A prominent family law practitioner known for managing the “tough stuff” in divorce and related parenting cases, Susan C. Rhode uses her legal leadership to smooth and resolve the transitional challenges that many of her clients experience. She has represented clients in several of Minnesota’s leading cases concerning nonmarital property, spousal maintenance, and premarital agreements.

A four-time selectee of The Best Lawyers in Americas “Lawyer of the Year” honor in the area of family law in Minneapolis, Susan also works extensively as a mediator, consensual special magistrate, arbitrator, neutral evaluator, and parenting coordinator. The well-being of children in divorce is an area of particular care and concern for Susan, a reflection of her prior experience as an educator and her commitment to children’s issues.

Susan’s practice focuses on the complex financial issues in divorce. This includes dividing businesses, executive compensation, intellectual property, retirement benefits, and other unusual assets. She also helps clients with cash flow, child support, and spousal maintenance issues.

Working beyond traditional family law counsel, Susan not only represents clients in alternative dispute resolution (ADR) forums, but also manages and facilitates the ADR process for other counsel and their clients.

Susan’s counsel covers the full range of family law concerns, from asset and income management to parenting matters, agreement enforcements, and innovative settlement programs for families in transition. Areas of counsel include:

  • Complex property valuation and division
  • Child support and spousal maintenance and modifications of support and spousal maintenance orders
  • Parenting agreements and paternity
  • Third-party parental rights and grandparents’ rights
  • Asset and income management
  • Premarital, postmarital, and cohabitation agreements
  • Appeals, trials, and motion practice
  • Mediation, arbitration, and evaluative processes representation
  • Alternative dispute resolution neutral
  • Settlements
  • Parenting coordinator/consultant

Experience

As chair of Moss & Barnett’s Family Law team, Susan has worked on some of the seminal cases in current Minnesota law, which include such issues as nonmarital property in Gottsacker v. Gottsacker, spousal maintenance in Hecker v. Hecker, and premarital agreements in McKee-Johnson v. Johnson.

In her frequent articles and presentations before law schools, the bar and bench, and professional associations, Susan addresses topical issues ranging from ethics to spousal support strategies and family advocacy.

Credentials

Education

Hamline University School of Law, J.D.

University of North Dakota, M.A., Speech/Theater

University of North Dakota, B.S., Education

Certifications / Specialties

  • Family law mediation certified training, Mediation Center for Dispute Resolution, Hamline University (Aug. 1995)
  • Qualified neutral under Rule 114 of the Minnesota General Rules of Practice: Family Adjudicative, Facilitative/Hybrid, and Evaluative Panels, Civil Adjudicative Panel

Admissions

  • Minnesota
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota

Honors & Recognitions

Minnesota Super Lawyers "Top 10," "Top 50 Women," and "Top 100" lists (2014-present)

Minnesota Super Lawyers (2003-present)

The Best Lawyers in America (1995-present)

The Best Lawyers in America, “Lawyer of the Year,” Family Law, Minneapolis (2010, 2012, 2014)

The Best Lawyers in America, “Lawyer of the Year,” Family Law Mediation, Minneapolis (2013)

Hennepin County Bar Association, Professionalism Award (2006)

Recognition for Early Neutral Evaluation Statement Training Programs, Minnesota Judicial Council

Languages

  • French

News & Insights

News

Speaking Engagements

Affiliations

Professional Associations

  • Mediator, Family Law Appellate Program (appointed by the Minnesota Court of Appeals)
  • Member (2011-2013) and chairperson (2012), Minnesota ADR Ethics Board
  • Chairperson, Minnesota Supreme Court, Fourth Judicial District Ethics Committee (2010-2016)
  • Hennepin County Early Case Management and Early Neutral Evaluation Statewide Steering Committee (2004-2015)
  • International Academy of Family Lawyers
  • Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, national and Minnesota chapters
  • American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, national and Minnesota chapters
  • The Warren E. Burger American Inns of Court
  • American Bar Association
  • Minnesota State Bar Association
  • Minnesota Women Lawyers
  • Hennepin County Bar Association
  • Mitchell Hamline School of Law Board of Trustees

Board Memberships

  • Mitchell Hamline School of Law Board of Trustees

Community Involvement

  • Director and co-chair, Development Committee, Courage Kenny Foundation (2013-present)
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