How to Get Full Custody After Joint Custody in Hutchinson, MN

Even if your relationship with your spouse is amicable, getting a divorce is emotionally and physically difficult. The situation gets further complicated if children are in the picture as custody battles are often challenging for everyone involved.

If you are seeking a divorce and have children, you need to understand the child custody aspect of the divorce process. In the US, most states will offer primarily two types of child custodies, sole custody and joint custody. This post explains, in short, different types of child custodies and whether or not you can get full custody after you have been awarded joint custody in Hutchinson, MN.

1. What Is Joint Custody?

Joint custody, also called shared custody, is where the family court allows both parents to remain involved in their children’s lives. As joint custody is often in the best interest of the children’s development, most family courts in the country will favor this arrangement.

Joint custody is of three types. Depending on the circumstances of your case, the court may award legal joint custody or physical joint custody or both.

A. Joint Legal Custody

It allows both parents to be involved in all the major decisions regarding the upbringing of their children. It usually involves decisions about medical care, education, religious upbringing, and any other major decisions that may impact their lives.

Both parents have the right to take these decisions jointly. In short, if you take any of these decisions without consulting your spouse, he or she may take you to the court. This may affect your present custody arrangement negatively.

B. Joint Physical Custody

Joint physical custody, as the name suggests, allows both parents to spend considerable time with their children. In most cases, the child will stay with one parent, while the other parent will have visitation rights. The visitation or parenting schedule is court-ordered.

However, as any experienced child custody lawyer in Hutchinson would tell you, joint physical custody works best if both parents live nearby, or at least in the same city. If one of the parents is located in a different state or country, sharing parenting time is impractical for children.

C. Joint Legal and Physical Custody

This is a combined joint custody, where both parents share legal and physical custody of the children jointly. When you share any of these three types of joint custodies, you have to work out a schedule with your spouse to provide your children with the best family and social life.  

2. What Is Sole or Full Custody?

When it comes to sole custody, also called full custody, one parent, called the custodial parent, usually gets all the parenting responsibility. As a custodial parent, you will have the right and the responsibility of both legal and physical custody of the children.

However, it doesn’t mean only one parent is involved in the lives of the children. The court will still award limited or even generous visitation rights to the non-custodial parent, depending on the circumstances of your case.

Most family courts are not in favor of full custody as it is not usually in the best interest of the children. Children often need the interaction of both parents for a better mental and physical upbringing.

However, if one of the parents is ill, disabled, mentally unstable, or otherwise incapacitated, has a criminal record, has an history of abuse or domestic violence, drug addiction or substance abuse, among other things, the court may decide to award full custody to the other parent. You should consult an experienced child custody lawyer in Hutchinson and discuss your case in detail to understand your custody options.

3. Can You Get Sole Custody after Joint Custody in Hutchinson, MN?

Most custody arrangements are open to modification. As the circumstances change, you can go to the court to change your existing custody arrangement. However, to get full custody after you have received joint custody, you must prove the change in circumstances to the court.

Custody battles are often challenging. So, you must prepare yourself before going into one. Seeking sole custody out of vengeance for your ex is never a good idea. You must, always, put your children’s best interest at the front and center of your decision. However, if the situation truly requires you to seek sole custody, you should get the right legal help as soon as possible.

In other words, you need to consult an experienced child custody lawyer in Hutchinson to explore your legal options. Your legal counsel will not only provide you with the right advice, but also help you gather the required evidence and represent you in the best possible manner.


As most custody arrangements are open to modification, it is possible to win full custody after having joint custody in Hutchinson, MN. However, custody battles are usually tough and complicated, requiring you to seek proper legal advice and representation in the family court. Once you have prepared thoroughly, you can go to the court to get full custody of your children. 

Consult an Experienced Child Custody Lawyer in Hutchinson

If you or your loved one wants to get full custody after joint custody or is seeking a divorce, Carlson & Jones, P.A. is one of the best legal advisors you can find. As experienced child custody lawyers in Hutchinson, MN, we have helped many parents get the best possible outcomes in their custody battles. Call us on (855) 976-2444 or contact us online to know more about our family law services.


Are Divorce Records Public in Brainerd, MN

Not just children, the process of getting a divorce can overwhelm even adults to a great extent. With emotions running high, the need to deal with a complex and slow-paced justice system can wear you down quickly and completely. As a result, most people tend to forget about the one thing all divorces have in common, the paperwork.

