Sjoberg & Tebelius, P.A.
Serving Minnesota & Western Wisconsin

Creative solutions help a client avoid contempt of court


In a unique family law case, our client's ex-wife wanted him to back-pay 13 years of spousal support that he believed they agreed to end. Read how attorney Dave Meier was able to mitigate this delicate situation.

The Problem: Recently, Dave Meier had a new client approach him for help. The client had failed to pay his $800 per month spousal maintenance obligation for 13 years, and his ex-wife was seeking a finding of contempt of court. If she succeeded, this would require the development of a repayment plan, along with the threat of jail time, should our client fail to pay his obligated monthly amount moving forward.

Our Solution: Our client couldn't afford the repayment. He was retired, and living solely on social security. Because the spousal maintenance payments had been neglected for so long, with no issues raised by our client's ex-wife in the past, we argued the equitable defense of laches. This is a defense not used frequently in court, but was an essential argument for our case - it basically means it's too late to collect.

The Results: We successfully argued laches on our client's behalf. We also highlighted for the judge the practical consequences of chasing down a retired man living only on social security. The judged denied the ex-wife's contempt motion, and we later negotiated a settlement; thus avoiding the entry of any judgment against our client.

It's important to note, this client was referred to our team after a friend of the family had experienced how our creative solutions and forward-thinking approach could have a significant, positive impact on their situation. We're thrilled to be able to provide the kind of legal support that exceeds our clients' expectations in our work, every day.

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Client Testimonials

  1. “Thank you for providing personalized professional services to us during a time of grief and loss when family relationships were not the best. With an attorney on board to help manage legal matters, everyone had confidence that the best was being done. ”

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  2. “Our estate plan was handled well. We never felt rushed and all details were fully explained. Sam is very professional, easy to talk to and experienced in all aspects of estate planning. He gave examples and explored alternatives for us to consider. Well done and thanks.”

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  3. “I was given the name of the law firm by a family friend after helplessly pilfering through endless names on websites. I am grateful I called. I was connected with Dave Meier immediately and from the go, was treated with dignity, care and respect. Every visit to the firm was pleasant and professional. ”

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  4. “We were highly impressed upon the level and capability of Sjoberg & Tebelius. They gently showed us that there was much more to achieving the Will in the correct format that will protect our children than the quick attempts we had made on our own. Great people to work with - achieving our desired results!”

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Over 30-years of experience Serving Minnesota & Western Wisconsin

Sjoberg & Tebelius, P.A.

2145 Woodlane Drive
Suite 101
Woodbury, MN 55125

Toll Free: 888-892-7044
Phone: 651-315-8856
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