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Family Law Forum

Winter 2012-13
Volume 21, No.1


Letter From the Editor

This edition has combined two topics: Alternative Caregivers; and Family Law and the Baby Boomer.  In the Alternative Caregiver articles we deal with situations where non-parents who have a special relationship with children rely on us, as attorneys, to assist them in navigating the court process.  Issues that particularly affect the unique facts and circumstances of our boomer clients are covered in our Family Law and the Baby Boomer articles. 

In this issue you will also find a new feature to the Forum called a View from the Front Row.  This will be an article written from the perspective of the judicial law clerks who watch all of us every day in courtrooms across Minnesota.  Law clerks have the opportunity to see some attorneys who excel at their craft, and some who don’t.  We created this column to take advantage of their observations and insight while sitting in the “front row.”  The first article has been written by our vice chair of publications, Larry McGee, based on his recent experience as a law clerk in Hennepin County.  We are seeking to have law clerks from different counties throughout the state share their experiences and observations with us.    

In our next edition we’re planning to address Child Support and Spousal Maintenance issues.  We anticipate a February, 2013 publication date.  If you’re interested in writing on this topic, please feel free to contact me at or Larry McGee at to let us know what subject you’d like to cover. 

Tifanne E. E. Wolter
Publications Chair 



Front Row: Hennepin County
By Larry McGee

A fair number of custody cases are heard by judges as emergencies in which a party asks for emergency ex parte relief to either change custody from one parent to another, or from a parent to a third-party.  The call from the “door phone” back into chambers often comes at 2:15 on a Friday afternoon, “My case has been assigned to your judge and I need emergency custody today.” Read more.....

Alternative Caregivers

Trying Your First Third Party Custody Case
By: Kathryn Lammers, Kelsey Swanson and Amanda Crain

Limitations on Grandparent Visitation?
By: Alan C. Eidsness and Richelle M. Wahi

When the Rights of a Parent are Not Apparent:
Abandonment and Step-Parent Adoptions in Minnesota

By: David C. Gapen

Special Immigration Juvenile Status
By: Ana Maria Gomez and Patricia Perez-Jenkins


Family Law and the Baby Boomer

Divorce Division of New & Old Retirement Accounts: Be Prepared
By: Adam Landvik

Spousal Maintenance and Retirement:
How to Advise Clients in a Post – Lee v. Lee World

By: Kim Bonuomo, Jana Aune Deach and Perry Long

Is the Schmitz Formula Underwater?
By: James J. Vedder

Issues to Consider if a Party is Under a Guardianship
and/or Conservatorship in Family Law

By: John P. Van Valkenberg


Mark your calendar with these upcoming CLE dates and times:

January 12, 2013

February 9, 2013

March 9, 2013

April 13, 2013

May 11, 2013

9:00 - 9:30 a.m. -"There is no such thing as a stupid question" - Q & A with Family Law Experts

9:30 - 11:00 a. m. - Family Law Business Meeting

11:15 - 12:15 p.m. - CLE Program



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Minnesota State
Bar Association
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Suite 380
Minneapolis, MN 55402

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(612) 333-1183
(800) 882-6722

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