Michael P. Boulette

Attorney

Minneapolis

612-672-3639

mboulette@messerlikramer.com

Assistant: Amy Stewart

612-672-3658

Profile

Clients facings uniquely challenging family situations seek out Mike Boulette as a creative and meticulous legal advocate. Mike has spent his career litigating high-stakes divorce and family law cases, regularly handling multi-million dollar estates involving closely-held businesses, complex valuation issues, fraud and concealed assets, executive benefits, trusts, and inherited wealth. Mike also guides clients through the unique complexities of high-conflict child custody cases, often centering on allegations of abuse, alienation, or serious mental illness. Mike’s clients have included business owners, public figures, entrepreneurs, C-suite executives, high-net-worth families, medical and legal professionals, and their spouses.

Because of Mike’s unique knowledge of family law, he has also been engaged as family law appellate counsel on cases before both the Minnesota Court of Appeals and the Minnesota Supreme Court.

Whether at the trial or appellate level, Mike brings deep professional knowledge and experience to each case, and devotes substantial time to improving the practice of family law in Minnesota. He is a sought-after media commentator on divorce and child custody issues, appearing in the Fiscal Times, Forbes.com, the Star Tribune, and the Wall Street Journal. Mike also regularly serves as faculty at continuing education seminars for judges, lawyers, and mediators, as well as an adjunct law professor teaching family law at the University of St. Thomas School of Law.

Mike authors family-in-law.com, a blog covering family law trends, as well Minnesota Family Law, a definitive practice guide on Minnesota divorce, child custody, and family law.

Mike’s accomplishments have been recognized across the legal community. He has been selected for inclusion as a Minnesota Best Lawyer, a Minnesota Super Lawyer’s® Rising Star, and recognized by Martindale Hubbell® as AV Preeminent for the highest level of legal excellence.

Representative Experience
  • Represented numerous clients at the Minnesota Court of Appeals and Minnesota Supreme Court on matters including spousal maintenance; First Amendment free speech and religious liberty issues; third-party custody; dissipation of assets; business valuation; and custody and parenting time.

  • Represented real estate investors and hotel owners in valuation and division of property in excess of $50 million.

  • Negotiated spousal buy-outs on behalf of closely-held business owners and entrepreneurs to preserve business liquidity, profitability, and operational control.

  • Defended client’s interest in valuable irrevocable, family trust against claims for equitable division, spousal maintenance and child support.

  • Represented client in obtaining nearly $100,000 in relief after spouse attempted to conceal marital assets prior to and during divorce.

  • Represented successful medical professionals and their spouses in dividing interests in nuanced incentive plans and valuation and division of interests in medical practice.

  • Represented celebrities and public figures with divorce and other family law matters while maximizing clients’ privacy and limiting risk of public exposure.

  • Represented parents in complex child custody cases involving allegations of sexual and domestic abuse; severe mental illness; chemical dependency; and diagnoses of borderline, narcissistic, and anti-social personality disorders.

  • Represented business owner in successful contested motion to modify spousal maintenance obligation by nearly 60% after several past denials.

  • Protected millions of dollars in clients’ inherited and premarital wealth through detailed expert tracing and discovery.

  • Represented client against spousal maintenance claim in excess of $1 million, resulting in complete denial of spousal maintenance after trial.

  • Prevailed on contested restraining order for a client victimized by online harassment and “doxing,” and received dismissal of the opposing party’s cross-petition for a restraining order.

Publications & Presentations

Publications

  • Author, “Custody and Parenting Time 2017 Case Law Update” – Family Law Institute Case Law Update, Michael Dittberner ed., Minnesota CLE, 2017

  • Author, “The Cohabitation Conundrum: What’s new in Minnesota’s new cohabitation law?” – Bench & Bar of Minnesota, January 2017

  • Author, “A Practitioner’s Guide to Minnesota’s New Child Custody Best Interest Factors” – 9 Wm. Mitchell J. L. & Prac. 1, 2016

  • Author, “Spousal Maintenance 2016 Case Law Update” – Family Law Institute Case Law Update, Michael Dittberner ed., Minnesota CLE, 2016

  • Co-Author, “Summary Guide to Minnesota’s New Family Law’s and Rules” – Minnesota CLE, 2016

  • Author, “Family Law, 14 Minnesota Practice Series” – Thomson Reuters, 2015-2016 edition

  • Co-Author, “Taxes” – The Complete Family Lawyer Quick Answer Book, Minnesota CLE, 2015

  • Co-Author, “Understanding the Uniform Deployed Parents Custody and Visitation Act—MN Stat. 518E“ – Parents Forever Fact Sheet, University of Minnesota Extensions, 2015

  • Author, “5 Reasons Every Millennial Needs a Prenup” – The Indie Chick Magazine, September 2015

  • Author, “Married? Like it or Not, You Have a Prenup” – The Good Men Project, September 2015

  • Author, “Beware the Pre-Divorce Facebook Clean-Up” – Citations, Vol. VII (a publication of the Minnesota Paralegal Association), July 2015

