Family Law

Experienced, Accessible, & Affordable

When you hire CC&S, you are not just hiring an attorney, you are gaining an advocate and partner to help you navigate one of the most difficult times in your life. We pride ourselves in providing effective, skilled representation while keeping the costs at a minimum. Our lawyers have experience handling a wide variety of cases ranging from simple divorce to complex asset divisions. Contact our office to discuss your case today.

Marriage Dissolution/Divorce

If you are considering divorce, this can be a scary and emotional time. Often individuals are uncertain what will happen if they proceed with a divorce, and need help to understand their options. Minnesota is a no-fault state, which means that either person can request the Court to end a marriage without providing a reason for doing so. In some circumstances a legal separation may be the best course of action. Our experienced family attorneys are ready to listen to your concerns and can help you with all issues of marriage dissolution including Legal Separation, Child Support, Child Custody, Alimony, Parenting Time, Division of Real Property, Division of Assets, and Small Business Valuation and Division.


One of the most critical aspects of divorce involving families with children is where the children will live and how much time they will spend with each parent.  In determining the type of custody and parenting time, it is often difficult to establish a schedule that meets the needs of each parent and serves the best interests of the children.  In some cases, custody decisions can be decided through mediation. In difficult cases, Court involvement is required. Our attorneys are familiar with the Minnesota Best Interest Standard and will empower you to pursue the solution that is best for you and your family. We can also assist with other legal aspects of custody such as establishing paternity.

Child Support

Under current Minnesota law, child support guidelines are based on the gross income of both parents, as well as the parenting time established. We understand that child support obligations have huge implications for both parents, and we can help ensure that your financial obligations will be calculated appropriately. As circumstances in your life change, they may require modifications to your child support arrangement, so an ongoing relationship with your attorney is key. When a parent fails to make timely child support payments, CC&S can step in and file enforcement actions.

Spousal Maintenance/Alimony

When married, partners often combine incomes to support their household. If incomes differ substantially, one spouse may be considered the “supporting spouse” and the other spouse is considered the “dependent spouse.” After a divorce, the supporting spouse may pay spousal maintenance, commonly referred to as alimony, to support the dependent spouse on either a temporary or permanent basis. An award of alimony may also include transfer of title or possession of personal or real property. The attorneys at CC&S are experienced in determining and settling alimony payments, and can provide realistic advice on spousal maintenance.

Property Division

In almost every dissolution it is necessary for the parties to face the difficult task of dividing the property they shared and collected during the marriage. In Minnesota the Court divides marital property equitably based on a number of factors such as the relative earning contributions and earning potential of each spouse. The division of property can become complex when parties argue over the value of the property and whether the property is “marital” or “non-marital”. We will work with you to take a creative and realistic approach to the division of your personal property, real estate and assets.

Orders for Protection

Your safety is a priority. If you are in relationship where physical, emotional or sexual abuse has occurred, you can ask the Court for help and protection. An Order for Protection orders your abuser to refrain from further acts of abuse or violence towards you or your children. It can also prevent your abuser from entering your home or workplace, and protect your children by restricting parenting time or providing temporary custody. Please contact us to learn more about obtaining an Order for Protection. If, at any time, you fear for your immediate safety or the safety of your children, call 911. 

Start on Your Path Forward Today

CC&S is here to help you navigate the legal process of divorce, child custody and the resulting financial obligations. You can count on our knowledgeable staff to answer your questions promptly during business hours. Call our office at 763-561-2800 or contact us online.

Family Law Attorneys

Ellen Schreder

Ellen M. Schreder

Managing Partner

Ellen began her career by representing our firm’s municipal clients, and has since built the firm’s family law practice. She now spends approximately one-half of her time serving as a neutral in all types of family law matters, as a mediator, early neutral evaluator, parenting consultant and parenting time expediter.

Dawn Speltz

Dawn E. Speltz


Dawn works in all areas of family law, including divorce, child custody, paternity, asset division, child support and domestic abuse. She is also a qualified rule 114 neutral, providing a variety of ADR services including early neutral evaluation as well as parenting consultant services.

Peggy Larkin

Peggy Larkin


Peggy provides legal services to our firm’s municipal clients in criminal and civil matters and assists private clients in creditors’ remedies cases, criminal defense, estate planning, special education law, and family law.

Alina Headshot (2)

Alina Stevenson

Associate Attorney

Alina received her Bachelor’s Degree in History from the Gustavus Adolphus College in 2012. Following her undergraduate education, she completed two years of service with AmeriCorps. Alina graduated with her Juris Doctorate from University of Oregon School of Law in 2017.