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Custody Rights of Unmarried Fathers in Minnesota

I often receive phone calls from fathers who are frustrated that they cannot see their children because the mother keeps changing her plans or will only let fathers see the children when it is convenient for the mother. Almost daily I hear, “Well, I signed the Recognition of Parentage and birth certificate, how can she do this?” This is because signing the Recognition of Parentage (otherwise known as “ROP,” i.e., a certificate you sign after the birth of a child) is not enough in Minnesota. Minnesota law mandates for fathers to obtain formal rights for parenting time and custody, fathers...
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New Child-Focused Parenting Time Guide Highlights Parenting Time Considerations for Children of All Developmental Stages

In August 2019, the Minnesota Judicial Branch published the “Child-Focused Parenting Time Guide.” The Child-Focused Parenting Time Guide (“Guide”) was prepared by the Minnesota State Court Administrator’s Advisory Committee on Child-Focused Parenting Time. This new Guide serves to update the “Parental Guide to Making Child-Focused Parenting Time Decisions,” which was originally published in January 1999, and updated again in January 2001. Since the older guide was originally published, there has been new information and developments regarding child development and parenting time. Based upon this new information, the State Court Administrator’s Office created an Advisory Committee on Child-Focused Parenting Time for...
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I’m Adjudicated the Legal Father: Now What?

Execution of a Recognition of Parentage does not automatically establish custody or parenting time for the father; however, it does give the father the legal right to pursue a custody and parenting time action and ask for these rights. A court-ordered agreement will make sure your rights are protected. If you are unsure whether or not you want to initiate a custody and parenting case, consider a few of these reasons to pursue an action: • To make sure you get to spend time with your child. • To get notice if the mother wants to move out of state....
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Paternity: Am I the Legal Father?

In Minnesota, “paternity” is used to refer to the “legal father” of a child. The biological father is not always the legal father and only the legal father has the rights and responsibilities of a father under the law. Minnesota law requires a party to bring an action to establish a “legal father.” There is no question about who the mother is since she gave birth to the child. Because a father cannot be decided in the same way, the legal system waits for a signed Recognition of Parentage (ROP) or a court order that names a legal father. Only...
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Local Event Aims to Provide Furniture for Area Flood Victims

MANKATO, Minn.— In response to the impact that heavy rains and flooding have had on residents of Waseca, St. Clair and other local communities, a group churches, schools and area businesses have to come together and established an event to help area flood victims.  The event, Furniture for Flood Families, is geared at soliciting donations of well-cared-for furniture to help those that have lost items to flood waters. According to one local organizer, Scott Kelly of the Farrish Johnson Law Office in Mankato, the event is focused on neighbors helping neighbors.  He said, “Some of these families have suffered significant...
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Minnesota Pregnancy Accommodation Law

Minnesota law requires employers with 21 or more employees at one or more sites to provide reasonable accommodation to an employee for health conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth unless the employer demonstrates that the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the operation of the employer’s business.  Any employee working for the employer at least 12 months and the equivalent of one-half of the employer’s full-time employment requirement is eligible for the accommodations.  Some accommodations are required if requested by the employee on the advice of the employee’s licensed health care provider or certified doula.  Some accommodations are automatic...
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Minnesota Adds “Familial Status” as a Protected Class

Employers in Minnesota need to revise their non-discrimination and equal opportunity policies to include familial status as a protected class.  Under Minnesota law, familial status is defined as “the condition or one or more minors being domiciled with (1) their parent or parents or the minor’s legal guardian or (2) the designee of the parent or parents or guardian with written permission of the parent or parents or guardian.”  This law applies to all employers with one or more employee. For more information about this topic or other Minnesota employment law issues, contact Will Partridge at Farrish Johnson Law Office....
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Grandparents’ Visitation Rights

Most grandparents value the importance of establishing and fostering relationships with their grandchildren. In many cases, however, the child’s parent(s) or legal guardian(s) deny grandparents to be a part of their grandchild’s life. Minnesota Statutes §257C.08 allows for reasonable visitation rights of grandparent to their grandchildren in several different situations, including: If the grandparent’s child–the grandchild’s parent–is deceased; If the grandchild has resided with the grandparent or great-grandparent for a period of one year or more; and At any time during or after dissolution, separation, annulment or custody proceedings. Whether a grandparent will be awarded visitation rights depends on several factors,...
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