divorce (dissolution) Dissolution (Divorce) Learn More Paternity & Custody Rights Learn More Child Support Child Support Learn More Alternative Dispute Resolution Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Learn More DIVORCE & FAMILY LAW

Do you offer a free consult?

Yes, our office offers a free phone consult on family law matters.

What counties do you handle family law matters in?

An attorney licensed to practice law in the State of Minnesota can handle cases in any county in Minnesota.

Can you represent both of us in a divorce?

Our attorneys can only represent one party in a family law matter. However, a qualified neutral can provide Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) services such as mediation, early neutral evaluation, parenting consultation, or parenting time expediting services in which neither party is represented by the neutral.

Do you handle grandparent rights?

Yes, in some situations we are able to assist grandparents. Most commonly, we represent grandparents when they wish to get custody of a grandchild who has been left in their care without parent involvement. Learn more about third-party custody.

How long will it take me to get divorced?

Several factors determine how long the divorce process might take. These factors may include children, finances, and assets, any disagreements between parties, the amount of time needed to gather information, and how well the parties can work together to resolve their case.Most divorces are finalized within three months to a year; however, this can vary dramatically.

Does it make any difference who starts the divorce?

The court does not treat the person who initiates a divorce any differently than the person who responds to it. However, if the two parties live in different counties, the person who commences the divorce action may be able to choose the county in which the divorce is filed.

Do I have to share my retirement account with my spouse in our divorce?

Minnesota law provides for an equitable division of assets and liabilities in a divorce. We evaluate what the parties both own and owe, and a subsequent division of the assets and debts may include dividing retirement accounts.

Can my spouse tell me I have to leave our house?

Until the parties agree, or the court otherwise decides, both parties have an equal right to stay in the home.

Attorney Kelly Boyd is a qualified neutral under Rule 114 of the Minnesota General Rules of Practice for the District Courts. Kelly can assist with mediation and early neutral evaluations, and can act as a parenting consultant and parenting time expeditor.

Kelly has over 17 years of experience as a family law attorney and has served as a neutral in dozens of cases. She has the experience and knowledge to provide the highest quality services. If you are considering hiring a private mediator, early neutral evaluator, parenting consultant, or parenting time expeditor, or have been ordered by the courts to do so, contact Kelly to set up an informative consultation regarding these legal services.

Family law disputes are often the only reason a person becomes involved in the court system. These disputes can be very emotional, challenging experiences, as the issues concern children, homes, vehicles, and retirement or other financial matters.

Because of the personal nature of family law disputes, it’s important to work with an experienced attorney who will make sure your interests are heard, understood, and protected.

Dissolution of Marriage

The dissolution of marriage — your divorce — can be upsetting. Both parties may feel disappointed with the loss of hopes and intentions. Adding to the emotional burden are practical considerations the couple must resolve, including the care and future of your children, and the division of assets, debts, and finances. Amid these tremendous life questions, what can be of great benefit to you is the trusted and compassionate counsel of an advocate who grasps what you are facing and is able and available to help you navigate through these challenges.

Divorce may often involve multiple aspects of a couple’s intertwined relationship, including legal obligations, financial responsibilities, parental commitments, not to mention emotional and practical issues and challenges. Divorce involves an emotional process as well as a legal one.

By Minnesota law, divorce is called “dissolution of marriage.” Your case will be decided in family court. The marriage is dissolved when the Judgment and Decree is entered into the court record. The Judgment and Decree contains the court’s final decision. It will also answer questions regarding custody, child support, parenting time, and the division of debts and property, among other issues.

As a no-fault state, it is not necessary in Minnesota to prove that your spouse is at fault for the breakup. Also, either you or your spouse must have lived in Minnesota for at least 180 days or have been part of the armed forces there before divorce proceedings commence.

What is required is that there has been an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage relationship, meaning that there is no hope that you and your spouse will want to continue as husband and wife. This also means that the court will not factor fault in the breakup of the marriage when considering the questions of the division of property, custody, or any other issues.

If you or your spouse have decided to file, or have already filed, for divorce and you want to discuss your options, call the divorce lawyers at Bolt Hoffer Boyd for a free consultation.