Once your divorce is finalized, all the paperwork related to your proceedings will be condensed into a divorce record. It comprises the important details of your case, including divorce settlement, alimony, and custody arrangements, among other things. At this point, like most people, you are less likely to think about what happens to your divorce record.

However, as an experienced divorce lawyer in Brainerd, MN, we make it a point to keep our clients and prospects well-informed. If you are getting a divorce, here’s what you need to know about divorce records.

1. Are Divorce Records Public in Brainerd, MN?

Not just in Brainerd, MN, in many jurisdictions around the world, most court proceedings are public records. So, your divorce record or decree is also a public record. In fact, if you file it, your separation agreement also becomes a public record.  

In other words, anyone can access your divorce record if they know where and how to find it. The purpose of making most court proceedings a public record is to allow the tax-paying citizens to scrutinize, examine, and copy them, regardless of the purpose. You usually have to pay a small fee to access the court records.  

2. Can You Seal Divorce Records in Brainerd, MN?

As you may already know, in almost all cases, the courts will not seal the divorce records automatically. However, with the help of an experienced divorce lawyer in Brainerd, MN, you can apply and convince the court to seal your records. One or both parties have the right to ask the court to seal the records.

Upon your request, the court may seal only a part or your entire divorce record. The final decision usually rests with the judge. The court will, in most cases, consider if making the record public could be harmful or not. If the answer is yes, the court will seal the record.  

3. Why Divorce Records Can Be Sealed in Brainerd, MN?

The court will decide to seal portions or your complete record depending on the circumstances of your case. However, the usual reasons for placing divorce records under seal include the following:

  • If the circumstances of your divorce require to protect the identity of children from the public, the court will seal this portion of your divorce records
  • Sometimes, the court may also seal the records to protect the identity of domestic abuse and child abuse victims
  • In many cases, the court will also seal sensitive information such as bank account numbers and social security numbers, among other things 
  • If one or both parties own a business, the court may seal any sensitive information related to the business

Usually, judges are reluctant to seal the entire divorce records. It is often a better strategy to ask the court to redact a portion of your divorce decree. However, there is no guarantee that the court will make the decision in your favor. You can, of course, consult an experienced divorce lawyer in Brainerd, MN to help you get the best possible outcome.

4. Where to Find Divorce Records

As mentioned, anyone who knows where to look can find divorce records. In most states, including Minnesota, you can try one of the following options to find the divorce decrees.

A. State’s Vital Records

If you are comfortable with finding court records online, you can start with a general search on your state’s vital records website. However, not all states will record marriages and /or divorces on the vital records site.

The Minnesota Office of Vital Records does not record marriages or divorces. Instead, the website will guide you to search for the county district court office that granted the divorce. You will need to know the name of the person and the county court where the divorce was granted. If you know the date, the search will be a lot easier.

You can order the copy of records online or you can visit the county court house, write an application, and collect the copies yourself. Make sure to check the website to see the detailed procedure. For example, some counties may not allow walk-in record access requests. In this case, you may have to send the application well in advance.

B. Divorce Attorney

Another option is to contact an experienced divorce lawyer in Brainerd, MN. Lawyers know the court systems well-enough to find the desired divorce records as quickly as possible. Remember, divorce records are important as they can tell you about a person’s actual marital status.


Like most other court records, divorce decrees are also a public record. Anyone can access the information related to your divorce for free or by paying a small fee. However, you can request the court to seal a part or all of your divorce decree. Hopefully, this post will help you understand the significance of divorce records and keeping them sealed. 

Talk to a Seasoned Divorce Lawyer in Brainerd, MN

Whether you want to get your divorce records sealed or find the divorce records of someone you know, hiring an experienced divorce lawyer in Brainerd, MN is the right way to do it. Family lawyers with proven track record, like Carlson & Jones, P.A. can provide you with the right legal advice. Call us today on (855) 976-2444 for a free consultation or contact us online to see how we can help.


What Questions Should I Ask A Divorce Attorney In Minnesota

Getting a divorce is never easy. It is possibly one of the most difficult times in a couple’s life. Many things may seem entirely new. For example, you may not be accustomed to hearing the legal terms associated with a divorce, and might never have had to rethink your finances before

However, the fact is that several considerations go into any family law case. Hiring a divorce lawyer is chief among them. To ensure that you end up working with an experienced divorce lawyer in Minnesota, you will need to ask them a few questions before hiring them.

To give you a head start in your search for the right divorce lawyer, we present a few questions to ask before hiring one.

