Anding Law Office, P.A., has been dedicated exclusively to the practice of Minnesota family law for over 20 years. Attorney Betsy Anding represents clients in a broad spectrum of family law matters, both simple and complex, contested and uncontested, and she tailors her approach in each case to address the unique situation of that client.
Anding Law Office, P.A.'s family practice includes:
Dissolution of Marriage (Divorce)
Divorce, also known as dissolution of marriage, is the legal termination of a marital relationship, which addresses the issues of child custody, parenting time, child support, spousal maintenance, and property division. Divorce is difficult, even under the best of circumstances. In addition to navigating the intricacies of an unfamiliar legal system, you may be dealing with financial concerns and feelings of loss, anger, and worry about the future. If you have children, you're tending to their heightened needs as well.
Anding Law Office, P.A. understands how stressful the divorce process can be. Attorney Betsy Anding helps alleviate that stress by giving clients the information they need about Minnesota divorce law, the court system, and their options. With the benefit of over twenty years' experience as a divorce attorney, she offers sound legal advice so that clients can make the decisions that are best for them and their family.
“Paternity" is the term used to refer to the "legal" father of a child under Minnesota law. In Minnesota, if a child's parents are not married to each other when their child is born, the dad is not legally recognized as the child’s father until steps are taken to establish his paternity. Paternity can be established by the parties’ voluntary execution of a Recognition of Parentage form that is then filed with the Minnesota Department of Health or by Court Order. Establishing paternity, however, is just the first step toward determining each parent’s financial obligations for their child and the father’s right to custody and parenting time. Under Minnesota law, a mother who is not married at the time of her child’s birth, has sole custody of the child until a court issues an order to the contrary. Betsy Anding helps unmarried parents establish their legal rights regarding custody, parenting time, and child support.
Under Minnesota law, there are two types of child custody, legal and physical. "Legal custody" refers to the right to make decisions about how to raise a child, including decisions about education, health care, and religious training. "Physical custody" refers to the right to make decisions about the routine day-to-day activities of a child and where the child lives. Depending on several factors, parents may share custody, which is often called "joint" physical and/or legal custody or one of them may have "sole" physical and/or legal custody.
Betsy Anding understands how important her clients' children are to them. Because of her substantial experience working with the custody factors, Betsy Anding can provide valuable insight to her clients as they strive to achieve a custody arrangement that is in their children’s best interests.
“Parenting time” means the time that a parent spends with a child regardless of the custodial designation. Upon the request of a parent, the court is required to grant parenting time as will enable the child and parent to maintain a relationship consistent with the child’s best interests. The court does have the authority to restrict parenting time if it finds, after a hearing, that parenting time is likely to endanger the child’s physical or emotional health or impair the child’s emotional development.
Because the time that parents spend with their children strengthens the bond of their relationship, having a parenting time schedule that works for everyone is essential. Betsy Anding is committed to helping clients establish a parenting time schedule that reflects the best interests of their children while taking into consideration the unique circumstances of their family.
Parties have the option to create a parenting plan for their children rather than employing traditional custody labels and parenting time schedules. A “Parenting Plan” is a written document that, at a minimum, includes the access schedule each parent will have with their children, assigns responsibility for making decisions regarding their children, and sets forth a method of dispute resolution. A parenting plan may include other issues and matters the parents agree to regarding their children. A parenting plan allows parents to be creative in coming up with arrangements that will best meet their children's needs.
Parenting plans that use alternate terms to designate decision making responsibilities or allocation of residential time between parents must include a designation of legal and physical custody for enforcement purposes where such designation is required for enforcement and such designation has no effect under the laws of Minnesota, any other state, or another country that does not require the designation.
“Child support" is court-ordered payments for the financial support of a child. In Minnesota, child support is determined using a formula that considers both parent’s gross incomes, the cost of childcare, the cost of medical and dental insurance, the number of children in the family, each parent’s court ordered parenting time and several other factors. The challenge of determining child support can be significant. Betsy Anding is experienced in handling child support matters and is adept at calculating child support in accordance with statutory guidelines and at negotiating alternate support arrangements under appropriate circumstances.
