Starting A New Chapter

When experiencing life changes such as marriage, divorce, adoption or birth of a child or maybe parenting time, or financial challenges due to a job change, Baker Vicchiollo Law is here to help you move through change, to move forward with your life. We may not be able to address every aspect related to change, the emotional impact, but we can help with legal aspects when change is necessary or inevitable.

We serve clients throughout Minnesota with levels of assistance varying from complete representation to case consultation or document review. We present all options and approaches: negotiation, mediation, collaborative divorce, and litigation.

The experience of our attorneys in courts throughout central Minnesota counties and beyond, along with the assistance of an exceptional paralegal team, affords a reputation and knowledge base that is essential when considering legal proceedings that may require court intervention. Just as important is our ability to help individuals and families resolve issues outside of court through negotiation and other approaches to settle disputes.

The level of assistance, the approach, and the strategy are tailored to fit your circumstances and preferences, within the perimeters of Minnesota law. The depth of our experience and the range of our services allows us to address simple and complex legal matters in the context of your situation.

We have located our firm within the Collaborative Alliance offices, giving us immediate access to the best practitioners in family law and related disciplines, combined with the extensive network of resources we have developed beyond our office walls. Collectively, along with the experience of our attorneys and paralegals, provides for efficient, one-stop service options.

Knowing all of your options when faced with a life-changing event is the best place to start. Our initial consultation is free.  We can help you understand your options, plan the next steps, or decide whether or not you need to hire an attorney. If we are unable to assist you, we are happy to provide referrals to other professionals and resources.

  • Anoka
  • Carver
  • Chisago
  • Dakota
  • Dodge
  • Goodhue
  • Hennepin
  • Isanti
  • Itasca
  • Kandiyohi
  • Le Sueur
  • McCleod
  • Olmstead
  • Pine
  • Ramsey
  • Rice
  • Scott
  • Sherburne
  • Sibley
  • St. Louis
  • Stearns
  • Todd
  • Washington
  • Wright

  • Minnesota Trial (Districts) Court
    • Civil
    • Family
    • Juvenile
    • Probate
  • Minnesota Court of Appeals
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota
  • Tribal Courts of Minnesota

Getting Married?

Consider a prenuptial agreement, especially if remarrying and there are assets and/or children from a previous marriage.

Contemplating Divorce or Separation?

Consult with an attorney to know how to prepare and what steps you should take now.

Inheriting Assets?

Update your will, trust, or consult an attorney about how inherited assets may impact your own estate plan.

Planning For End of Life?

Establish or update your will or trust, Power of Attorney, and health care directive.

Birth or Adopting of A Child?

Consider guardianship and financial provisions within your will or trust.

Traveling Abroad?

Have important documents in-hand when traveling with your children following divorce.  Update your estate plan including Power of Attorney and health care directive.

Unexpected Pregnancy?

Consult with a family law attorney to learn about paternity determination and the rights of both biological parents.

Changing Jobs or Loss of Income?

Learn about options to modify support obligations or consult with a family law attorney to analyze whether or not pursuing a change will meet statutory requirements.

Relocating?

Discuss your plan with a family law attorney to understand the requirements and likelihood of obtaining a court order to allow relocation and parenting time modification.

Fees & Billing

Legal Fees & Cost

Payment & Financing

Retainer & Billing

More About Us

Baker Vicchiollo Law

Helping People Move Forward

Adoption

Minnesota Domestic & Stepparent

Estate & Trusts

Planning, Probate & Administration

Jolene D. Baker Vicchiollo

Principal Attorney & Founder

Jolene is the founder and principal attorney at the law firm of Baker Vicchiollo Law located in Edina Minnesota, representing individuals and families in matters of divorce, child support, custody, property division, nonmarital claims, and parenting time, as well as estate planning, nuptial agreements, adoption, paternity, and grandparent rights. Admitted to practice in Minnesota since 1999, and in private practice for the past 23 years, Jolene has extensive experience in district courts throughout metropolitan counties, establishing a highly regarded practice in litigation, alternative dispute resolution, and collaborative divorce.