1.  For How Long Have You Been Handling Family Law Cases?

This is an important question to ask, especially if you believe that your divorce is going be long and difficult. Rather than asking the prospective lawyer about how long they’ve been practicing law, you should ask them about their experience in family law specifically.

In case your case goes to trial, your lawyer needs to be knowledgeable in the following aspects:

  • Preparing legal arguments and filing motions.
  • Conducting cross and direct examinations.
  • Presenting evidence in court.
  • Objecting to the opposing party’s evidence.

You need to be assured of the lawyer’s ability to handle your case, even if it gets complex. Once you find a reliable lawyer, things will get easier.

2.  Do You Handle Cases Other Than Divorce and Family Law?

Having this answer will help you evaluate the prospective lawyer’s dedication to your case. Lawyers involved in other practice areas may not be as focused towards divorce cases as those who practice is exclusively. So you may feel more comfortable working with the latter. Further, they will have greater experience in handling all types of family law issues.

This, however, does not mean that a lawyer who doesn’t practice family law exclusively will fail in your case. If you’re in a position to choose, go for the one who specializes in family and divorce law.

3. Have You Handled Family Law Cases in My County in Minnesota?

Every county in Minnesota is different when it comes to the temperament of judges, and courtroom personnel and procedures. Hence, the legal tactics that may prove to be effective in Brainerd might not work in Buffalo. It is, therefore, crucial to find a divorce lawyer who has handled a considerable number of cases in the county where your case will be filed.

4. What Percentage of Cases Have You Settled?

Some clients are of the opinion that settling a case means giving into the pressure of the opposition. A skilled family lawyer will explain to you that settlement does not mean that. In fact, it means the attorney is doing their job by collecting the right case facts and making a compelling argument to the opposing party. Doing so requires more diligence and legal acumen than entrusting the final outcome to the court judge.

5. How Many Cases Have You Tried in a Minnesota Court?

Most of the time, divorce matters get resolved outside the courtroom, but some cases do end up in trial. If you are considering hiring a particular divorce lawyer, you should ask them about the type and number of cases they have taken to trial. The answer to this question will help you determine whether or not the lawyer is comfortable with the prospects of fighting it out in court.

You need to be prepared in case your matter doesn’t settle. It is probably better not to hire a divorce lawyer with no trial experience. On the other hand, a divorce attorney who is boastful of the numerous trials they have handled may be too litigious. Tread carefully and strike the right balance.

6. Will You Be Advocating for Me?

Many family law attorneys hire associate lawyers to help with their caseload. These associates are usually recent law school graduates who work under the guidance of a senior divorce lawyer. Sometimes, the lawyer you hire will delegate responsibilities to an associate attorney.

While some clients have no problem with this arrangement, others may feel more confident knowing that the lawyer they are talking to will actually handle their case. It is best to be clear about this aspect. So, choose carefully.

7.  How Often Will You Communicate with Me and What Is Your Preferred Mode of Communication?

Lawyers are busy people, and some may ask their associates or junior lawyers to communicate with their clients. Hence, in your initial consultation, ask your prospective attorney about how often they will be able to talk to you.

Most lawyers use email as their preferred mode of communication as it is quick and private. Some clients prefer to talk to their attorney face-to-face or on call rather than on email. You should consider all these aspects and look for a lawyer who communicates at the frequency and uses the mode you prefer

8. What Are Your Fees?

Divorces are the costly affair. It is always better to find out beforehand how much your divorce will end up costing in totality. Some cases can drag on for years, so you need have clear information on how it will affect you financially. Find out:

  • Will your lawyer charge a fixed fee or by the hour?
  • What services will the hourly charges include?
  • How often will the billing be done?
  • Do they have different rates for time spent in and out of court?
  • Do they ask for a retainer after hiring? If yes, what will the amount be?


Going through a divorce can be challenging. Having a supportive attorney to guide you through the complex legal maze can be highly comforting. Hiring the right lawyer is crucial if you want to go through the divorce process with your rights protected and head held high. Hopefully, asking the above questions will help you narrow down your search and find an experienced divorce lawyer in Minnesota to advocate on your behalf.

Reach out to Our Skilled Divorce Lawyer in Minnesota

The final outcome of a divorce case can have a lasting and considerable impact on your rights. It is crucial to have qualified legal counsel to protect your financial and parental rights throughout the divorce process. Feel free to connect with us at (855) 976-2444 for a free consultation. You can also contact us with your queries via our short website form. We will get back to you at the earliest.

