Father-Focused, Family-First,
Fostering Your Future.

The Legal Dad, Fathers’ Rights Lawyer in Minnesota Using Firsthand Knowledge of the Legal System to Help Fathers

Ending a relationship can be upsetting for anyone, but it’s particularly devastating for fathers who face the threat of never seeing their children again. After all, the family law system has long been known to favor mothers over fathers. However, that doesn’t mean you should give up on the desire to pursue your parental rights and maintain your bond with your children. Instead, you should hire a lawyer to stand up for your rights.

At The Legal Dad, our attorney once stood where you are, uncertain about his legal rights as a father and heartbroken at the thought of never seeing his child again after divorce. That’s why he’s passionate about protecting fathers’ rights in Minnesota as he guides clients through everything from paternity concerns to child custody issues. If you’re ready to get legal support from a caring fathers’ rights lawyer in Minnesota, contact The Legal Dad today.

How May We Help You?
father and his two children

What Legal Issues Can Our Lawyer Handle for Minnesota Fathers?

Whether you’re going through a breakup or divorce, you’ll need guidance from a lawyer who can assist with petitioning the court, completing paperwork, meeting deadlines for your case, and more. Even if you and your child’s mother agree on critical legal issues like visitation and child support, having a skilled lawyer review your agreements will ensure you’re not about to sign away any parental rights.

It’s even more important to hire an attorney when you and the mother disagree on critical legal issues, which is the case for most clients. If you need advice on handling matters involving paternity, child support, alimony, and more, The Legal Dad is here for you. Our goal is to protect your rights as a father so you have the best chance of staying in your child’s life, which is why you should contact us before your case begins.


Do You Have to Prove Paternity Before Seeking Custody?

Only a legal parent can seek custody or visitation with their child. If you’re married to your child’s mother, Minnesota’s legal system considers you the father, giving you the right to request parenting time in your divorce case.

However, if you’re not married to your child’s mother, you must prove paternity before exercising your parental rights. A skilled lawyer can guide you through this process, which will vary depending on whether the child’s mother agrees that you’re the father. If she does, you can sign a Recognition of Parentage form to establish your parental rights. If the mother claims you’re not the father, undergoing genetic testing will provide you with accurate answers. Either way, The Legal Dad team can help with every step of your paternity case.

father and daughter photo
Meet your Attorney
Padraic D. Walsh attorney

Padraic Walsh

The Legal Dad was started by Padraic D. Walsh, who saw a need for a kinder approach to legal matters after going through his own contentious divorce and custody case. He knows firsthand how devastating it is to be told you’ll never see your child again, so he’s dedicated to helping fathers with family law issues they might face after ending their relationship with their child’s mother.

When you hire The Legal Dad, you’ll have a compassionate lawyer on your side reminding you of your rights and providing regular case updates.

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Do Mothers Have More Rights Than Fathers According to Minnesota Law?

The legal system states that mothers and fathers have equal rights as parents, and the judge cannot favor mothers when making decisions regarding custody, visitation, or other issues. Of course, it doesn’t always feel like this, especially when unmarried mothers are automatically given custody of their child at birth while fathers must prove paternity to seek the same rights.

However, keep in mind that you’re entitled to the same parental rights as mothers in Minnesota, regardless of what your child’s mother has said about your rights as a father. If she has threatened to keep your child from you out of spite or has made baseless accusations to get her way in court, you need a lawyer on your side to fight back within the legal system. Contact The Legal Dad for support from a compassionate attorney who will defend your rights as a father.

father and his child photo
Children Come First
Your love for your children is the reason you’re seeking legal help, and Padraic understands this. He goes into every case with a calm, positive mindset focused on getting the best outcome for your children rather than using aggressive tactics to win.
Free Initial Consultations
Every client is entitled to a free 30-minute phone call to discuss the basics of the case. During this meeting, we’ll determine if Padraic is the right legal representative for you. We look forward to your phone call to our Minneapolis law firm at your convenience.
Personal Experience
Our lawyer, Padraic, can be comforting and effective in legal cases because he’s walked the same path as his clients. He knows what it’s like to be told you won’t see your child after divorce, so he works tirelessly to ensure you don’t have to accept this threat to your parental rights.
Always On Your Side
We understand that fathers need someone in their corner, offering supportive words and reminding them of their rights in the court system. At a time when you feel like the cards are stacked against you in favor of the mother, our team is here for you.
Experience in All Areas of Family Law
Our practice areas span a wide range, ensuring you can get support for every aspect of your family law case. We have years of experience working on cases involving paternity, child custody, child support, domestic violence, property division, and more.
Compassionate and Supportive
Padraic remembers how it feels to worry about losing custody and visitation rights, so he’s sensitive to the needs of fathers seeking legal help. You can look forward to a sympathetic ear at every meeting, followed by an update on your case and advice on preparing for the next step.
Why Choose Us?
divorce lawyer

What Makes The Legal Dad Different from Other Attorneys?

