Vija L. Brookshire




Assistant: Amy Stewart



When facing the uncertainty of divorce or other family issues, Vija provides her clients with peace of mind. Vija’s advocacy is set apart by a confidence and compassion that seeks practical solutions to issues that keep her clients up at night. With years of experience and wins from Minnesota’s trial courts to its Supreme Court, Vija’s clients know she has what it takes to protect them and what they value most.

Vija recognizes that, for clients going through a divorce or other family law matter, the process is often a very personal one. Her clients span all income levels and circumstances. Vija helps her clients through all stages of the process by resolving cases through mediation and negotiation or through litigation and trial when a settlement cannot be reached. Vija tailors the process to fit each client’s unique circumstances. Some cases can be resolved without ever needing to appear in court. Others require litigation and court involvement.

Vija’s advocacy for her clients has shaped family law in Minnesota, as is evidenced by her success at the Minnesota Supreme Court.

Vija received her B.A. from Stanford University and her J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School. A native of Minneapolis and a graduate of Washburn High School, she is active throughout the legal and professional communities, including the Douglas Amdahl American Inn of Court, the Hennepin County Bar Association, Minnesota Women Lawyers, and TeamWomenMN. She speaks to community and other groups about family law issues, has presented to hundreds of attorneys at Minnesota’s premier Family Law Institute, and has taught web-based continuing legal education classes, including authoring the Minnesota CLE Formbook, “Dissolution of Marriage and Civil Contempt.” She is an avid bicycle and motorcycle rider, resides in Minneapolis, and aspires to become fluent in Spanish and French.

Representative Experience
  • Obtained unequal property division in favor of client after trial at which opposing party requested unequal property division in opposing party’s favor.

  • Represented client in negotiation of award for sole legal and physical custody in high-conflict case involving complex chemical dependency and mental health issues.

  • Represented client in obtaining an award for no spousal maintenance against spouse seeking permanent spousal maintenance.

  • Represented client in obtaining permanent spousal maintenance award against spouse demanding that no spousal maintenance be paid.

  • Represented client in obtaining successful decision in a landmark Minnesota Supreme Court case that defined income for child support purposes.

  • Represented client in blocking spouse from moving their children out of state in highly-contested case, allowing them to remain in Minnesota.

Publications & Presentations


  • Author, “Petition for Dissolution of Marriage and Civil Contempt Motion Papers” – Minnesota CLE Formbook, 2007


  • Co-Presenter, “How to Handle a Divorce Involving a Family Business: Is It Okay to Double Dip?” – Advanced Family Law Series, Minnesota CLE, 2019

  • Co-Presenter, “Breaking Barriers and Building Trust: Lessons in LGBTQ+ Mindfulness” – Intellectual Property Institute at Mitchell Hamline School of Law, 2019

  • Co-Presenter, “Family Law | Don’t Get Schooled in Court: Litigating School Choice and Other Legal Custody Battles (Or Not)” – Hennepin County Bar Association, 2018

  • Co-Presenter, “Custody and Parenting Issues Affecting the LGBTQ+ Community in Minnesota: Legal Trends and Developments Post-Obergefell” – Fourth Judicial District Fall Bench Retreat, 2018

  • Presenter, “Second Saturday Divorce Workshops” – Minnetonka, MN, 2015

  • Presenter, “The Impact of the Haefele Case on Child Support for Business Owners” – Minnesota Family Law Institute, 2014

Professional & Community


  • Minnesota


  • Minnesota State Bar Association, Member

  • Hennepin County Bar Association, Member

  • Minnesota Women Lawyer Association, Member

Community Involvement

  • Stanford Club of MN

  • Street Legal Motorcycle Club

  • TeamWomenMN