Jolene teaches family law as a member of the adjunct faculty at the University of St. Thomas School of Law in Minneapolis.

Starting A New Chapter

When experiencing life changes such as marriage, divorce, adoption or birth of a child or maybe parenting time, or financial challenges due to a job change, Baker Vicchiollo Law is here to help you move through change, to move forward with your life. We may not be able to address every aspect related to change, the emotional impact, but we can help with legal aspects when change is necessary or inevitable.

We serve clients throughout Minnesota with levels of assistance varying from complete representation to case consultation or document review. We present all options and approaches: negotiation, mediation, collaborative divorce, and litigation.

The experience of our attorneys in courts throughout central Minnesota counties and beyond, along with the assistance of an exceptional paralegal team, affords a reputation and knowledge base that is essential when considering legal proceedings that may require court intervention. Just as important is our ability to help individuals and families resolve issues outside of court through negotiation and other approaches to settle disputes.

The level of assistance, the approach, and the strategy are tailored to fit your circumstances and preferences, within the perimeters of Minnesota law. The depth of our experience and the range of our services allows us to address simple and complex legal matters in the context of your situation.

We have located our firm within the Collaborative Alliance offices, giving us immediate access to the best practitioners in family law and related disciplines, combined with the extensive network of resources we have developed beyond our office walls. Collectively, along with the experience of our attorneys and paralegals, provides for efficient, one-stop service options.

CHANGES AHEAD

DIVORCE

DIVORCE

Divorce, also called dissolution, is the legal process of terminating a marriage.

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CHILD SUPPORT

CHILD SUPPORT

Under MN law, a child has the right to be financially supported by both parents.

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CUSTODY

CUSTODY

Under MN law, there are two types of child custody: physical custody and legal custody.

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PARENTING TIME

PARENTING TIME

The time each parent spends with the child(ren), regardless of who has custody, formerly called “visitation."

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PROPERTY & MARITAL CLAIMS

PROPERTY & MARITAL CLAIMS

Includes items such as money, real estate, boats, cabins, household goods, furniture, & jewelry, and more.

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PATERNITY

PATERNITY

Court proceeding to adjudicate the legal father, child support, the child’s legal name, custody, and parenting time.

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RELOCATION

RELOCATION

Minnesota law allows the parent who has primary physical custody to relocate unless the non-relocating parent objects.

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SPOUSAL SUPPORT

SPOUSAL SUPPORT

Money paid by one spouse to help support the other spouse (formerly called alimony).

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NUPTIAL AGREEMENTS

NUPTIAL AGREEMENTS

Antenuptial agreement referred to as “prenup” or postnuptial contracts for already married spouses.

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GRANDPARENT RIGHTS

GRANDPARENT RIGHTS

Grandparent rights in Minnesota are defined by state law and can be pursued in court.

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Baker Vicchiollo Law LLC

ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION

ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION

Voluntary methods of negotiation to help people reach agreements and resolve disputes.

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LITIGATION

LITIGATION

A civil case usually begins when a person or organization determines that a problem can’t be solved without the intervention of the courts.

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COLLABORATIVE DIVORCE

COLLABORATIVE DIVORCE

Voluntary methods of negotiation to help people reach agreements and resolve disputes.

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Fees & Billing

Legal Fees & Cost

Payment & Financing

Retainer & Billing

 

JOLENE D. BAKER VICCHIOLLO

Jolene is the founder and principal attorney at the law firm of Baker Vicchiollo Law located in Edina Minnesota, representing individuals and families in matters of divorce, child support, custody, property division, nonmarital claims, and parenting time, as well as estate planning, nuptial agreements, adoption, paternity, and grandparent rights. Admitted to practice in Minnesota since 1999, and in private practice for the past 23 years, Jolene has extensive experience in district courts throughout metropolitan counties, establishing a highly regarded practice in litigation, alternative dispute resolution, and collaborative divorce.

Jolene teaches family law as a member of the adjunct faculty at the University of St. Thomas School of Law in Minneapolis.

