Attorneys

About Our Staff at Pladson Law Office

At Pladson Law Office, we have a vision for assisting families in Fargo and throughout North Dakota and Minnesota in their time of need.  Attorneys DeAnn Pladson and Kristen Hushka and Legal Assistant Karis Walstad strive to create an environment for their clients where they can speak freely, ask questions and be heard. We spend time with our clients advising them on the options, but letting them self-determine their outcome. Clients are urged to be patient and reflective so that we can move forward confidently. We believe that most family law matters can and should be resolved outside of court. When handling your case, we will explore all options to resolve matters informally without the need for costly litigation. There are times when going to court is the only option, and when it is, we will be tenacious advocates for you. With more than 20 years of experience, proven litigation experience, and with strong credentials in problem solving, our team at Pladson Law Office is ready to assist you with even the most complex divorce or family law matter. 

More About DeAnn M. Pladson

I am proud of my reputation for contributing to the development and interpretation of North Dakota law. I was raised in Fargo and received my undergraduate degree from Moorhead State University (Minnesota State University Moorhead) in 1989, then graduated from the University of North Dakota School of Law in 1992. I began my career as a solo practitioner and joined the Maring Williams Law Office in 1997 and became a shareholder in 2001. In 2010, I decided to go back to work for myself in an office solely dedicated to the practice of family law. I opened Pladson Law Office to focus on all areas of family law, including mediation, family law litigation, and collaborative law. I am licensed to practice in all state and federal courts in North Dakota and Minnesota and currently practice in all complex family law litigation areas including divorce and child custody. I am a certified family law mediator, parenting investigator, Early Neutral Evaluator and collaborative law attorney. I am a member of the Family Law Section in both Minnesota and North Dakota, and sit on the North Dakota Lawyer Assistance Committee. In addition, I am also on the Continuing Legal Education Committee. My activities in the bar and the community are aimed to make the family law system more accessible and more effective for families going through trying times. 

Over 20 Years Experience with Complex Family Law Matters

DeAnn M. Pladson

DeAnn M. Pladson was raised in Fargo, North Dakota. She received her undergraduate degree from Moorhead State University in 1989, and was graduated from the University of North Dakota School of Law in 1992. DeAnn began her career as a solo practitioner and joined the Maring Williams Law Office in 1997 and became a shareholder in 2001. In 2010 DeAnn started her own law firm, Pladson Law Office, P.L.L.C. and focuses on all areas of family law. DeAnn is licensed to practice in North Dakota and Minnesota and currently practices in all complex family law litigation areas, and provides mediation and collaborative law services. DeAnn is a member of the Family Law Section in both Minnesota and North Dakota.   


Areas of Practice

  • 95% Family Law
  • 5% Guardian ad Litem in Capacity Cases

Certified Legal Specialties

  • Collaborative Law Attorney
  • Certified Divorce Mediator
  • Financial Early Neutral Evaluator
  • Chair, Drafting Committee Parenting Investigator Manual
  • Continuing Legal Education Committee, Member
  • Social Early Neutral Evaluator
  • Certified Parenting Coordinator
  • Custody and Visitation Task Force
  • SBAND, Volunteer Lawyer Program Mentor
  • Minnesota Statewide ADR Neutral Roster
  • North Dakota Attorneys for Justice Law Student Mentorship Program 
  • North Dakota Attorneys for Justice 
  • North Dakota Statewide ADR Neutral Roster
  • Legal Services of Northwest Minnesota Judicare Attorney
  • Rape and Abuse Crisis Center, Consulting Attorney 

Bar Admissions

  • North Dakota, 1992
  • Minnesota, 1993
  • U.S. District Court District of Minnesota, 1998

Education

  • University of North Dakota School of Law, Grand Forks, North Dakota  
    • J.D. - 1992
  • Moorhead State University (formerly Minnesota State Teachers College Moorhead, MN.), Moorhead, Minnesota  
    • B.A. - 1989
    • Major: Speech Communications

