attorney
Your top priority may be an experienced and tenacious litigator – if, for example, you’re going through a contentious divorce or battle over jurisdiction and you know you’ll end up in court. Or, you may be searching for someone who understands that family law cases can be draining and offers holistic resources for clients who are having a tough go of it. Sometimes it comes down to a gut feeling about a particular lawyer or firm.
You should be able to find an attorney who fits all your criteria. Don’t feel like you have to settle, but consider creating a list of priorities and working with the lawyer who meets the most of them. And don’t forget to check reviews. Past clients’ experiences can help you determine whether the lawyer is a safe bet.
Finding the right St. Paul, MN Interstate Divorce Lawyer
If you’re going through an interstate divorce or custody case, there are some additional criteria you should expect of your attorney. First, they should be very familiar with the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA) and the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA). These uniform laws are crucial when it comes to determining interstate support and child custody.
It’s also important that you work with a great communicator since an interstate family law case can be confusing. Sometimes people have the mentality that if their attorney is great at their job, they don’t have to be good at interpersonal communication. This is your legal case, which means your attorney should be good at both communicating updates to you and listening to your feedback.
It’s difficult to tell ahead of time, but it’s possible your case will last longer than average because of its complicated nature. Make sure the attorney you choose is enjoyable to work with; you may need their guidance for several months. Do you really want to spend hours on the phone or in meetings with someone who acts as they’d rather be anywhere else? You don’t have to be best friends with your interstate family law attorney, but you should be friendly with her, and she should be responsive to your questions and concerns.
The Maxim Smith team has the knowledge and experience necessary to protect clients’ property and parenting rights related to interstate divorce and child custody. Contact Minnesota international and interstate family law attorneys Allison Maxim and Tara Smith at 651-294-2407 to schedule a 30-minute consultation.