What Does Primary Physical Custody Mean In Minnetonka, MN

The outcome of a child custody case can have a huge impact on the daily life of both parents. If you have children and are planning to get a divorce in Minnetonka or are already going through one, you need to understand how child custody works in Minnesota.

Of course, you can always consult an experienced custody lawyer in Minnetonka about the legal options available to you in your unique circumstances. However, it is a good idea to acquaint yourself with the basics of securing a custody plan that agrees with you and your children.

Child Custody in Minnetonka, Minnesota

Two types of child custody arrangements exist in Minnesota state:

  • Physical custody
  •  Legal custody

Physical custody refers “the routine daily care and control and the residence of the child.” It means having the legal right to make decisions regarding the child’s daily life. The parent who has physical custody typically lives with the child, or decides where the child will live. This parent performs all the regular duties associated with determining how the child spends his/her day.

The term primary physical custody is often used in child custody orders for the parent with whom a child spends the majority of their time. In such cases, both parents have a right to the children, but one parent has more time with his/her child than the other. The child generally lives with the primary custodian, while the non-custodial parent is given visitation rights.

Legal custody is the right and the obligation of a parent to make broader and less tangible decisions pertaining to the child’s upbringing. This includes decisions about the child’s education, religious beliefs, medical care, and more.

In this post, we’ll be focusing on primary physical custody.

How Do Minnesota Courts Work out Child Custody Matters?

Child custody issues arise most commonly in situations when a divorcing couple has children. However, this issue can also arise in other circumstances, like when a child is being looked after by a non-parent or when a child gets involved in the juvenile court system.

Parents who agree on a custody arrangement proceed to file a document called a “stipulation.” The court usually grants them their requests. But when custody is contested, the case goes to either the Family Court when it is related to divorce, or the Juvenile Court when it is related to child protection.

Like all laws, child custody laws also vary by state in Minnesota. The child should have been living in the state of Minnesota with the primary caregiver for at least six months before the case can be filed, unless an exception is made. The court decides the custody arrangements in keeping with the best interests of the child.

Several considerations, such as each parent’s availability, relationship with the child, and so on come into play here.

If parents are not able to resolve their custody-related disagreements informally, they will have to approach the court. In Minnesota courts, parents can seek custody in two ways:

  • If the couple is married, they can file a summons and petition to initiate divorce proceedings and seek physical custody, or
  • If the couple is divorced or separated or never married, but the paternity of the child has been established, a petition or motion can be filed for custody in the county where the child lives or where the court has already issued a custody order previously.

In both cases, one parent will need to submit a written petition or motion to the other parent so that both have the opportunity to explain their respective side of the story to the judge if a hearing is scheduled.

Child custody issues are tied with state laws. Hence, cases where parents and children live in different states are complex to deal with. Fortunately, Minnesota statute encourages cooperation between courts within and outside the state. There are set provisions that enable the sharing of evidence between states. For a clearer understanding of how this works, you should consult a qualified Minnesota child custody attorney.

Important Considerations at Play

As mentioned, Minnesota courts decide on child custody based on the best interests of the child. The courts take into consideration the evidence presented as well as each of the following 13 factors in their decision:

The requests of the parents

  • The preference of the child, if the court considers the child to be of sufficient age to express their desire
  • The primary caretaker of the child
  • The child’s closeness with each parent
  • The quality of interaction and relationship of the child with parents, siblings, and any other person who may impact the best interests of the child
  • The child’s adjustment to home, school, and community
  • The duration of time the child has lived in a stable family environment, and the interest in its continuity
  • The permanence of the existing or proposed custodial home
  • The physical and mental health of everyone involved
  • The child’s cultural background
  • The history of domestic abuse in the family, if any
  • Each parent’s ability to give provide the child with affection, guidance, education, and teach the child about the family culture, religion, and creed, if any
  • Each parent’s ability and willingness to encourage and allow interaction between the child and the other parent (unless domestic violence is involved)


The process of obtaining physical custody of a child can be complex and demanding. Fortunately, you need not go through it alone; legal help is always available. An experienced custody lawyer in Minnetonka can be your best ally and guide you through the legal maze, handle the necessary paperwork in court, and build your case from the ground up. After all, when your children are involved, you don’t want to leave anything to chance.

Get Legal Guidance from an Aggressive Child Custody Lawyer in Minnetonka, Minnesota

Don’t get lost in the labyrinth of legal paperwork, processes, and jargon when dealing with a child custody matter. Leave it to the experts. The team of experienced custody lawyers in Minnetonka at Carlson and Jones, P.A. will work diligently to bring you positive outcomes. Call us on (855) 976-2444 for a free consultation of your case. You can also contact us with your queries through our website.