More About Us

Baker Vicchiollo Law

Helping People Move Forward

Adoption

Minnesota Domestic & Stepparent

Estate & Trusts

Planning, Probate & Administration

Knowing all of your options when faced with a life-changing event is the best place to start. Our initial consultation is free.  We can help you understand your options, plan the next steps, or decide whether or not you need to hire an attorney. If we are unable to assist you, we are happy to provide referrals to other professionals and resources.

  • Anoka
  • Carver
  • Chisago
  • Dakota
  • Dodge
  • Goodhue
  • Hennepin
  • Isanti
  • Itasca
  • Kandiyohi
  • Le Sueur
  • McCleod
  • Olmstead
  • Pine
  • Ramsey
  • Rice
  • Scott
  • Sherburne
  • Sibley
  • St. Louis
  • Stearns
  • Todd
  • Washington
  • Wright

  • Minnesota Trial (Districts) Court
    • Civil
    • Family
    • Juvenile
    • Probate
  • Minnesota Court of Appeals
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota
  • Tribal Courts of Minnesota

Getting Married?

Consider a prenuptial agreement, especially if remarrying and there are assets and/or children from a previous marriage.

Contemplating Divorce or Separation?

Consult with an attorney to know how to prepare and what steps you should take now.

Inheriting Assets?

Update your will, trust, or consult an attorney about how inherited assets may impact your own estate plan.

Planning For End of Life?

Establish or update your will or trust, Power of Attorney, and health care directive.

Birth or Adopting of A Child?

Consider guardianship and financial provisions within your will or trust.

Traveling Abroad?

Have important documents in-hand when traveling with your children following divorce.  Update your estate plan including Power of Attorney and health care directive.

Unexpected Pregnancy?

Consult with a family law attorney to learn about paternity determination and the rights of both biological parents.

Changing Jobs or Loss of Income?

Learn about options to modify support obligations or consult with a family law attorney to analyze whether or not pursuing a change will meet statutory requirements.

Relocating?

Discuss your plan with a family law attorney to understand the requirements and likelihood of obtaining a court order to allow relocation and parenting time modification.

Inquire or schedule consultation

BVL Honors & Affiliations

Divorce

We serve clients throughout Minnesota with various levels of assistance from complete representation to case consultation or document review.  We present all options and approaches available including mediation, collaborative divorce, and litigation.  The experience of our firm and the range of our services gives you the options that will best address your legal matter, in the context of your individual situation. 

The experience of our attorneys throughout the courts in central Minnesota counties and beyond affords a knowledge base and reputation that is essential when considering legal proceedings that may require court intervention.  Just as important is our ability to help individuals and families resolve issues outside of the court system, through negotiation and other approaches to settle disputes. 

When a divorcing couple does not agree on how to handle issues related to children, support, property, or other financials, they may need to litigate their dissolution through Court proceedings. Our attorneys work hard to reach agreements so that the Court is not left to decide what works best for you and your family. When the Court is left to decide, our attorneys are experienced litigators who can represent you through trial if necessary. 

Child Support

Child support may be ordered by the court in custody, parenting time, and paternity matters involving minor children. Child support is intended to assist the parents with the basic living expenses, work-related childcare, and medical expenses of the children.

In Minnesota, Child Support is determined by a formula calculated by Minnesota Child Support Guidelines. The formula considers several factors when determining the amount of child support, including the number of children, gross incomes of each parent, childcare and health care costs and the regular overnight parenting time schedule for the parents. Based upon the circumstances of each family, a court can order a deviation from the formulated child support amount.

Child Support Modification

Child support can be modified when the existing obligation becomes unreasonable or unfair, according to Minnesota Statute § 518A.39 subd. 2(a). During the initial consultation, our attorney will explain the factors for demonstrating how the current support obligation is unreasonable or unfair.  This information will help you decide whether or not you want to move forward.

Our firm is experienced in both enforcement of court-ordered child support and modifications of child support when employment earnings, or other financial or childcare factors, of one parent has changed.

Custody

Under Minnesota law, there are two types of child custody:

“Legal custody” refers to the right to make decisions about how to raise the child, including decisions about education, health care, and religious training.

