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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 handle 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, all of whom live and work in Fargo.

Michael's Expertise

Practice Areas

  • 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 Credentials

Education & Licensure


  • 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


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


  • 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


North Dakota Appeals:

Minnesota Appeals:

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.


Michael's Blog Posts

Blog Posts


Many people believe that parenting classes are just for those who are going through a custody battle. They are mistaken. Parenting classes can help all families navigate the many situations that come …


To come out as transgender often involves telling people about your preferred pronouns. (she/her, he/him or they/them). You may also want to adopt a new name. To come out as trans is obviously a diff…

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Article written and published by Annette T. Burns. Parents: This is a truly difficult time. Talk about making being separated from your other parent more difficult! Please follow guidelines for co-p…

The American Academy of Pediatrics Advises Parents Experiencing Stress over COVID-19 Header Image.jpeg

Article written and published by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Academy recommends parents seek help for themselves, and use positive discipline techniques like time outs, redirection and reinfo…


At Gjesdahl Law, we are attorneys for families and our clients matter to us. For now, while we remain open and available for families experiencing transition issues, we balance accessibility with conc…

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Article written and published by the AAML & AFCC. From the leaders of groups that deal with families in crisis: Susan Myres, President of American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML)Dr. Matt S…


Schools, restaurants, and bars are shutting down. Gyms and spas are closing left and right. Toilet paper and hand sanitizer are nowhere to be found. COVID-19 has taken the world by storm, and the futu…

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On November 14th, Gjesdahl Law hosted an Open House and Silent Auction that raised more than $10,000 for the North Dakota Heart Gallery. Kari Losee, our primary adoption attorney, had the opportunity …

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We hope you will join us in celebrating our 30th anniversary. To mark this milestone, we’re hosting an open house and silent auction to benefit the North Dakota Heart Gallery. Event Information Loca…


On the first Sunday after Labor Day, we celebrate Grandparents Day.  Grandparents are such an important part of families across North Dakota and Minnesota...and everywhere!. As lawyers for families, …

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Frequently Asked Questions

We've tried to answer many of the common questions we receive about our areas of practice.

If you are unsure about any of your legal needs, our firm, or our services, it's a great place to begin!

Initial Contact Questions

 (701) 237-3009