The takeaway message is that the rule is strict – Unless an exception applies, if initiating parties do not file a “Certificate of Settlement Efforts” in a timely way, they run the risk of not getting their day in court.

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Staying focused on what is best for the child reduces the chance of frequent disputes after the case is closed.

Times have changed for the better for resolving family legal disputes.

The “settlement conference” can be requested in person, by phone, or in writing.

It is not necessary that an agreement (settlement) actually be reached – only that the initiating party make efforts to settle before the court date.

Communication is key and clients feel heard and well-informed throughout the proceeding.

From start to finish, Kathleen invests in getting it right the first time so parties can move in a positive direction after the matter is resolved.

Mediation or other alternative dispute resolution methods are not always appropriate.

For example, when domestic abuse has occurred which creates an imbalance of power, the abused party might be intimidated into settling.

Today, parties are more likely to settle amicably with the help of trained mediators and collaborative or cooperative practices.

These “alternative dispute resolution” strategies reduce the stress of being in an adversarial process and are less costly if both parties are committed to reaching an agreement.

Murphy is licensed to practice in Minnesota and accepts cases regarding: [ Return to Top ] As the principal attorney and owner of this firm, Kathleen Murphy provides high quality legal representation that is reasonably priced.