  • Co-Author, “When Legal Concepts Collide: Custody, Guardianship, and Minnesota Law” – Bench & Bar of Minnesota, Vol. LXXII, Number IV, April 2015

  • Founder/Author, Family-In-Law, a blog following trends and developments primarily in Minnesota family law, 2015

  • Co-Author, “Custody and Parenting Time: Minnesota Amendments Codify Compromises” – Bench & Bar of Minnesota, Vol. LXXI, Number IX, October 2014

  • Author, “Deciding Children’s Best-Interests: Is it Time for a Parenting Consultant Statute” – The Hennepin Lawyer, Vol. 83, No. 5, May 2014

  • Author, “No Hearing Necessary for Out-of-State Moves (Maybe)” – Hearsay, Vol. XVI, No. 2, February 2014

  • Co-Author, “Lien In: The Use and Abuse of Marital Liens” – Bench & Bar of Minnesota, Vol. LXX, Number IV, July 2013

  • Author, “Collecting Child Support and Maintenance: A New Role for QDROs” – Bench & Bar of Minnesota, Vol. LXIX, Number IX, October 2012

  • Co-Drafter, “Minnesota Model Order for Court-Involved Therapy” – Association for Family and Conciliation Courts, Minnesota Chapter, October 2010

  • Author, “An Apology for the Archbishop: Shari’ah Law and the Jurisprudence of Multiculturalism” – Georgetown Journal of Law & Modern Critical Race Perspectives, 2010

  • Author, “That Kind of Sex Which Doth Prevaile: Shifting Legal Paradigms on the Ontology and Mutability of Sex” – 50 Jurimetrics: The Journal of Law, Science and Technology 329 (peer-reviewed), 2010

  • Author, “Two Concepts of Role-Morality: In Search of a Normative Language of Legal Ethics” – 5 Acta Iuridica Olomucensis 10 (Czech Republic), 2010

  • Author, “Questioning Authority: Just War Theory, Sovereign Authority, and the United Nations” – 10 Vera Lex 145, 2009

Presentations

  • Presenter, “Custody and Parenting Time 2018 Case Law Update” – 39th Annual Family Law Institute, Minnesota CLE, March 2018 (forthcoming)

  • Presenter, “Safe Harbor or Lost at Sea: Effectively Using Safe Harbors to Protect Therapy Records” – Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, Minnesota Chapter, January 2018 (forthcoming)

  • Presenter, “Transforming Your Family Law Practice through Technology: Business Development” – Minnesota State Bar Association, October 2017

  • Presenter, “Preparing for ‘I don’t’: New Landmines in Antenuptial Agreement Drafting and Enforcement” – Hennepin County Bar Association/ Ramsey County Bar Association Family Law Sections, June 2017

  • Presenter, “2017’s Hot Topics in Spousal Maintenance” – First Judicial District Bar Association, May 2017

  • Presenter, “Drafting and Litigating Antenuptial Agreements in a post-Kremer World” – Minnesota CLE Webcast, May 2017

  • Presenter, “Custody and Parenting Time 2017 Case Law Update” – 38th Annual Family Law Institute, Minnesota CLE, March 2017

  • Presenter, “Minnesota’s New Cohabitation Law” – 38th Annual Family Law Institute, Minnesota CLE, March 2017

  • Presenter, “Family Law Legislative Update” – Minnesota State Bar Association, March 2017

  • Presenter, “Litigating Spousal Maintenance in the 21st Century” – 2016 Annual Forum, Collaborative Law Institute of Minnesota, December 2016

  • Moderator & Conference Chair, “What Matters Most in Family Law” – Advanced Family Law Series, Minnesota CLE, December 2016

  • Presenter, “Advanced Issues in Custody and Parenting Time: What Standard is it Anyway?” – Advanced Family Law Series, Minnesota CLE, November 2016

  • Presenter, “What CFP’s Need to Know to Keep Their Clients Happy, Healthy & Wealthy Through Divorce” – 2016 Annual Symposium, Financial Planning Association of Minnesota, October 2016

  • Presenter, “Divorce and the Affordable Care Act: Tips and Tricks for Protecting Your Client and Your Settlement” – Divorce Alliance, October 2016

  • Presenter, “Recap of Minnesota’s New Family Law Statutes and Rules” – 37th Annual Family Law Institute, Minnesota CLE, March 2016

  • Moderator, “Judicial Perspectives on Minnesota’s New Family Law Statutes and Rules in Practice” – 37th Annual Family Law Institute, Minnesota CLE, March 2016

  • Presenter, “Taxes” – The Complete Family Lawyer, 37th Annual Family Law Institute, Minnesota CLE, March 2016

  • Presenter, “Spousal Maintenance 2016 Case Law Update” – 37th Annual Family Law Institute, Minnesota CLE, March 2016

  • Presenter, “Managing High Conflict Parties in Early Neutral Evaluation” – Advanced ENE Training, Fifth Judicial District, February 2016

  • Presenter, “A New Model Order for Court-Involved Therapy” – Court-Involved Therapy for Young Children: When, What, How, Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, Minnesota Chapter, February 2016