Child Custody and Paternity

About 50% of marriages end in divorce and many of the divorcing families include children. It is only natural that the parents will worry about the effect of divorce on their children. Even the most congenial divorce can cause stress in children.

When a child is born to unmarried parents, the custody and parenting time rights, specifically of the father, will need to be determined by the court. At the time of the child’s birth, the parents often sign a legal document called a Recognition of Parentage to establish the father’s paternity; however, this document does not establish custody rights or parenting time.

There are many issues to consider when in the care and custody of children. A knowledgeable and experienced attorney who knows how to help a client discover what is best for them and their child is invaluable.

Typically, courts prefer there be joint legal custody of children, especially if both parents agree, and it is in the best interest of the child and there has not been domestic abuse. Legal custody means the right to determine how the child is brought up. This will include the education, health care, and religious training of the child. Joint legal custody gives both parents equal rights and responsibilities in participating in the education, health care, and religious training of the child. The parent with physical custody of the child lives with and takes care of the child’s daily needs. Parents can have joint physical custody, as well, meaning that the daily care, control, and the residence is organized between the parties.

Parenting time designates the time a parent spends with a child regardless of which parent has legal or physical custody of the child. In some instances, a third party, sometimes called the custodian, will be granted custody of the child. Only a court can grant someone third-party custody. This can be a grandparent, a family member, or someone else to whom the court has granted legal and physical custody of a child. It is not, however, a biological parent. Third-party custody is begun by someone other than the parent who wants to take care of the child permanently.

A parent can create what is called a Delegation of Parental Authority — DOPA — designating someone else to care for their child temporarily. A court does not have to approve a DOPA, but the other parent must know you are granting this to someone else.

There may be reasons why you would want to have a DOPA, including when you are:

If a DOPA is something you may want to consider, call the lamily law attorneys at Bolt Hoffer Boyd for a free consultation.

Child Support

Court-ordered payments for the financial support of your child is called child support. Your child has the right to be supported by both parents.

Laws and rules pertaining to child support include:

Child support is calculated by considering what is needed for basic support, what is needed for medical support, and what is needed for childcare support. In Minnesota, the method for calculating child support is called “Income Shares” and uses guidelines to determine the gross income for each parent, number of children, and income levels.

To go over the details of child support for your particular situation, including how to get child support, how to modify an existing child support order, how to modify or enforce a child support order from another state, or how to collect unpaid child support or any other questions you have about child support, call Bolt Hoffer Boyd for a free consultation.


There are two sides to alimony, the paying side, and the receiving side. Either spouse may receive alimony and there are many reasons a court may order spousal support.

Support may be ordered temporarily to cover the divorce proceedings, on a rehabilitative basis to cover job training, or permanently. The duration of payments is decided by the judge. The length of the marriage is one common standard for alimony duration.

Factors for spousal support include:

There is also reimbursement support. This is not based on financial need. If you sacrificed education, training, or advancement in a career during the marriage to support your family while the other spouse trained for a lucrative career, you may be entitled to compensation.

If alimony is one of the factors you will need counsel on, or if you have questions concerning the alimony you are receiving or believe you should be receiving, call the divorce lawyers at Bolt Hoffer Boyd for a free consultation.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Solving a legal dispute does not always involve going to court. Court proceedings can be costly, time-consuming, and stressful, especially in divorce cases. One way to solve legal problems is through alternative dispute resolution — ADR. Using ADR early in your case may result in a more cost-effective and efficient resolution. In a divorce, having a satisfactory resolution without the stress of court hearings is well worth considering.

The thought of divorce negotiations may conjure up images from movies you have seen of a long table with you and your attorney on one side facing your spouse and attorney on the other side. ADR utilizes an independent third person, a neutral, who tries to help you and your spouse resolve or at least narrow the issues in conflict.

Advantages that ADR offers include:

Every aspect of the divorce negotiations can be handled through ADR from the division of property, the care, and future of your children including parenting time and parenting consultations, the assignment of assets, debts, and finances.

There are different forms of ADR, each providing advantages including:

When you are going through what may be the hardest event in your life, you deserve to have a team of skilled advocates and facilitators with experience of all forms of alternative dispute resolution. To find out if ADR is right for you, contact the family law lawyers at Bolt Hoffer Boyd for a free consultation.