Pennington & Cherne, PLLC

St. Cloud PCG's Law Blog

What to do if your ex-wife is not letting you see your child

Despite your best efforts to develop and adhere to a healthy co-parenting plan after divorce, your ex may not be following the rules. If your ex-wife is the custodial parent, and you are seeing your child less and less, you are probably frustrated and concerned. You might be tempted to accept this behavior and not start a fight, but there are ways to resolve this type of situation.

According to Minnesota law, it is a felony to deprive another parent of parental rights. Here are some things you should consider if you are not seeing your child when you should be.

3 mistakes to avoid during your child custody battle

When you divorce and are trying to work out a parenting plan, you might find that you have to go to court for a child custody order. Going to court to battle for custody can be emotionally draining. Due to the stress and difficulty of this process, you may make some mistakes that could hurt your case.

Even the best parents can end up being considered unfit due to simple mistakes. Keep reading to learn about common mistakes made during custody battles and how to avoid them.

Disadvantages of a DIY divorce

According to a report in the Star Tribune, Minnesota’s marriage rate is declining. In 1940, the rate was 76 percent. By 2000, the rate was 52 percent, and in 2010, it had dropped to 48 percent. Many younger people are simply delaying marriage, but divorce has a lot to do with declining marriage rates, too. People without college degrees are not staying married. Low income can lead to marriage instability, which leads to divorce. 

If you do not have a lot of income, you may consider representing yourself in a divorce, almost like a do-it-yourself project. In legal terms, this is called pro se. You have the right to act as your own counsel, but the question is whether it is a good idea to represent yourself in a divorce. Yes, you do save money by filing your own paperwork and handling the court process, but you should consider the disadvantages as well. 

  • There is a lot of paperwork for child custody, support, name changes and property title changes. One small error could be devastating to your divorce.
  • You will have no help from the judge or the other lawyer if you act as your own attorney. You will have to be completely prepared when you come to court, even if you do not know what to prepare for.
  • You will not have a buffer between you and your spouse, a role an attorney often takes to keep you from fighting over the details of your divorce.

Does the Department of State help during your foreign adoption?

Many Americans are choosing international adoptions, but navigating adoption law in two separate countries can be quite difficult, and parents may hope that the U.S. Department of State will help. However, the Department of State cannot represent adoptive parents in court or become involved in the adoption process. The agency does offer some assistance for prospective parents, and some potential problems too.

Avoid unnecessary conflict in divorce by creating documentation

You and your partner may be separating amicably, but in many cases, there is at least some tension between the two parties involved in a divorce. There are several ways to mitigate this and prevent it from turning into resentment, but one of the best approaches is to minimize the unnecessary conflict that can be caused by disputes and lack of documentation. To make the process easier on all involved, and especially yourself, you should be proactive in gathering documentation for the following items.

Avoiding common adoption mistakes

If you are considering adopting a child because of infertility, a desire to help someone in need or for another reason entirely, know that adoption can be one of life's greatest joys. It can make a tremendous difference in the life of a child and in yours, as well, but the decision to adopt is a lasting one, and one that should not be made without considerable forethought.

Every adoption is entirely different, but there are common errors prospective adoptive parents often make that can make the process more arduous or stressful than it needs to be. Recognizing and understanding the following common adoption mistakes may help you avoid making them yourself and therefore ease the overall process of adoption.

Why people are throwing divorce parties

Nobody ever said divorce would be easy. In fact, it is often one of the most stressful and emotionally trying events a person might go through. According to the American Psychological Association, though, it is an undeniable truth that between 40 and 50 percent of marriages end in divorce. With rates like this, you are hardly alone if you are facing a separation. Divorce parties are the surprising trend that's transforming the way divorce is approached. Here are four reasons they are so popular:

How accurate is eyewitness testimony?

Anybody facing criminal charges is entitled to a fair trial, but anybody familiar with the legal system knows it is not always as objective as one might hope. There are many factors that can influence and compromise the fairness of your treatment in the justice system. For people facing charges related to assault, domestic violence, theft or property damage, eyewitness testimony can be a focal point of the trial. It is worth examining, though, just how accurate these accounts might be. The following four issues can seriously threaten their reliability.

Expenses that typically are not covered by child support

Research conducted by the Office of Child Support Enforcement, a federal agency, has revealed that unpaid child support can amount to sums as high as $100 billion collectively. This number is staggering, but it shines a light on just how many parents are forced to raise kids without the support they need. If you are in the midst of child support negotiations, you may benefit from understanding what payments do and do not cover.

Don't let the calendar expire on your injury claim

The natural first response when someone is seriously injured is to seek immediate medical attention. If the injury was caused by someone else's negligence, the injured party may be able to initiate a personal injury lawsuit.

There are times when the cause of an accident is not obvious, or when injuries that were not initially treated may be discovered several months later. In other cases, the negotiation with insurance company representatives for an out-of-court settlement drags on. It is important to be mindful of Minnesota's two-year statute of limitation for filing a personal injury lawsuit.


Pennington, Cherne, & Gaarder, PLLC
630 Roosevelt Road, Suite 101
P.O. Box 1756
St Cloud, MN 56302

Phone: 320-200-9805
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