  • Moderator, “Ethical Challenges for Professionals Doing Court-Ordered Therapy” – Court-Involved Therapy for Young Children: When, What, How, Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, Minnesota Chapter, February 2016

  • Presenter, “Taxes” – The Complete Family Lawyer, Minnesota CLE, November 2015

  • Presenter, “When Legal Concepts Collide: Custody, Guardianship, and Minnesota Law” – Minnesota CLE Webcast, November 2015

  • Presenter, “Six Family Law Changes You Need to Know” – Hennepin County Bar Association, Family Law Section, November 2015

  • Presenter, “Unpacking Minnesota’s New Best Interest Factors” – Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, Minnesota Chapter, October 2015

  • Presenter, “What Have You Done to My Statute: The New Best Interest Factors” – Divorce Camp, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Minnesota Chapter, September 2015

  • Presenter, “Legislative Session Wrap-Up: Gender-Equity Style” – Minnesota Women’s Consortium and the Legislative Office on the Economic Status of Women, May 2015

  • Presenter, “Custody & Parenting Time: Understanding and Applying Evolving Standards” – Minnesota CLE Webcast, May 2015

  • Presenter, “Handling 5 Critical Financial Issues Related to Children” – 36th Annual Family Law Institute, Minnesota CLE, March 2015

  • Speaker’s Panel Moderator, “Smoke Screen or Fire: Sexual Abuse Allegations in Family Court Part II” -Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, Minnesota Chapter, February 2015

  • Presenter, “Splitting the Baby: 5 Things You Need to Know About the New Changes to Minnesota’s Custody and Parenting Time Statutes” – Minnesota State Bar Association, February 2015

  • Presenter, “Death and Divorce: Where Probate Court Meets Family Court” – Advanced Family Law Seminar, National Business Institute, February 2015

  • Presenter, “Divorce Law Trends and Hot Topics” and “Divorce Under the Affordable Care Act“ – Family Law: ACA, Windsor and More, National Business Institute Webcast, October 2014

  • Presenter, “Family Court and High Conflict Custody Cases: A Roadmap for Professionals” – Understanding the Legal and Ethical Implications of High Conflict Custody Cases, American Institute for the Advancement of Forensic Studies, September 2014

  • Presenter, “Keeping Yourself Relevant in the Legal Field and in Your Area of Expertise” – Minnesota Paralegal Association Annual Convention, June 2014

  • Presenter, “The PC ABC’s: Effectively Using Parenting Consultants in Family Law Practice” – Minnesota State Bar Association, February 2014

  • Presenter, “Legal Responses to Shaken Baby Syndrome”- First Annual Midwest Conference on Shaken Baby Syndrome/ Abusive Head Trauma, The American Institute for the Advancement of Forensic Studies, February 2014

  • Moderator, “Parenting Consulting: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” – Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, Minnesota Chapter, January 2014

  • Presenter, “Family Law Series: Lien In -The Use and Abuse of Marital Liens” – Minnesota CLE Webcast, November 2013

  • Guest Speaker, “Five Things I Learned in My First Years of Family Law Practice that I Didn’t Learn in My Family Law Class” – University of St. Thomas School of Law, April 2013 and October 2013

  • Presenter, “What’s Up in Family Law” – Minnesota State Bar Association, September 2013

 

Professional & Community

Admissions

  • Minnesota

Associations

  • American Bar Association, Family Law Section, Member

  • Minnesota State Bar Association, Council Member and Assembly Member; Family Law Section, Legislative Committee Co-Chair, Spousal Maintenance Workgroup, Member; New Lawyers Section Chair, Barriers to the Bar Task Force Chair

  • Hennepin County Bar Association, Board of Directors, Finance and Planning Committee Vice-Chair, Representative to the MSBA Council; Family Law Section, Member

  • Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, Minnesota Chapter, Legislative Committee, Co-Chair

Community Involvement

  • Children’s Law Center of Minnesota, Volunteer Attorney

  • Guild, Inc., Volunteer Ambassador

  • Minnesota Bar Association Mock Trial, Volunteer Judge

  • Tubman Pro Bono Safety Project, volunteer attorney

  • University of St. Thomas School of Law, Alumni Board, Director; Mentor/Externship, Volunteer Mentor; Minnesota Justice Foundation Public Interest Law Fellowship Selection Committee, Alumnus Committee Member

  • Volunteer Lawyers Network, Pro Bono Family Law Attorney

Honors & Distinctions
  • Fellow, American Bar Foundation

  • Martindale-Hubbell® AV Preeminent® for the Highest Level of Professional Excellence

  • Best Lawyer, The Best Lawyers in America®, 2018

  • Rising Star, Minnesota Super Lawyers®, 2012-2017

  • President’s Award, Minnesota State Bar Association, 2017

  • Living the Mission Award, University of St. Thomas School of Law, 2017

  • Dedicated Service Award, Minnesota State Bar Association New Lawyer’s, 2016-2017

  • Outstanding New Lawyer of the Year, Minnesota State Bar Association, 2015-2016

  • Leonard E. Lindquist Pro Bono Service Award, 2015