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Trusted Counsel During Divorce and Child Custody Disputes

If you are experiencing the frustration of marital and family conflict, Merrigan, Brandt, Ostenso & Cambre, P.A. can help. We have served families in Minneapolis’ West Metro area for 50 years. We handle a variety of cases, including divorce, alimony, child support, child custody and visitation. Our lawyers understand the needs of families in crisis and work hard to make the process as smooth as possible.

Children and Property Lead Concerns in Divorce Cases

Marriages end for a variety of reasons, but the legal concerns during divorce (called dissolution of marriage under Minnesota law) are largely the same. Determining the children’s care and custody is the most complicated issue to resolve. For couples without children, property division takes precedence.


Parents must first decide on a child custody arrangement. In Minnesota, “legal custody” is the right to make decisions about how to raise the child, such as education, healthcare and religion. “Physical custody” involves day-to-day decisions, including where the child lives. Parents may share these responsibilities through joint custody, or one parent may assume sole custody. Divorcing spouses must also divide parenting time, generally by creating a visitation schedule enforced by the court.


Most property acquired during the marriage is “marital property.” While real estate is often the most valuable asset in a divorce, couples must also decide how to deal with vehicles, furniture, retirement accounts and even pets.

If the two sides cannot reach an agreement, the court makes an “equitable distribution of the property.” This may not mean the property is evenly divided. Under Minnesota divorce laws the court considers:

  • Length of the marriage
  • Any prior marriage of a party
  • Age of each spouse
  • Health of each spouse
  • Life station and/or occupation of each spouse
  • Amount and sources of income of each spouse
  • Employability of each spouse
  • Each spouse’s estate
  • Each spouse’s needs and liabilities of each party
  • Future opportunities to acquire assets
  • Contributions during the marriage, including a homemaker’s contribution.

Family Law Involves a Myriad of Legal Concerns

While many domestic disputes involve divorce, alimony and child custody, individuals and families encounter numerous other legal issues. We often help clients deal with:

Antenuptial agreements – An antenuptial agreement describes the spouses’ rights and obligations should the marriage end. Antenuptial agreements help prevent a contentious divorce and keep both parties up front about assets and liabilities before marriage. Before signing a antenuptial, you should consult with an experienced Hopkins divorce attorney

Juvenile delinquency proceedings — Juvenile delinquency proceedings arise when a minor under age 18 is alleged to have broken the law. If the charge is proven in court, the child may be adjudicated as “delinquent.” Because of the potential long-term consequences, juvenile delinquency proceedings require the assistance of a skilled family lawyer

Dependency proceedings — Dependency proceedings involve allegations of child abuse, abandonment or neglect, and can result in termination of parental rights. You need an experienced lawyer to navigate the complex laws and protect your rights

Name changes — Minnesota law allows people to change their legal name by filing a name change action in court. The process involves completing court forms, appearing before a judge and notifying third parties. A family lawyer can walk you through the process

Whatever family law issue you face, Merrigan, Brandt, Ostenso & Cambre, P.A. delivers:

Personalized attention — Our lawyers develop personal relationships with our clients. They listen thoughtfully to your concerns and respond to your questions quickly and completely

Flexible hours — We understand that our clients lead busy lives, and we work hard to accommodate their schedules

Zealous advocacy — While we take pride in our reasonable and fair approach to family law cases, we also work tirelessly to protect your rights

Trust Us with Your Family Law Matters

During a divorce or child custody dispute, you need an experienced lawyer by your side. Merrigan, Brandt, Ostenso & Cambre, P.A. offers compassionate yet aggressive representation. If you would like to schedule an appointment to speak with one of our dedicated attorneys, call us today at 952.933.2390 or contact us online.