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Best Family Lawyers in Fargo

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Gjesdahl Law logo
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Gjesdahl Law

1375 21st Avenue North, Fargo, ND 58102
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  • Adoption
  • Child Custody
  • Divorce

Business Description

Gjesdahl Law is a private legal practice serving the residents of Fargo and the surrounding areas. Its team provides legal guidance for divorce proceedings and has substantial experience in high-stake and high-net-worth cases. It also handles complex family law cases involving domestic violence, mental health issues, and chemical and alcohol dependency. In addition, it assists with guardianships, conservatorships, and adoptions. Founder Michael Gjesdahl is a member of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals and the North Dakota Collaborative Law Group.

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Hanson & Moen Law, PLLC logo
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Hanson & Moen Law, PLLC

1404 33rd St. SW, Suite E, Fargo, ND 58103
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  • Divorce

Business Description

Hanson & Moen Law, PLLC, serves people in communities throughout Fargo. Its team has more than 16 years of collective experience helping spouses through divorces and resolving disputes involving child custody, paternity rights, and support obligations. Rachel M. Hanson, one of the firm's partners, is an accredited mediator who previously served a clerkship under the Minnesota Seventh Judicial District. She works with Jessica L. Moen, who gained her introductory knowledge of family law matters while working for a Mahnomen-based firm.

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Madlom Law Offices logo
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Madlom Law Offices

1330 Gateway Drive S, Fargo, ND 58103
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  • Child Custody
  • Divorce

Business Description

Madlom Law Offices caters to the people of Fargo and the surrounding areas. It offers families financial and legal counsel to help them restructure their budgets, pay off debt, and get back on their feet. The firm takes the time to visit with clients, assess their financial situation, and lay out their options. Personal injury, bankruptcy, and debt negotiation are the other legal specialties of the firm. For more than 25 years, Madlom Law has aided thousands of clients.

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Melinda Weerts Law, PLLC logo
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Melinda Weerts Law, PLLC

2534 South University Drive Suite 2, Fargo, ND 58103
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  • Child Custody
  • Divorce

Business Description

Melinda Weerts Law, PLLC, which serves Fargo and the surrounding areas, practices family law. The firm offers sound advice to individuals who wish to redefine their family choices by getting a divorce. It has represented clients with high-asset and military spouses in property division, alimony, custody, and relocation proceedings. Melinda Weerts, its attorney, has been focusing on family law since 1996. Having experienced both single and married parenthood, she brings to the table real-life insights on divorce complications.

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Nyberg Law Office logo
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Nyberg Law Office

3154 41st St. S., Ste. 3, Fargo, ND 58104
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Business Description

The Nyberg Law Office handles family law issues in Fargo. The firm has been in the industry since 2016, representing people in proceedings for divorce, child custody and support, and modification of judgments. The founding attorney, Josh Nyberg, has experience mediating and litigating these cases and has also worked on grandparent visitation, parenting time, protection orders, and adoption matters. He is a certified parenting investigator and guardian ad litem by the State Bar Association of North Dakota.

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Parvey, Larson, and McLean logo
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Parvey, Larson, and McLean

730 13th Ave E., West Fargo, ND 58078
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  • Adoption
  • Divorce

Business Description

Parvey, Larson, and McLean is a family law firm that helps families in Fargo navigate legal matters. It handles issues concerning divorce, parenting time, child support, adoption, paternity actions, and protection orders. The firm guides clients in divorces with personal property distribution, division of debts and liabilities, and retirement planning. One of its partners, Kimberlie Larson, is a certified parenting investigator by the North Dakota Supreme Court. She has been practicing law for over 15 years and is also licensed in Minnesota.

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Pladson Law Office logo
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Pladson Law Office

1120 28th Avenue North, Fargo, ND 58102
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  • Child Custody
  • Divorce

Business Description

Pladson Law Office provides services to residents in and around the Fargo metro. It counsels and represents clients who are filing a divorce and helps them address family law-related matters. These include the allocation of parental rights and responsibilities, division of marital property and assets, alimony, and child custody and support. DeAnn M. Pladson, one of the firm's attorneys, has been practicing law since 1992. She is a member of the North Dakota Association for Justice.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What kinds of cases do family lawyers handle?

Family lawyers handle all types of family-related issues, including divorce, child support and spousal support, custody, adoption, paternity and guardianship. Family attorneys can also handle prenuptial and postnuptial agreements and divide marital assets based on the policies outlined in these documents. Domestic violence cases are also within the purview of family law attorneys.

