Family court services

Hennepin County's Family Court Services division works with the Fourth Judicial District Family Court to assist families in resolving custody and parenting time disputes.

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What we do

Court referred mediation

State qualified mediators assist families in resolving child custody and parenting time disputes with the goal of reducing conflict and court involvement.

Self-referred mediation

Similar to court referred mediation, self-referred mediation is available upon request of both parties as long as at least one is a Hennepin County resident.  

Sliding fee scale for mediation

Early neutral evaluation

This short-term, court-ordered process provides parents with a team of evaluators who provide confidential evaluative feedback on custody and parenting time concerns and who assist in settlement of those issues.

Sliding fee scale for early neutral evaluation

Custody and parenting time evaluation

A neutral evaluator does an in-depth examination of the families' custody and parenting time disputes and makes recommendations via an oral or written report. 

Settlement options during the evaluation may include:

  • Facilitated settlement conference — A court ordered process in which a neutral second evaluator will listen to the results of the evaluation and assist parties and their attorneys to explore settlement options. Sliding fee scale for facilitated settlement conference
  • Settlement conference — A conference held by the evaluator to provide the parties and their attorneys an opportunity to review the evaluation outcome and explore settlement options.

Sliding fee scale for custody and/or parenting time evaluation

Brief focused assessment

This program provides an alternative to comprehensive, costly custody/parenting time evaluations by looking for solutions to narrowly defined issues.

Sliding fee scale for brief focused assessment


For more information on any of these services, contact Family Court Services at 612-348-7556.

Self help

Family Court Services does not provide legal advice or address financial issues like child support. For more information on these issues, you can use one of the following self-help programs:

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