What Does A Criminal Defense Lawyer Do in Brainerd, MN

In Minnesota, crimes vary from misdemeanors to felonies, and so do the punishments they carry. While for some misdemeanors and first-time offenses, you may get away with fines and/or community service, a significant crime can land you in prison. As a result, you need to represent yourself in the best possible manner in front of the judge and jury.

That’s where a professional criminal defense attorney comes in.

With the help of a seasoned lawyer, you can navigate the complicated and confusing US criminal law system easily. They can help identify, organize, and present facts related to your case that may end up reducing your punishment or even getting you acquitted.

Here’s what an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Brainerd, MN can do for you.

1. Help You Understand Criminal Law

As mentioned, criminal law in US (state and federal) is vast and complicated, which can be confusing for most commoners. Criminal attorneys not only have the educational qualifications to understand the law, but also have first-hand experience in dealing with every aspect of it in court.

As they know the law thoroughly, a criminal defense lawyer can help you understand the legal aspects of your case. They can also help you know which loopholes in the law can help you get the most desirable outcome, depending on the circumstances of your case.

They also know about the local laws, court procedures, police, prosecutors, and judges. This information can help reduce the nuisance involved in dealing with a criminal charge.

2. Investigate Your Case Further

Your criminal defense lawyers will investigate your case further to see if they can unearth useful facts. The lawyer will talk to the police officers handling your case, eyewitnesses (if they are involved), and anyone else related to your case.

Your lawyer may also talk to the witnesses to crosscheck the facts mentioned in their testimony. If the investigators appointed by your lawyer find any loopholes in the testimonies presented by the witnesses, your case may not even go to trial.

Moreover, your lawyer will review the legal processes to see if they can find any inconsistencies that can help thwart the charges against you. For example, if you were arrested without a probable cause, the charges against you may get dropped. However, only the best criminal defense attorney can understand how probable cause is defined in your jurisdiction and whether there are any loopholes in your case.

3. Double-Checking the Evidence

When investigating your case, your criminal attorney will also double-check the evidence being presented against you. Most lawyers will not only study the facts and theories related to your case’s evidence, they may also rope in expert witnesses to offer a different point of view than the prosecution.

Your experienced criminal defense lawyer in Brainerd, MN, may also hire a private detective to find any useful facts. However, these actions will be taken based on how serious your criminal offense is. For example, a simple DUI may not require independent evidence analysis, but an aggravated assault charge certainly will.

4. Negotiate to Get You a Better Deal

Most criminal cases, especially the ones involving minor offense, are less likely to go to trial. Usually, the prosecution will try to negotiate a deal with the defendant. However, the plea bargain will not be in your favor unless your lawyer is involved.

In other words, even if you want to go for a plea bargain, having a criminal defense lawyer on your side is a good idea. As the lawyer knows the state and the local law and premises of your case, they can help bring down the punishment by a great extent.

5. Defend Your Case If It Goes to Trial

If your case goes to trial, your lawyer will prepare your defense and represent you in the court. You and your attorney can work together to come up with the best defense strategy after evaluating the facts related to your case.

Usually, during a trial, your experienced criminal defense lawyer in Brainerd, MN, will fill out your paperwork, introduce any new evidence on your behalf, submit court applications and requests, and take care of case-related paperwork.

Other important responsibilities include interviewing witnesses, taking their cross on the stand, making opening and closing statements, and jury selection. As the lawyer understands the intricacies involved in a criminal trial, self-representation may not be the best way to defend yourself. 


When it comes to fighting a criminal charge in Minnesota, having an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Brainerd, MN on your side can help you turn the outcome of your case in your favor. But most importantly, your lawyer will make you feel confident enough to not give up. Hopefully, reading about these five benefits will encourage you to take the right step.

Call Our Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer in Brainerd, MN

Fighting a criminal charge is easier said than done. However, calling an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Brainerd, MN, like Carlson & Sons is the first step towards getting the best possible outcome in your case. Call us on (855) 976-2444 for a free consultation or contact us online to see how we can help.


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Buffalo Lawyers

215 East Highway 55, Suite 201
Buffalo, MN 55313

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Brainerd Lawyers

17025 Commercial Park Rd, Suite 2
Brainerd, MN 56401

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114 Main Street North
Hutchinson, MN 55350

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Phone: (320) 289-4761
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3911 Ridgedale Dr, Suite 404E
Minnetonka, MN 55305

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Phone: (952) 260-9640
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