Long-Overdue Family Law Updates Pass Minnesota Senate

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Early Saturday morning, the Minnesota Senate passed House File 3204, a bill updating multiple provisions of Minnesota’s family law statute. Authored by Senator Bonnie Westlin (DFL – Plymouth), a family law attorney, this legislation is the most consequential and impactful family law bill to pass in recent memory. It requires courts to prioritize and expedite certain temporary hearings, provides much-needed clarification regarding spousal maintenance, and includes the Uniform Parentage Act, also known as “Logan’s Law.”

Highlights from the bill include:

  • Provides accelerated access to temporary court hearings if a parent has been deprived of parenting time for 14 days or longer or a party requires access to financial resources or support during a proceeding.
  • Provides stronger remedies for unjustified denial of parenting time, including compensatory parenting time.
  • Emphasizes the current 25% statutory parenting time baseline as a floor, not a ceiling.
  • Adds a child’s mental health and safety to a court’s considerations in parenting time proceedings.
  • Affirms that children born through assisted reproduction technology have a clear path to establishing parentage and that a donor is not a parent of a child conceived by assisted reproduction. These provisions may be referred to as “Logan’s Law.”
  • Changes the terms in antenuptial contracts (also called prenuptial contracts), making them gender neutral.

“Children and families deserve this legislation to modernize Minnesota family law statutes,” said Senator Westlin. “The bill represents a significant amount of work, and with my background in family law, I was excited to move these provisions forward to clarify and update statutes for Minnesota’s courts and families. I am proud to have led this legislation to an entirely bipartisan vote in the Senate.”

Provisions in this bill have garnered supporters such as the Minnesota State Bar Association, the Minnesota Chapter of the National Parents Organization, OutFront Minnesota, and the Uniform Law Commission. The bill passed the Senate on a bipartisan vote of 62-0. You can view the entire floor debate here. 

Senator Bonnie Westlin represents Senate District 42 which includes Maple Grove, Medicine Lake, and Plymouth. She is vice chair of the Elections Committee and serves on the Education Finance Committee and the Judiciary and Public Safety Committee.

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