Family Law

No one enters a marriage contemplating a divorce, and that is why it is such a difficult time for people. The emotional toll a divorce takes on a person and children should not be added to by dealing with legal issues. At Gerten and Van Valkenburg, PA, we have valuable experience in working with clients on family law issues. Our clients are from all seven metro counties, and they come to us knowing that we are in their corner, working to negotiate the best settlement for their interests.

Every family situation is different because every person we work with brings his or her own individual needs to our firm. Our caring, compassionate lawyers have experience in working toward a fair and amicable divorce settlement. We are committed to working with you to resolve your divorce in the best way possible. Our attorneys are not only experienced in the courtroom, but embrace creative resolutions for your unique family situation. This includes including using mediation, arbitration or alternative dispute resolution to reach the best possible solution.

If you are considering divorce, or have been served with divorce papers, you have questions that need answers. Our attorneys are available to meet with you during this difficult time. Your phone calls and e-mails are promptly returned, and you will know what is happening in your case. It is important for you to know the process and be a part of the solution to your situation.

Gerten and Van Vanlkenberg, PA, is experienced in all aspects of Minnesota family law. We have experience in the following areas:

Property Division

The break-up of a marriage means the division of marital assets and liabilities. Your interests need protecting and you need the help of an attorney who is experienced in resolving disputes over property divisions as well as non-marital issues. We will work with appraisers for your property, including art, jewelry and real estate; assist in determining the valuation of any businesses you may own; and we even work to locate hidden assets, so that there is a fair and accurate accounting for the division of property.

If there is a prenuptial agreement, then we will review it to determine how the property division should proceed. We also determine what type of spousal support is required, and if a spouse fails to adhere to the terms of the order, we will handle any on-going enforcement or contempt matters. We can work with your financial experts during a dissolution to help us make the financial decisions for your future.

Child Custody and Visitation

At Gerten and Van Valkenburg, PA, the needs of children in a divorce are paramount. We seek a fair resolution of child custody and visitation matters in order to serve the best interests of children involved. We also answer questions you may have about child support in Minnesota, and negotiate the best terms for you and your children.

If you already have a child support order in place, the terms must be adhered to. If it is necessary to modify the order, we are experienced in negotiating new terms and/or pursuing enforcement actions.

We also handle adoptions, and are experienced in all facets of adoption law. If you are a step-parent who is interested in adopting your step-child, we can help you take this joyful step.

Mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolutions

The typical image of a divorce is that of a couple battling in court. While this type of thing does happen, we at Gerten and Van Valkenburg, PA, are more interested in creating the most amicable resolution possible during this stressful time. We encourage our clients to mediate issues after full disclosure with as little conflict as possible. Conflict is hard on children and also on you. Settlements help parties have a vested interest in the resolution and enhance future compliance. We guide our clients to a resolution which incorporates the needs and best interests of the children, as well as the parties.

If you are contemplating a divorce, or find yourself having custody or visitation issues, contact our firm and speak to one of our caring and compassionate attorneys. At Gerten and Van Valkenburg, PA, we want to make sure that your and your children’s needs are best served.

Prenuptional  Agreement 

Marriage is a bond not entered into lightly. Yet many of us neglect our financial priorities when it comes to marriage. A prenuptial agreement is an excellent method for keeping your assets your own in the event of a divorce and/or death.

Prenuptial agreements are not just for the well-off. Every couple and family has their own particular circumstances which may be best served by a prenuptial or antenuptial agreement. Today, there are more blended families with children from previous marriages. People are marrying later in life, and some come into their marriages well-established and with significant assets. Perhaps there is a family business that needs to be protected. At Gerten and Van Valkenburg, PA, our attorneys are available to assist your family’s unique circumstances. Planning ahead makes each of your intentions clear to your beneficiaries to avoid confusion and litigation.

A prenuptial agreement, also known as an antenuptial agreement or a premarital agreement, is a voluntary agreement between the two parties that is drafted and signed prior to the marriage. In order for the agreement to be effective, it should address issues such as property distribution, spousal support, inheritance rights and other matters associated with the end of a marriage. An experienced attorney will be able to guide you through this process effectively.

  1. Attorneys at Gerten and Van Valkenburg, PA, have years of experience working with people who want to create an agreement tailored to their specific needs. We will not attempt to make a blanket, generic agreement fit our clients; instead, we work with your specific concerns to craft an agreement for your situation. We listen to what our clients want, and help to guide you to the resolution you are looking for. We also create post-nuptial agreements for our clients who are already married, and can do so for you if you are in that situation..

While no one ever hopes a prenuptial agreement will ever be put into effect, it is important that the document is created so that it will be upheld. Our attorneys ensure that all requirements are met so that it is available and enforceable should it ever be needed. It also helps your children understand your views and serves as a guide as to your specific preferences.

Creating a solid pre- or post-nuptial agreement does not mean that you do not trust your spouse, or that you expect the marriage to end in divorce. What it does mean is that you have planned for the future, no matter the contingencies. Our attorneys are ready to help you with this, effectively opening communication and planning ahead. Contact us if you are considering the plans for your future.