When people think of divorce, they often picture couples arguing, each spouse's attorney battling for the marital home and other property, and the kids getting caught up in the middle. Although divorce proceedings are considered adversarial, the truth is that they don't have to be. At Pladson Law Office, we help our clients in the Fargo-Moorhead area and throughout North Dakota and Minnesota explore alternative methods for resolving disputes — such as mediation or collaborative divorce. These alternatives to litigation offer couples opportunities to reach agreements, retain control over the outcome of their negotiations, compromise and complete their divorce as quickly as possible, quietly and cost-effectively.
At our firm, we understand that no two divorces are alike. Just as the relationship you have with your spouse or children is unique, so too are your goals and needs as you move toward a solution. Instead of putting the outcome of your divorce and your future in the hands of the courts, why not explore opportunities to retain control, reach a solution that benefits all parties and ultimately spares you many of the headaches that come with going to trial? Attorney DeAnn Pladson is a trained and certified family law mediator, parenting investigator and parenting coordinator. In addition to her private practice, she works with the state of North Dakota's Family Mediation Program and has helped numerous people resolve their disputes through negotiations. Whether you are looking for an experienced and skilled lawyer to represent you during mediation proceedings or wish to hire our firm as a mediator for your family law dispute, we can explain the potential benefits of mediation or other alternative dispute resolution strategies.
Traditional court litigation requires a level of formality that can burden a divorcing couple with great expense and delay. A trial can often become highly adversarial and combative, often exposing young children to disputes between parents. Instead of going through the rigors of traditional litigation, a mediator — a trained neutral person — will walk you through the process of your dispute to help you reach a mutually satisfying outcome.
At Pladson Law Office, our attorneys, DeAnn Pladson and Kristen Hushka, look to help clients understand the values of mediation. In short, mediation is a process in which you and your spouse self-determine the future. Some of the primary benefits mediation offers include:
Attorney Pladson is a trained mediator in both Minnesota and North Dakota and has a long history of mediating family law cases. Her goal is to promote outcomes for the family built on a foundation of communication, selflessness, and care for the entire family. From there, parenting plans are developed to promote the mutual goals and produce positive outcomes. We can help you identify the issues, sort through the options, consider alternatives, and arrive at settlements that will meet the needs of the family. Mediation can allow you and your spouse to maintain a good working relationship, which is so important for years to come and long after an amicable divorce agreement is reached.
In mediation, you have control over the process and over the outcome. You have the opportunity to gain clarity about your situation, to hear new information, and to make decisions for yourself as opposed to having decisions imposed upon you. As your representatives, we provide an open and transparent atmosphere for parties to talk freely and to be heard.
When you are involved in a divorce, concerns about child custody, parenting time, child support, spousal support, and the division of assets and debts can seem overwhelming. There's so much to think about as you try to cope with the personal, professional, family and financial issues at stake. For many, the emotions that accompany the end of a relationship can lead to decisions that may feel good at the time, but those decisions may not be in your long-term best interests. You need to experience the emotions while your attorney maintains a clear vision to protect your legal interests. At Pladson Law Office, our attorneys, DeAnn Pladson and Kristen Hushka, help clients in North Dakota and Minnesota manage all aspects of divorce proceedings, from simple matters to complex divorce issues requiring intensive investigation and litigation.
Whether you and your spouse have only been married a few years or your relationship has spanned decades, dividing marital property and assets can be a difficult undertaking, not to mention the emotional factors that can play into the proceedings. As your lawyers, we focus on the legal and financial matters so you can focus on yourself and your children. Some issues we will address include:
When going through a divorce, it's important to know your options. This means understanding the pros and cons at each turn and being a part of the decision making process. Although many people view divorce as a contentious or strictly adversarial process, it doesn't have to be. We use our skills as mediators and trained parenting investigators to help you identify the best strategy for you as well as your children.
Whether you are considering filing for divorce, have questions about mediation and other ADR methods or have been served papers and need to protect your interests, give us a call at our Fargo law office to schedule a consultation with Attorney Pladson or Attorney Hushka.
In family law cases, the courts are required to equitably divide the assets and debts between the parties. While equitable doesn't always mean equal, the court must explain a substantial difference in division of assets between the parties. At Pladson Law Office, our team of attorneys will help you identify and determine values for your assets and determine the nature and extent of your debts. With more than 20 years of experience and extensive knowledge of complex financial matters affecting couples with significant assets, family-owned or closely-held businesses, farmland and other property, as well as those whose assets have become interwoven over a long marriage, we can provide clarity while protecting your interests as we work toward a solution.