Classes/Seminars

  • Speaker, Breaking Down the Best Interest Factors; Red River Paralegal Association
  • Speaker, Property Division in Family Law, Family Law Seminar
  • Speaker, Protecting Your Online Reputation, Family Law Seminar
  • Peoples Law School, State Bar Association of North Dakota
  • Speaker, Real Property, Probate Trust Seminar, Family Law
  • Speaker, A Mediation Primer, Clay County, Minnesota
  • Speaker, Family Law Primer, Red River Paralegal Association
  • Speaker, “A Summary of North Dakota’s New Laws” CLE by North Dakota State Bar Association
  • Speaker, “Dealing with Ethics Complaints” Cass County Bar Association CLE
  • Speaker, “Divorce Mediation Extraordinaire” CLE by North Dakota State Bar Association
  • Speaker, “18-Hr. Custody Investigator/Guardian ad Litem Certification Training” CLE by North Dakota State Bar Association
  • Speaker, “Case Groundwork for Family Law Trial,” North Dakota Trial Lawyers
  • Speaker, Family Law Section Seminar “Using ADR to Develop Parenting Plans”
  • Speaker, Custody Investigator/GAL Training “Gathering the Best Evidence”
  • Speaker, Family Law Section Seminar “Gathering Evidence as Custody Investigator”
  • Speaker, “The Psychological Edge,” CLE by North Dakota State Bar Association
  • Speaker, SBAND Annual Conference – Family Law Legal Services
  • Speaker, “Looking Back and Moving Forward,” The ARC of Cass County
  • Speaker, “Ethics/Legal Issues in Psychological Interventions with  Children and Adolescents,” Family Therapy Center, North Dakota State University
  • Speaker, “The Role of the Guardian ad Litem,” NALS
  • Speaker, “Family Law in North Dakota,” sponsored by Lorman Education Services
  • Speaker, “Child Custody Issues,” sponsored by Professional Development Network

Honors and Awards

  • Nominee, YWCA Woman of the Year
  • Keynote Speaker, Responding to Ethical Complaints, CCBA
  • Recipient, Healing the Hurt Award, Rape and Abuse Crisis Center
  • Inducted, Fargo North High School Hall of Fame
  • Keynote Speaker, Law Day, May 1, 2001 "Best Interests of the Children"
  • NALS of Fargo-Moorhead Boss of the Year

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Cass County Bar Association
  • Clay County Bar Association
  • North Dakota Association for Justice
  • North Dakota Family Law Section
  • Minnesota Family Law Section

Past Employment Positions

  • Maring Williams Law Office, Shareholder, 1997 - 2010

Pro Bono Activities

  • SBAND, Volunteer Lawyer Program, 1993 - Present
  • Legal Services of Northwest Minnesota Judicare Attorney, 1998 - Present

Kristen A. Hushka

Kristen graduated from Boston College in 2009 with a B.A. in Political Science  and earned her J.D. from Pennsylvania State University, the Dickinson School of Law in 2013. While in law school, Kristen was a Senior Editor on Penn State Law Review, the President of the Public Interest Law Fund, and the President of the law school's chapter of Phi Delta Phi, the International Legal Honor Society. Kristen was also a Certified Legal Intern in Penn State Law's Family Law Clinic and completed a year-long externship with the Centre County Women's Resource Center's Civil Legal Representation Project. Kristen was also a Cherie M. Millage Public Interest Law Fund Summer Fellow, a Miller Public Interest Advocate, and the National Association of Women Lawyers Recognition Award Recipient. Kristen is licensed to practice in North Dakota and Minnesota. Kristen currently lives in Fargo, North Dakota with her husband and their rescue dog, Ace.     

Areas of Practice

  • 95% Family Law
  • 5% Guardian ad Litem in Capacity Cases

Certified Legal Specialties

  • Collaborative Law Attorney
  • Certified Divorce Mediator
  • Certified Parenting Investigator
  • Legal Services of Northwest Minnesota Judicare Attorney

Bar Admissions

  • North Dakota, 2014
  • Minnesota, 2014
  • Pennsylvania, 2013 (inactive)

Education

  • Pennsylvania State University, the Dickinson School of Law, University Park, Pennsylvania  
    • J.D. - 2013
  • Boston College, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts  
    • B.A. - 2009
    • Major: Political Science

Honors and Awards

  • The National Association of Women Lawyers Recognition Award Recipient
  • Miller Public Interest Advocate

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Cass County Bar Association
  • Clay County Bar Association 
  • North Dakota Family Law Section
  • Minnesota Family Law Section

Pro Bono Activities

  • Legal Services of Northwest Minnesota Judicare Attorney, 2016 - Present