“Physical custody” refers to the right to make decisions about the routine day-to-day activities of the child and where the child lives.

Depending on several factors, parents may share custody which is called “joint custody.” If only one parent has full custody, that is called “sole custody.”

“Joint legal custody” means that both parents share the responsibility for making decisions regarding how to raise the child, including the right to participate in major decisions about the child’s education, health care, and religious training. “Joint physical custody” means that the routine daily care and control and the residence of the child is structured between both parents.

There is also the possibility of different combinations of custody of a minor child. For example, both parents might have joint legal custody but only one parent may have sole physical custody.

When considering a petition for custody, Minnesota courts consider what is in the best interest of the child(ren). These best interest factors are established in Minnesota Statute 518.17 and are available to review here.

If you live in Minnesota but your child lives with the other parent in another state, your case may be more complicated. We recommend that you consult with a lawyer experienced in custody matters about where you may be able to file your custody case or modify an existing custody order.

Parenting Time

When parents are separated, the court usually wants both parents to be involved in the child’s or children’s’ lives if doing so is in the best interest of the child or children. The parent who does not have custody of the children usually gets parenting time. Parenting time is ordered by the court so that the child and the parents have the opportunity to maintain a relationship. Factors influencing parenting time orders include, but not limited: child’s age, child’s safety, and the child’s past relationship with the parents.

Parents can agree to change parenting time but, if the parents don’t agree, a parent can petition the court to change parenting time if it is best for the child. Enforcing a parenting time order can be hard, especially if the child is older and does not want to see the other parent. But a parenting time court order can be enforced until the child turns 18.

Property & Non-marital Claims

Our attorneys have experience handing the division of property ranging from low monetary value to high value assets. Property or assets that are important to you may not be important to someone else in similar circumstances. Our attorneys can help settle property disputes, the division of assets, and address non-marital assets or property.

Paternity

A “paternity” legal proceeding is the process of determining the legal father of a child. Once the legal father has been determined, he has an obligation to support the child financially and the right to petition the Court for custody and/or parenting time. In Minnesota law, the unmarried mother has sole custody unless a court issues a custody order indicating otherwise.

The process of determining paternity has several components and important time frames including completion of the “Recognition of Parentage Form”, “Minnesota Father’s Adoption Registry” and a host of legal factors related to petitioning for custody and/or parenting time.

Relocation

Our family law attorneys are experienced in representing parents who are seeking permission to relocate or defend against an attempt to relocate by the other parent; often through a court proceeding or out-of-court negotiations.

The most important consideration outside of the legal parameters, is the wellbeing of the child(ren) and their ability to maintain a relationship with each parent, as dictated by the custody order.

Beyond this primary concern, there are multiple factors that courts consider in relocation proceedings which need to be in the best interest of the child(ren):

  1. The nature, quality, extent of involvement, and duration of the child’s relationship with the person proposing to relocate and with the non-relocating person, siblings, and other significant persons in the child’s life;
  2. Who has been the child’s primary caregiver;
  3. The age, developmental stage, needs of the child, and the likely impact the relocation will have on the child’s physical, educational, and emotional development, taking into consideration special needs of the child;
  4. The feasibility of preserving the relationship between the non-relocating person and the child through suitable parenting time arrangements, considering the logistics and financial circumstances of the parties;
  5. The child’s preference, taking into consideration the age and maturity of the child;
  6. Whether there is an established pattern of conduct of the person seeking the relocation either to promote or thwart the relationship of the child and the non-relocating person;
  7. Whether the relocation of the child will enhance the general quality of the life for both the custodial parent seeking the relocation and the child including, but not limited to, financial or emotional benefit or educational opportunity;
  8. The reasons of each person for seeking or opposing the relocation; and
  9. The effect on the safety and welfare of the child, or of the parent requesting to move the child’s residence, of domestic abuse, as defined in section 518B.01.

The burden of proof falls on the parent requesting relocation unless they are the victim of domestic abuse by the other parent.

