The Best Resources for Minnesota Father's Rights
Finding solid resources to your rights as a Minnesota father is an overwhelming task that often leads to money for answers. Thankfully, the best resources containing the most valuable information to help you on your father's rights journey in Minnesota charge no fee. These resources help father's find out what rights they have, and help father's enforce those rights.
Minnesota's Courts Self Help Center
If you are intending on fighting the good fight alone, minnesotacourts.gov will provide you with self-help assitance for your parenting case. This center will guide you through the paperwork that is necessary for your case, and walk you through every step of the process. The areas included in the self-help center include child custody, parenting time, child support and paternity.
What if I Can't Afford to File the Paperwork?
If your income is below 125% of the federal poverty level, or you receive any kind of public assistance, you can file a fee waiver (in forma pauperis) with the courts to have the filing charges waived.
The I-CAN program is an online program that will assist you with the completion of this waiver, or you may fill out the forms manually. To access both the forms and the I-CAN program, please follow the link below.
Office of the Revisor of Statutes
The Minnesota State Legislature Office of the Revisor Statutes contains Minnesota Statutes 2013 Chapters 517 - 519A, which is every Minnesota domestic relations law including the Child Support, Uniform Interstate Family Support Act, Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, and the Married Persons Rights and Privileges law. This is very detailed information if you need to dig deeper for your case.
Minnesota's Fathers' Adoption Registry
The Minnesota Department of Health is home to the Minnesota's Fathers' Adoption Registry. Here you can register as a punitive father if you were unmarried to your child's mother when your child was born, and paternity was never established in court. If your child is ever placed for adoption you will be notified as long as you are listed on the registry.
Informational Family Law Clinics
Minnesota family law clinics are conducted by family law attorneys. These attorneys advise fathers about their rights, and address their concerns regarding paternity, custody, parenting time, child support and related fathers rights issues.
To find out when the next family law clinic is in your area and register for a session, please call 763-783-4938.
At LawHelpMN.org you have free access to Minnesota's most recent state parenting laws written in understandable terms that are easy-to-read. The "Unmarried Fathers’ Guide to Paternity, Custody, Parenting Time and Child Support in Minnesota" is available to read online as a pdf file. This is an up-to-date guide that answers all of your father's rights questions. You will find the most recent version of the Unmarried Father's Guide along with additional valuable information at lawhelpmn.
Access Justice is a not-for-profit, full service law firm in Minnesota that provides quality legal services at no or low cost to people with low- and moderate-income. Their emphasis is social justice matters. They have a broad range of expert law attorneys in many law areas, including Family Law, and match them with the attorney to meet the clients needs.
If you have a difficult case and need attorney representation, and you meet the following guidelines, Access Justice is an invaluable resource to help you gain your rights as a father.
- Priority is given to clients whos income is between 125% and 300% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines (FPG).
- If you fall below those guidelines Access Justice will consider providing legal services to special cases.
- Assets are included in eligibility determination.
- If your income is no more than 250% of the FPG, Access Justice intends to provide pro bono (free) legal services.
- For incomes that fall between 250% - 300% of the FPG a rate between $1 and $99 per hour, based on your income and a fixed or sliding fee rate, will be assessed.
The Father Project is a valuable resource to father's who need additional help with a parenting goal prior to petitioning the court, or for father's who can not afford an attorney and need additional help with their case. These services are available in limited areas of Minnesota including Hennepin County, St. Paul, St. Cloud, Rochester and Park Rapids. The project continues to grow and may still be able to assist you if you are outside of these areas. There are *qualifications that you must meet to receive these services.
Do I qualify to receive services from the Father Project?
To qualify for this program you must meet one goal. You must have a barrier to employment. These barriers include:
- Chronic unemployment
- Dislocated workers
- Recent incarceration
- Lack of education
- Refugee or recent immigrant
- Low-income fathers
- Non-native English speaker
- Alcohol or chemical dependency issues
- At-risk youth or other at-risk individuals
- Physical or mental disabilities
"The FATHER Project’s mission is to assist fathers in overcoming the barriers that prevent them from supporting their children economically and emotionally."
What Services Can the Father Project Offer Me?
Child Support: If you are a Hennepin County resident this service will help with child support payment and paternity issues.
Case Management: Case management services provide expert consultants for your father's issues, and also match you with an advocate that will help you meet your parenting goals.
Employment Services: The Father Project offers comprehensive employment services to help you achieve your employment goals. Employment services provides job search support and will help you develop a professional résumé.
Parenting Support: A variety of parenting classes are available to help you learn basic parenting skills while receiving support from other father's that are trying to meet their parenting goals.
- FATHER Project
The Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota FATHER Project offers services for young fathers that help them support their children financially, emotionally and physically.
DADS in FAMILY COURT Online
Hosted by Yahoo Groups, Dads in Family Court is a group of nearly 4,000 pro-active fathers asserting their interest in family law reform. More directly, parental rights, child custody and child support laws.
By accessing the main forum of this group you can view endless intelligence only sharing, and substantive opinions about case law written with the purpose to well-inform fathers on parenting and political action. The case law and legislation they critically discuss is aimed at helping men enrich the relationship with their child(ren) by helping them meet their parenting goals. This group is free, relying only on your active participation to make this network (that is already the largest Family Law network) even stronger.
This is a great resource for father's to receive knowledgeable and detailed answers to parenting rights questions, and help other fathers by sharing the knowledge you have learned so far on your parenting mission.
What Should I do if I Need More Help or Still Have Unanswered Questions?
You are now equipped with the best resources available to help you with your parenting goals. If some of the information is difficult to understand, or your case is complicated, please contact a fathers' rights attorney and ask for free legal advice. Most attorneys will help to clarify any questions that you may have without charging a fee.
© 2013 Rachael Ryhn