When engaging in the division of property and assets, we will help you understand the different forms of discovery and the issues related to gathering the information you need to make an informed decision in a complex situation. With a comprehensive picture of your finances, we can better protect what is rightfully yours while pursuing what is most important to you. We will review your records, analyze your income, debts and other assets, all while taking appropriate steps toward ensuring that nothing is overlooked or hidden by your spouse. Below are a few methods we may use to obtain pertinent information during the discovery process:
As a certified family law mediator, parenting investigator and parenting coordinator, Attorney DeAnn Pladson brings together the experience and credentials necessary to help you and your family through even the most complex divorce proceedings. By looking at potential alternative dispute resolution (ADR) strategies like mediation or collaborative divorce, she can help you find opportunities to save time, costs and alleviate much of the stress that comes from litigating these types of cases. However, if litigation is unavoidable, Attorney Pladson and our team are well-equipped and prepared to take your case as far as it needs to go.
One of the most contentious issues in a divorce can be the division of property and other marital assets. At Pladson Law Office, our goal is to help you achieve an equitable property distribution through the protection and discovery of assets. Our attorneys, DeAnn Pladson and Kristen Hushka, will work closely with you, take the time to fully understand and evaluate your finances and goals, and ultimately develop a strategy for achieving those goals through the most efficient and effective means possible.
When it comes to a divorce, it's about more than just selling the home or dividing up the bank accounts. There are numerous other factors that need to be considered, including:
As your lawyers, we will work to untangle your finances, and help you manage the information in a simple and easy to understand format. We will also explain the potential benefits of negotiating the division of your property and assets through mediation or other alternative dispute resolution methods. By avoiding litigation, you and your spouse can decide the terms of your property division as well as numerous other aspects of your divorce. In the end, these ADR methods keep costs reasonable, make for more equitable and sustainable agreements and save all parties a great deal of frustration and stress.
In North Dakota and Minnesota, parents have a duty to support their children to the best of their abilities. Whether you are the noncustodial parent or the custodial parent (the parent who is the child's primary caretaker), it's important to understand your financial obligations, how the amount of support you are required to pay is calculated, and to ensure that your child is receiving the support he or she needs and deserves. At Pladson Law Office, our team of lawyers can explain the state child support calculators, the child support guidelines in Minnesota and North Dakota, and help you determine the amount of support you will likely be entitled to receive to care for your child. With over 20 years of experience handling family law matters and extensive knowledge of the financial factors that play into these cases, we can help your family come to timely solutions while ensuring your child's lifestyle is maintained as much as possible going forward.
Although calculating child support payments may sound relatively straightforward, there are numerous factors that can affect the amount. For example, the courts can order adjustments to further your child's best interests or may make changes if the amount places an undue hardship on the noncustodial parent. Furthermore, circumstances often change and you may need to revisit child support matters multiple times after you and the other parent of your child go separate ways. When starting out, we can help you determine what sources of income belonging to the noncustodial parent will factor into the amount of support your child will receive, including:
We can work with you to determine the gross income as well as understanding the deductions that result in the net income (the amount that determines the amount of support due).
The attorney you choose can have a lasting effect on the outcome of your divorce, other family law-related issues, and perhaps most importantly, your future. When it comes to the allocation of parental rights and responsibilities, your lawyer should take into account the immediate needs and goals of you and your children as well as your plans going forward.
North Dakota and Minnesota courts require parenting plans that serve the best interests of children. The terms of these plans are affected by a number of factors as outlined by the courts. Some of these determining factors may include:
How you and your attorney present them makes a difference. As a team of experienced family law attorneys, we often remind parents to focus on being the best parent they can be. You need to help your children cope with the issues related to the divorce and take positive steps toward the future.
As part of a parenting plan, courts require that visitation or parenting schedules be worked out before a final divorce decree is issued by the courts. By working closely with you, we can work out a plan for parenting time that takes everyone's needs and schedules into account. Whether this is an issue resolved during mediation or through complex negotiations, we will be by your side to ensure your goals are met and your desires are represented and diligently pursued.
Knowing your rights and acting proactively is of critical importance. You can trust in the experience, skill, and personal service we will provide when you are facing divorce and a child custody dispute. With more than 20 years of experience in Minnesota and North Dakota, we have helped families with simple and complex child custody and child support negotiations, mediations, and litigation. We understand that your legal and personal concerns in your divorce or custody dispute are unique. That is why we offer the kind of personal attention that focuses on you, your goals and the best interests of your children.