In the latter sample, the case is much more complicated because there is a custody element to the divorce that normally involves a great deal of tension and emotion. Many divorces are stipulated which means that the parties have come to an agreement at the start of the process or shortly thereafter. Contested cases can involve custody or simply a division of property. Either way, contested divorce cases are time consuming and expensive for the participants.
In the last 10 to 15 years a larger share of the family law work done by Duffy Law Office involves custody where the parties are not married. In these type of cases, there is not an issue with respect to a division of property like in a divorce. The parties are simply dealing with custody and parenting issues and then a later, related issue of child support. Custody cases are usually initiated by a non-custodial parent because of the fact that Minnesota's laws generally favor a biological mother when it comes to the question of custody. Like divorce proceedings, custody cases may be contested or uncontested. If the cases are uncontested they can be resolved rather quickly and with less expense and time than a contested matter. Contested matters will take a longer time and be more expensive because the parties will eventually end up in mediation or a trial with a District Judge.
Duffy Law Office also handles other aspects of family law which include, but are not limited to adoption, child support and changes in custody or visitation once a divorce or custody judgment has been entered.