When you contact The Legal Dad for support with your case, you’ll find that we take a different approach than many other firms do. While we’ll stand firm when it comes to your rights as a dad, we focus on being prepared, strategic, and kind rather than aggressive or antagonistic. After all, the goal of your case is not to be the loudest or most upset, but to let the facts speak for themselves so you can show that it’s in your child’s best interests to remain in your life.

Another factor that makes us unique is that our attorney, Padraic, was once in the same situation as his clients. As a father going through a divorce, he was threatened with the loss of having his son in his life. While fighting for his parental rights in court, he found himself running out of money and feeling distraught. This experience led Padraic to complete law school so he could represent fathers while maintaining a compassionate, empathetic attitude throughout the legal process.

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Contact The Legal Dad for Guidance Through Your Divorce

If you’re tired of feeling defeated when you think about your upcoming court case, we urge you to contact The Legal Dad for help. Our attorney understands your situation firsthand because he’s been there in the past, and now he wants to be there for you as you assert your rights as a father. Call our Minnesota law office at 612-712-3405 for a free initial consultation today.

The Legal Dad is conveniently located right off I-35W. Northeast Park and Beltrami Park are 3 minutes away, while Father Hennepin Bluff Park is 7 minutes from our office. Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) is a 17-minute drive from us.

divorcing couple photo
Frequently Asked Questions
What if I can’t afford child support payments?

You must contribute financially to the expenses of raising your child, so if you cannot afford your payments anymore, you’ll need to provide evidence of a significant change. For instance, if you lost your job or were demoted and do not make the same income anymore, you can ask the court to modify your child support payments. However, the custodial parent can also request an increase in the amount if there is a substantial increase in your income or the child’s expenses. A fathers’ rights lawyer in Minnesota can help with this legal issue.

What are the child custody options in Minnesota?

If you’re pursuing custody of your child, you can seek legal custody, physical custody, or both. Legal custody lets you make critical decisions about your child’s healthcare, education, religion, and other vital issues. Physical custody means you provide the child’s housing, clothing, food, and overall care. You can share these types of custody with the other parent or take steps to be the sole custodial parent. Your lawyer will advise you on the custody arrangement to pursue in your case.

Why would I need to prove paternity?

If you’re married to your child’s mother, you won’t need to establish paternity. However, if you’re unmarried and didn’t sign a Recognition of Parentage form when your child was born, you’re likely not considered the legal father. This means you can’t pursue visitation or custody, which is why you should prove paternity to remain in your child’s life. Another reason to determine paternity is if a woman claims you’re the father of her child and need to pay child support, and you doubt her claim. DNA testing can give you an accurate answer.

What are the requirements for filing for divorce in Minnesota?

To initiate a divorce in this state, you or your spouse have to have lived in Minnesota for at least 180 days. If this is the case, you can file divorce paperwork in the county where one or both of you live. Note that you’re not required to have lived separately for a specific amount of time like in some states. You can file any time if you meet the residency requirement. Additionally, this is a no-fault state, so your ground for divorce can be an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.

Will I need to pay alimony?

If you make significantly more money than your wife and she cannot financially support herself without your income, you’ll likely be ordered to pay alimony when you get divorced. The amount will depend on various details, such as a comparison of your income to hers, her future earning capacity, and both of your living expenses. In most cases, alimony is temporary, meaning you’ll likely be ordered to pay it only until your wife attains the education and job skills to support herself.

What is marital property?

Property division in Minnesota involves equitably dividing marital assets. This means you and your spouse will divide any assets either of you acquired while married. Exceptions include your inheritance from a family member and any gifts given only to you, as you can keep these. You can also typically keep any non-marital property that you entered the marriage with. A skilled property division lawyer in Minnesota can clarify which assets are marital and must be shared with your wife during the divorce process.

Is a military divorce different from a civilian divorce?

While the Minnesota divorce process is similar to the standard divorce, there are unique guidelines to follow if you or your spouse are in the military. For instance, if one spouse is deployed, the other spouse must wait until they return to serve them with divorce papers or initiate any other civil actions. In addition, custody and visitation orders must take into account the deployment of the active-duty parent so they have access to fair parenting time when they return home. These important differences are why you should hire a military divorce lawyer who has handled cases like yours.

What is parental alienation?

If your child claims they don’t want to spend time with you after you divorce their mother, this may be due to parental alienation. This means the other parent has been making terrible claims about you to the child, to the point where the child is afraid to be alone with you. Examples of extreme parental alienation include the mother trying to convince the child you’re guilty of domestic violence, child abuse, or other horrifying accusations. If you suspect parental alienation is to blame for your child not wanting to see you, contact a Minnesota fathers’ rights lawyer for legal assistance.