Jim has worked exclusively in the area of family law for over twenty years. He has specialized in helping parents resolve custody and parenting time disputes in ways that both serve their children’s best interests and enable them to work together as cooperatively as possible.
Jim graduated cum laude from the William Mitchell College of Law. He received a Master’s Degree in Social Work and a Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Prior to working in the family court system, Jim conducted child, adolescent, adult, and marriage and family therapy for over ten years. His counseling background gives Jim a thorough understanding of the dynamics of divorce, including how children are affected by separation and parental conflict. He is able to quickly and accurately determine the factors that are driving parental disputes, the interventions most likely to break the associated impasses, and the type of structure that is needed to enhance co-parenting effectiveness for the benefit of the children.
Jim was a long term employee of Hennepin County Family Court Services, where he conducted custody and parenting time mediations and evaluations. He was part of a group at Court Services that created an Early Neutral Evaluation (ENE) program as an alternative and more cooperative method for parents to resolve their custody and parenting time disputes. Jim has been a member of the State of Minnesota ENE Steering Committee since its inception, and has provided ENE training and consultation throughout Minnesota and in various parts of the U.S. and Canada.
Jim has implemented additional roles in the family court arena. He has represented individual clients as an attorney, has represented children’s interests in family court matters during his tenure as a family court guardian ad litem, and has conducted numerous co-parenting classes designed to help parents work together more effectively.
Jim’s breadth of experience and implementation of multiple roles in the family court system enables him to understand the perspectives and often competing interests of the various components that comprise the system. This understanding, coupled with his legal background and experience as a mental health practitioner, supply the foundation that has helped Jim to help hundreds of families successfully resolve their custody and parenting time disputes and to constructively manage their conflicts.
Currently, Jim provides an assortment of family dispute resolution services. These include custody and parenting time mediations and evaluations, child informed mediations, focused evaluations, custody and parenting time Early Neutral Evaluations, parenting coaching, and parenting consulting. As a parenting consultant, Jim is able to discriminate between those cases that require him to provide significant structure and firm decisions from those cases in which the parents are better served by his attempting to facilitate an agreement prior to his rendering a decision over a disputed issue.