As divorce is a very emotional and difficult time for most, it is very difficult to be objective in dealing with and resolving issues that arise in a dissolution proceeding. It is therefore especially beneficial to seek the advice of an experienced family law attorney who can help you understand your legal rights and advise you on the steps to take to protect your interests and accomplish your goals in the divorce. An experienced divorce attorney in Woodbury who can look at the situation objectively can greatly assist in resolving matters with less acrimony and less expense then if the parties allow their emotions to cause unnecessary delays and lead to uncompromising positions or taking action that is contrary to their best interests. Even if money is tight, choosing to do without legal representation can wind up being more costly in the long-run, and with less successful results to show for it. There have been recent efforts to simplify filing for a divorce, and there are forms available to prepare and submit to the Court to obtain a dissolution. However, to attempt to proceed with these forms without obtaining legal advice is extremely hazardous and can lead to additional delays and difficulties. The laws in Minnesota are complex concerning a party’s rights regarding child custody, parenting time, visitation, child support, spousal maintenance, marital assets, non-marital property, division of pension and retirement assets, division of debts, attorneys’ fees, and other important issues that are critical to finalizing a divorce. In most cases, it is critical to retain, or at the very least consult with, an attorney to assist you with your divorce. This is especially true if you have children, own real estate, have a disparity in income with your spouse, have brought significant assets into the marriage, have a disability or health issues, have incurred substantial debt, or have been married more than a couple of years. There have been numerous recent major changes in Minnesota law concerning divorce, child support, custody and other issues, and it is important that you consult and obtain legal advice from a divorce lawyer who has experience and has practiced for a substantial period of time in family law in Minnesota. Most judges strongly encourage parties to consult with legal counsel before entering into settlements.