Family Law

Prepared by:
Melinda Hugdahl, Staff Attorney
Legal Services Advocacy Project
651-222-3749, ext. 107


A. Administrative Redirection
Chapter 238, Sections 2 and 3 (SF 2562)
Amends Minn. Stat. § 518A.46, subd. 5
Adds Minn. Stat. § 518A.46, subd. 7
Effective January 1, 2011

1. When Authorized
Permits a public authority to administratively redirect basic support, medical support, and child care support to a caregiver when: (1) there is a voluntary placement of the child with the caregiver; (2) a court-ordered placement does not address child support; or (3) the caregiver receives public assistance. Provides that only a proportional amount of child support can be redirected if not all children are placed.
Amends Minn. Stat. § 518A.46, subd. 5

2. Notice Required
Requires the public authority to provide notice of the redirection to the child support obligee, the obligor, and the caregiver.
Adds Minn. Stat. § 518A.46, subd. 7(a)

3. Right to Contest
Gives either an obligor or obligee the right to contest the redirection, but only on the grounds that: (1) the child no longer resides with the caregiver; (2) an out-of-home placement plan requires all of the child support to stay in the home; or (3) the redirection is not in the best interests of the child. Provides that the redirection commences the first day of the month following the time period to contest the redirection if neither party contests.
Adds Minn. Stat. § 518A.46, subd. 7(c) (Right/Grounds to contest)
Adds Minn. Stat. § 518A.46, subd. 7(e) (Commencement of redirection)

4. Process to Contest
Requires the obligor or oblige to, within 30 days of the redirection notice, ask the public authority to schedule a hearing. Provides that the public authority must: (1) hold the hearing at the earliest practicable time, but no later than 30 days after the public authority receives a request for hearing; (2) provide notice to the obligor and obligee within 14 days of the hearing; and (3) schedule the hearing before a child support magistrate (or a district court judge if no magistrate is available). Specifies that child support is not redirected while a hearing outcome is pending.
Adds Minn. Stat. § 518A.46, subd. 7(d)

5. Duration
Specifies that the redirection continues until the public authority determines that: (1) the caregiver no longer receives public assistance; (2) the voluntary placement agreement expires; or (3) the court-ordered placement is no longer in effect.
Adds Minn. Stat. § 518A.46, subd. 7(f)

6. Termination
Requires the public authority, upon termination of the redirection, to: (1) notify the obligee, the obligor, and the caregiver; and (2) send the child support to the obligee beginning the first day of the month that falls at least 14 days after the redirection termination notice is sent.
Adds Minn. Stat. § 518A.46, subd. 7(g)

B. Judgments
Chapter 238, Sections 4 - 7 (SF 2562) (Substantive Provisions)
Amends Minn. Stat. §§ 541.04; and 548.09, subd. 1
Repeals Minn. Stat. § 548.092
Chapter 371, Section 5 (SF 3361) (Effective Date)
Amends Laws 2010, Chapter 238, Section 7
Effective July 1, 2011

Extends child support judgments from 10 years to 20 years. Repeals existing law that that makes current judgments effective retroactively for 10 years.

C. Locating Parties
Chapter 238, Section 1 (SF 2562)
Amends Minn. Stat. § 256.978, subd. 2
Effective August 1, 2010

Permits county to access home and work telephone numbers, cell phone numbers, and email addresses for the purposes of locating parties.

First Special Session, Chapter 1, Article 19, Sections 2 and 17 (HF 1)
Amends Minn. Stat. § 517.08, subd. 1b
Effective July 1, 2010

Asks the University of Minnesota, within the limits of available funding, to develop and implement a "Minnesota Couples on the Brink" project. Specifies the purpose is to develop and disseminate best practices for promoting reconciliation to couples considering or pursuing divorce who choose to pursue reconciliation.

Chapter 309 (SF 2880)
Amends Minn. Stat. §§ 257.69, subd. 2; 260B.331, subd. 6; 260C.331, subds. 3 and 6; and 518.165, subd. 3
Adds Minn. Stat. § 480.35
Effective July 1, 2010

A. Establishment
Establishes a State Guardian Ad Litem board, modeled after the Board of Public Defense and placed under the control of the judicial branch, for guardians appointed in family and juvenile court matters.

B. Duties
Specifies the Board's duties to include: (1) establishing procedures to distribute legislative appropriations to the guardian ad litem program; and (2) establishing guardian ad litem program standards, administrative policies, procedures, and rules consistent with existing law and court rules. Permits the Board to: (1) make recommendations for legislation; and (2) establish an advisory board, which, if established, expires June 30, 2014.

C. Status of Board Records
Subjects records of the State Guardian Ad Litem Program to existing Rules of Public Access for Records of the Judicial Branch.

D. Oversight During Transition
Provides that until the board's establishment, which must occur no later than October 1, 2010: (1) the state court administrator and judicial district offices continue to provide administrative support and management oversight services; and (2) existing judicial branch policies for guardians ad litem continue to apply.

Chapter 334, Sections 5 - 13 (SF 2527)
Amends Minn. Stat. §§ 524.1-201; and 524.2-114
Adds Minn. Stat. §§ 524.2-116 - 2.122

With respect to the rights of successors of decedents dying on or after August 1, 2010 August 1, 2010.
With respect to any instruments executed before August 1, 2010, unless there is a clear indication of contrary intent in the instrument.

Makes changes to the Uniform Probate Code relative to inheritance from children or bequests to children.

A Definitions

1. Updated Terminology
Adds definitions to reflect modern familial relationships and birthing techniques, including, among other terms: (1) "assisted reproduction"; (2) "birth mother"; (3) "functioned as the parent of the child" (4) "genetic parent"; (5) "gestational agreement"; (6) "intended parent"; and (7) third- party donor."
Amends Minn. Stat. § 524.1-201

2. "Incapacity"
Defines "incapacity" to mean the "inability of an individual to function as a parent of a child because of the individual's physical or mental condition."
Adds Minn. Stat. § 524.1-201

B. Adoptions

1. Child/Adopting Parents Relationship
Provides that the parent-child relationship is between the child and the adopting parent(s).
Adds Minn. Stat. § 524.2-119

2. Child/Stepparent Relationship
Provides that the parent-child relationship where a child is adopted by the spouse of either genetic parent is between child and the genetic parent whose spouse adopted the child. Further provides that a parent-child relationship exists for inheritance purposes only with other genetic parent if the other genetic parent is deceased.
Adds Minn. Stat. § 524.2-119

C. Assisted Reproduction
Provides rules for intestate succession in cases of assisted reproduction.
Adds Minn. Stat. § 524.2-120

D. Gestational Agreements/Equitable Adoption
Clarifies that the Uniform Probate Code does not affect: (1) other state law regarding gestational agreements; or (2) the doctrine of equitable adoption.
Adds Minn. Stat. § 524.2-121 (Gestational agreements)
Adds Minn. Stat. § 524.2-122 (Equitable adoption)

E. Prohibition on Inheritance/Termination of Parental Rights
Bars a parent from inheriting from or through a deceased child if: (1) the parent has had parental rights terminated; (2) by a showing of clear and convincing evidence, the parent, immediately before the child's death, could have had parental rights terminated.
Amends Minn. Stat. § 524.2-114