The practice of family law does not just involve situations of discord where relationships and families are breaking apart. Many of our clients plan to enter into new relationships and hope to build their families. When entering into a new relationship, clients often want to memorialize future expectations and protect their assets and finances in the event things don’t work out as planned.  We have experience helping couples enter into well-drafted and creative cohabitation, prenuptial, and postnuptial agreements. Oftentimes, clients want to establish and legally solidify a pre-existing or new parent/child relationship. These processes are often complex and many family law attorneys view this as an area of law they would prefer to avoid. The attorneys in Messerli Kramer’s Family Law group have no such hesitation in helping clients form families in the most complex of situations. We represent clients with all varieties of adoptions, whether involving an infant, a foster child, or a stepchild; and if the adoption is within Minnesota, another state or even another country. We have experience working with families considering assisted reproduction and surrogacy as a way to build their family, whether that includes drafting contracts for the donation of genetic material or working with a gestational carrier or traditional surrogate. We also assist in legally establishing third-party custody arrangements for grandparents or other relatives caring for a child whose parents cannot, and when an order from the family court is needed to recognize and legally protect that caregiving relationship. No matter is too complex for the experienced team of Family Law attorneys at Messerli Kramer.

Representative Experience

  • Represented adoptive parents, foster parents, birth parents, children, and adoption agencies involved in all kinds of adoptions—from simple step-parent, relative, and adult adoptions—to complex state ward adoptions involving foster children and governmental entities; interstate and direct placement adoptions; international adoptions; and litigated adoptions.

  • Represented many intended parents, gestational carriers, traditional surrogates, and donors of genetic material in a whole variety of assisted reproduction matters, including drafting complex contracts to address all aspects of assisted reproduction, assisting in legal proceedings to establish parentage through a variety of legal proceedings in various judicial venues, and helping to protect clients’ stored genetic material in the event of death or divorce.
  • Represented gay and lesbian clients over the years in various family law issues, including drafting cohabitation agreements, litigating complex and challenging custody and parenting time issues, completing many second parent adoptions before the adoption code specifically allowed for these, and now working with same sex couples to address their family law needs in a post Obergefel (legalized same sex marriage) world.


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