Spousal Maintenance (Alimony)
Betsy Anding can advise you in determining whether spousal maintenance is appropriate in your case. In Minnesota, the court may order one spouse to pay spousal maintenance to the other spouse if it finds that the spouse seeking spousal maintenance:
- lacks sufficient property, including marital property apportioned to the spouse, to provide for reasonable needs of the spouse considering the standard of living established during the marriage, especially, but not limited to, a period of training or education, or
- is unable to provide adequate self-support, after considering the standard of living established during the marriage and all relevant circumstances, through appropriate employment, or is the custodian of a child whose condition or circumstances make it appropriate that the custodian not be required to seek employment outside the home.
The maintenance order is to be in amounts and for periods of time, either temporary or permanent, as the court deems just, without regard to marital misconduct, and after considering all relevant factors.
Betsy Anding helps clients negotiate the amount, duration, and terms of a spousal maintenance award, and when agreement is not possible, has 20 years of experience advocating for her clients on this issue in Minnesota courts.
Some couples choose to live separately when they experience difficulties in their marriage and are contemplating the future of their relationship. A legal separation is more than just living apart. "Legal Separation" refers to a court approved separation which defines legal rights and obligations relating to such things as custody, parenting time, child support, spousal maintenance, assets and debts. A legal separation does not, however, end the marriage. If a decision is made to divorce after a legal separation is complete, a divorce proceeding would need to be initiated. If you are considering a legal separation Betsy Anding can help you through all the steps of that process.
Division of Property
Under Minnesota law a court must make a “just and equitable” division of marital assets and debts as part of a divorce process. Any property acquired by either spouse during the marriage is presumed to be marital regardless of whether title is held individually or by the parties jointly.
In order to determine what is “just and equitable” in the division of marital assets and debts, the court will look at the length of the marriage, any prior marriage of a party, the age, health, station, occupation, amount and sources of income, vocational skills, employability, estate, liabilities, needs, opportunity for future acquisition of capital assets, and income of each party. The court will also consider the contribution of each spouse in the acquisition, preservation, depreciation or appreciation in the amount or value of the marital property, as well as the contribution of a spouse as a homemaker. It is conclusively presumed in Minnesota that each spouse made a substantial contribution to the acquisition of income and property while they were living together as husband and wife.
If a spouse can prove that property is nonmarital, that property will normally not be subject to division as part of a divorce. Nonmarital property is defined as property acquired by either spouse before, during, or after the existence of their marriage, which:
- is acquired as a gift, bequest, devise or inheritance made by a third party to one but not to the other spouse;
- is acquired before the marriage;
- is acquired by a spouse after the valuation date;
- is excluded by a valid antenuptial contract; or
- is acquired in exchange for, or is the increase in value of property which is described above.
The burden is on the party asserting a nonmarital interest in property to trace their claim.
Betsy Anding can help you determine what would be an equitable division of marital property in your situation and can help you determine if you have a nonmarital claim, as well as the value of your claim.
As anyone who's ever been divorced knows, life doesn't stand still once you have your decree in hand. Children's needs change; people may move, lose or change jobs, or remarry. Settlement terms that once made sense no longer work. Betsy Anding regularly represents clients on post-decree issues including:
- Modification of child support or spousal maintenance
- Modification or enforcement of parenting time
- Parental relocations
- Modification of custody
- Modification of a parenting plan
Consultation and Limited Scope Representation
Also known as “unbundled” legal services, limited scope representation allows an attorney and client to customize legal services according to the client’s needs and budget. Services could be limited to a certain issue in a case, legal advice, review of court documents, drafting required paperwork or coaching a client who will provide self-representation.
Located in Edina, Anding Law Office, P.A. serves family law clients, both men and women, in the Greater Twin Cities area. If you are dealing with divorce or another family law concern, contact Anding Law Office, P.A. for a free consultation.