The court will also consider the reasons a parent wants to move such as employment or family connections.

Spousal Support

Spousal maintenance, also referred to as spousal support or alimony, is the financial support one spouse pays to the other. It can be temporary or permanent. In Minnesota, no specific formula determines the amount or duration for which spousal support is paid. However, Minnesota law has determined some factors which a court may consider when determining the appropriate amount and duration, if any, of spousal support in each case. Some of these factors include:

  • The financial need of each party
  • The earning capacity of each party
  • If the financial need of a party can be overcome, and how long it might take to do so
  • Whether the potential payor has the means to pay spousal maintenance
  • Length of the marriage
  • The quality of life enjoyed by the parties during their marriage
  • Ages of the parties

Modifying spousal support is no easy feat, however there are several reasons why this type of action may be possible, some of which include change of income, health, or relationships. Other factors impacting the ability to modify spousal support are nuptial agreements or the existence of a Karon waiver with the existing court order. A Karon waiver, a term used in Minnesota divorce law is based upon the legal precedent set in Karon v. Karon, 435 N.W.2d 501 (Minn. 1989) eliminates the possibility of modification if the provision was included in the divorce decree. In a Karon waiver, the parties stipulate that there will be no future modification of spousal maintenance at the time the award is made. It is a waiver of the statutory right to modification of maintenance.

Nuptial Agreements

Nuptial agreements are not an indication that either spouse believes that their marriage will fail. However, it is impossible to predict the future, so some may want to have a plan in case the marriage does fail at any point. No one gets married with the intention of ever getting divorced, so for most, a nuptial agreement is simply a safeguard that most couples never have to use.

There are several reasons why a couple may wish to establish a prenuptial (before marriage) or postnuptial (after marriage) agreement including:

  • Defining the respective rights of the parties in the case that they divorce
  • Defining how both parties will handle income during the marriage
  • Clarify how both parties will define marital and non-marital assets that are acquired during the marriage
  • Clarify how debts are paid during the marriage and how those debts will be characterized
  • Determine the rights of each spouse in the case one passes away. (Minnesota law states that one spouse may not deprive the other of their marital share in a will, but a spouse may waive their marital share within a prenuptial agreement.)

As you can see, a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement isn’t just a safeguard against the dissolution of a marriage. It is a tool used to plan for the future.

When a prenuptial agreement is properly created, Minnesota courts can enforce them. However, a nuptial agreement can only be enforceable if they adhere to certain criterion, which can be reviewed during the initial consultation.

With an enforceable nuptial agreement in place, many conflicts can be avoided. Our attorneys will help you draft a nuptial agreement that works for your situation and so that you can have peace of mind and security into the future.

Grandparents Rights

Minnesota has common and statutory laws that allow grandparents the ability to seek visitation and even custody, both of which can be complicated partly because the State sees grandparent visitation as an extension of the parents’ rights. Furthermore, it can be difficult for a grandparent to seek visitation time if the child’s parents object. However, there may be circumstance that allow grandparents to gain visitation, even sometimes custody, due the circumstances of the case. These circumstances typically include:

  • The grandparent’s child, which is the parent of the child in question, is deceased
  • The grandparent has been the primary caretaker of the child for at least 12 months and they are now seeking custody.
  • The court will look at all factors, including what is in the best interest of the child.

Consulting with an attorney with litigation experience will help you determine whether to pursue visitation or custody based on the circumstances and facts of your situation. Baker Vicchiollo Law has represented grandparents and the litigation experience necessary to address complex cases involving grandparents’ rights.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

EARLY NEUTRAL EVALUATION

The early neutral evaluation (ENE) is a process whereby a mutually-agreed-upon third-party neutral evaluator meets with the parties and their attorneys to reach resolution. The difference between mediation and the ENE process is that the evaluator will provide his or her opinion on the issues, which can be helpful in achieving resolution.

MEDIATION

The Role of The Mediator is to give unbiased. They don’t take one side or the other. They simply listen to the facts, and they are trained to do so. They are not allowed to give any advice, which is why the mediator can’t be the attorney for either party. An attorney can be a mediator, but they cannot have any ties to either party. The mediator will allow the parties to exchange information, talk, and work toward a solution that suits them both.