Is family court different from district court?

In most states, family court is a division of the district court rather than a separate court system. Family law judges primarily preside over family disputes, such as divorce and custody hearings. Most states require family law judges to receive special training on how to best address family law matters.

How long do custody cases last in family court?

The duration of custody cases can differ based on the circumstances surrounding the claim. A case in which parents agree to split custody can be quick, while lawsuits in which both parents or guardians are fighting for full custody can take much longer. Most child custody cases last three to 10 days, but this can vary under more challenging circumstances.

Why is there no jury in family court?

There are no juries in family court cases because the concept of innocence or guilt does not apply. While there may be some cases in which additional opinions could be helpful, most cases are based on the letter of the law versus individual circumstances. Some states, including Texas, permit jury trials for family court cases, but this is uncommon.

What are the most common cases in family court?

Family law covers a variety of different cases pertaining to familial relations. The most common cases in family court include:

  • Divorce cases, including settling issues of alimony, property distribution, and child care
  • Child custody and the determination of paternity
  • Domestic violence protection orders
  • Name changes, including modifications due to adoption or personal preference
  • Guardianship, including who will handle the care of a child or adult should current caretakers be unable to do so
  • Adoptions and the termination of parental rights
  • Juvenile matters, including child abuse and neglect, foster placements, and criminal conduct
  • Emancipation, which is the process of declaring a minor as independent from their parents
  • Approval of underage marriages

Do family lawyers handle mediation?

Mediation can be a valuable part of a divorce case, counseling spouses to work through areas of disagreement in a fair, calm, and unbiased manner. Most, but not all, family lawyers handle mediation. Anyone who believes they may need intervention services is encouraged to ask about an attorney’s experience with resolving disputes, to ensure that support is available if necessary.

What is family law?

Family law is an area of legal practice that places a special focus on issues concerning families. Common areas of family law include separation of assets and potential alimony arrangements during a divorce, child custody and child support mediation between estranged or divorced parents, paternity cases, and matters of adoption. Family lawyers not only oversee mediation during disputes over things like child support and custody arrangements, but they also represent parties' interests when family matters are dealt with in court.

What is a custodial parent?

When two parents do not live together with a child, one will be named as the custodial parent. The designated parent—or other guardian if both biological parents are deemed unfit—will have precedence in any legal decisions made concerning the child's life, including education and other matters of the child's welfare. The other parent is referred to as the noncustodial parent.

What is sole custody?

When a child lives with one parent full time after a divorce or a legal separation, that parent has sole custody. This parent will be fully responsible for providing basic necessities for the child's well-being, including food, shelter, and clothing. The alternative is joint custody, in which both parents share physical custody of the child, based on a predetermined legal arrangement.

While they may sound the same, sole custody is not identical to full custody. In full custody, the noncustodial parent may have visitation rights, while in sole custody, they do not. A court would rule that a parent has sole custody rather than full custody when only one parent is deemed fit to act in the best interests of the child.

What is joint custody?

Joint custody is a preset arrangement that occurs after a marriage is dissolved. In joint custody, a child lives with their custodial parent for certain days or weeks and their noncustodial parent for the remainder. The custody arrangement may be decided in a hearing, but if two parents come up with a suitable agreement on their own, the court will likely accept it.

What makes a good family lawyer?

There are a number of characteristics to look for in a good family lawyer. The first is experience. An experienced family law attorney will understand the right steps to take to come to an equitable resolution that reflects the best interests of the family, often without going to court. The ability to communicate and act as an intermediary between parties in a dispute is important, whether it concerns a divorce, custody, paternity, or something else. Family legal disputes can be stressful to manage, especially when mediation and finding a common ground is involved. A good family lawyer is also available as a resource to help their client navigate a difficult situation in a way that won't harm their chances for a positive resolution.

How can a mother lose custody of her child?

A mother could lose custody of her child if she's deemed unfit to provide or take proper care of them. This decision often comes as a result of the mother being unable to provide a safe home or take care of a child's basic needs. It can also come from a mother abusing the child or neglecting them, abusing drugs and alcohol, or frequently being arrested.

In any of these cases, the state can revoke custody from the mother, citing details learned through home visits, interviews, court records, and a variety of other sources as the reasons. In this case, sole custody would be given to the other parent, if he/she is able.

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