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Michael L. Gjesdahl

Mike founded Gjesdahl Law, P.C. in 1989. His practice is exclusively devoted to families, their transitions, their needs. Throughout his career, he has confronted every imaginable family issue.

Today, Mike’s practice largely involves high-stake and high-net-worth divorces. He has handled many divorces involving estates worth tens, and sometimes hundreds, of millions of dollars. Such divorces often involve closely held businesses, farm assets, trusts, inherited wealth, commercial real estate valuation, fraud, and concealed assets. His clients include business owners, farmers, entrepreneurs, public figures, medical and legal professionals, high-net-worth families, C-suite executives, and their spouses.

Mike regularly negotiates and drafts premarital agreements. He is one of a small number of attorneys who handles assisted reproduction matters. Though a fierce litigator, Mike is devoted to resolving his cases by agreement, usually through mediation or collaborative negotiating.

Mike is married, and has three children. Two attend Concordia College, and the third attends Fargo North High School.

Michael's Expertise

Practice Issues

  • Divorce, general
  • Divorce, high net worth
  • Paternity
  • Child Custody and Visitation
  • Child Support
  • Spousal Support
  • Prenuptial Agreements
  • Post-nuptial Agreements
  • Assisted Reproduction / Gestational Carriers
  • Domestic Abuse and Harassment
  • Mediation
  • Collaborative Negotiating
  • Cohabitation Agreements
  • Adoption
Michael's Video Interview

Video

Michael's Credentials

Education & Licensure

Education:

  • Fargo North High School, 1977
  • University of North Dakota, B.S., Public Administration, 1982
  • University of North Dakota School of Law, JD, 1985

Licenses and Admissions:

  • State Bar of California, 1985 (presently inactive status)
  • State Bar of North Dakota, 1989
  • State Bar of Minnesota, 1989
  • U.S. District Court, California, 1985
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Kentucky, 1986
  • U.S. District Court, North Dakota, 1989
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 2001
Michael's Achievements

Distinctions

Professional Associations/Memberships:

  • North Dakota Bar Association, 1989
  • Minnesota Bar Association, 1989
  • California Bar Association, 1985
  • American Bar Association
  • Cass County Bar Association
  • Clay County Bar Association
  • National Association of Counsel for Children
  • International Academy of Collaborative Professional
  • Collaborative Law Institute of Minnesota
  • North Dakota Collaborative Law Group
  • SBAND Inquiry Committee Southeast, 2017-2020

Presentations:

  • 2012 - Family Law Basics; to Grand Forks Air Force Base Legal Office and the Air Force Legal Assistance Program
  • 2014 - Divorce 101; to ND State Bar

Articles:

  • “Custody Battle Brewing, What You Should Know,” On the Minds of Moms, 2011
  • “Gestational Carriers and the Law,” On the Minds of Moms, 2014
  • “Prenuptial Agreements: They’re Just for Rich People, Right?,” The Village Family Magazine, 2015

North Dakota Appeals:

  • Alvarez v. Carlson, 524 N.W.2d 584 (ND 1994) (lost)
  • Ratajczak v. Ratajczak, 1997 ND 122, 565 N.W.2d 491 (won)
  • Darling v. Gosseling, 1999 ND 8, 589 N.W.2d 192 (won)
  • Schmitz v. Schmitz, 2001 ND 19, 622 N.W.2d 176 (won)
  • Peters-Riemers vs. Riemers, 2001 ND 62, 624 N.W.2d 83 (won)
  • Peters-Riemers vs. Riemers, 2002 ND 72, 644 N.W.2d 197 (won)
  • Peters-Riemers vs. Riemers, 2002 ND 49, 641 N.W.2d 83 (won)
  • Peters-Riemers vs. Riemers, 2003 ND 96, 663 N.W.2d 657 (lost)
  • Peters-Riemers vs. Riemers, 2004 ND 28, 674 N.W.2d 287 (lost)
  • Riemers vs. O’Halloran, 2004 ND 79, 678 N.W.2d 547 (won)
  • Bladow vs. Bladow, 2003 ND 123, 665 N.W.2d 724 (lost)
  • Larson v. Larson, 2005 ND 67, 694 N.W.2d 13 (lost)
  • Wambheim v. Wambheim, 2001 (dismissed) (won)
  • Hanson v. Hanson, 2005 ND 82, 695 N.W.2d 205 (won)
  • Siewert v. Siewert, 2008 ND 221, 758 N.W.2d 691 (won)
  • McColl Farms, LLC v. Pflaum, 2013 ND 169, 837 N.W.2d 359 (mixed result)
  • Conzemius v. Conzemius, 2014 ND 5, 841 N.W.2d 716 (lost)
  • McCarthy v. McCarthy, 2014 ND 234, 856 N.W.2d 762 (lost)
  • Stock v. Stock, 2016 ND 1, 873 N.W.2d 38 (won)

Minnesota Appeals:

  • Richter v. Richter, 625 N.W.2d 490

Representative Clients:

  • Entrepreneur with marital estate worth $200M+, over $100M of which was comprised of trust assets (divorce).
  • Owner of paving company with estate of $20M+, including inherited assets (divorce).
  • Owner of paving company with estate of $30M+, and involving child-related issues (divorce).
  • Owner of engineering business, numerous small businesses, and substantial real estate holdings, with an estate in excess of $25M+ (divorce).
  • Wife of Emergency Room doctor (divorce).
  • Wife of Trauma Surgeon (divorce).
  • Plastic Surgeon (divorce).
  • Ear, Nose, and Throat doctor (divorce).
  • Wife of partner in law firm (divorce).
  • Husband of partner in law firm (divorce).
  • College Professor
  • Owner of edible bean processing plant and marketing business (divorce).
  • Owner of business that manufactures building materials, with marital estate of over $50M (divorce).
  • Fiance of bank owner, involving hundreds of millions of dollars (prenuptial agreement).
  • Fiance of entrepreneur, real estate and multiple business owner, involving hundreds of millions of dollars (prenuptial agreement).
  • Sugar beet farmer, with estate of over $10M (divorce).
  • Owner of Electrical Engineering company, with estate in excess of $20M (divorce)
  • Owner of mortgage company.
  • Owner of mechanical engineering company.
  • Owner of business that manufactures feed supplements for cattle.
  • Financial Planner.
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