Your attorney attends the mediation session(s) with you, but this is entirely up to you. Their role is to ensure that your rights are protected throughout the mediation process. Your attorney is an advisor that can provide the guidance to you and to the process during and in between sessions, as well ensure that solutions and agreements comply with Minnesota law.

MODERATED SETTLEMENT CONFERENCE

Moderated settlement conference is a court-ordered meeting or meetings between parties and their attorneys facilitated by a mutually-agreed-upon third-party neutral moderator and is typically held at the courthouse. This is usually done close to the time of trial as a last attempt to settle the case before trial. Parties are expected to be “trial ready” with all information previously exchanged by the parties and their attorneys.

Litigation

The court-dictated process of litigating a divorce proceeding includes alternative dispute resolution in various forms to try and reach agreements before the court intervenes. If settlement is not reached the case will proceed to pretrial and subsequently trial unless settled by the parties.

Collaborative Divorce

Some couples may be able to reach agreements in their divorce through the collaborative divorce process instead of through litigation. This option is suited for couples who believe that they can reach agreement on all the aspects pertinent to their situation, along with the help of their attorneys and other professionals that may be engaged to address complex issues related to children, financial, or assets. In the collaborative divorce process, couples agree to work toward settlement without Court intervention.

Collaborative divorce is a settlement process intended to keep the parties out of court. The focus is on reaching a settlement. From the very start, the parties and their attorneys sign a participation agreement that defines the parameters of the collaborative divorce process. Many couples can reach agreements that allow them to move on peacefully with their lives, even when children or other complex matters are involved.

Your attorney will help you identify your goals, needs, interests, and other concerns that need to be addressed. Once identified, all parties work toward an agreement that meets the needs of both parties and complies with Minnesota law. Once agreement is reached, the attorneys draft the divorce decree which is then submitted to the court for review and approval.

The attorneys may not be the only parties involved in the process. If necessary, other professionals, such as financial specialists or child specialists are engaged to help reach settlement. A divorce coach may also be utilized. The parties choose who they want to be involved in the process to help them reach an agreement.

Legal Fees & Cost

The final cost of a divorce, for example, varies significantly between couples. When couples can reach settlement agreements for some or all the issues unique to their family and situation, the overall cost should be less than litigating issues through the court. The final cost will largely depend on the number of contested issues in your case and whether mediations, hearings, or trial are necessary to resolve those issues.

During the consultation process, our attorney will provide information about fees and costs related to you unique situation and the dynamics of the parties involved.  For reasons unique to each case, it is impossible to provide an estimate on the final cost of your legal proceeding. Our attorney will, however, explain how to reduce cost and methods for reaching agreements, out of court, that may save time and money.

If your matter involves changes to your support obligation, our attorneys will provide a general cost-benefit analysis during the consultation meeting so that you can decide whether or not it is beneficial or necessary to retain an attorney.  Our firm can also be retained to provide a detailed calculation if a general cost-benefit analysis is insufficient for making a decision whether or not to pursue a support modification.

Furthermore, during the consultation meeting, our attorney will assess the scope of your case to determine if the work can be done on a flat rate or fixed fee basis.  Other options include phase-by-phase scope retention so that you feel comfortable by knowing the limit of our involvement in your case.

TIPS FOR SAVING MONEY

  1. Be clear about your priorities and goals; ask the attorney the likelihood of achieving each goal.
  2. Provide accurate information.
  3. Disclose all of your assets.
  4. Be organized and efficient when meeting with your attorney in-person, by video, and by phone.
  5. Create a list of questions or thoughts instead of calling or emailing your attorney with each one.
  6. Respond to questions from your attorney quickly and concisely.
  7. Respond by email instead of by phone whenever possible.
  8. Provide requested documents, statements, and records quickly and digitally if possible.
  9. Ask what tasks or steps you might be able to do yourself.
  10. Follow the legal advice of your attorney.

Payment & Financing