Skip to main content

Christopher Lee Vatsaas

Divorce and separation Attorney at White Bear Lake, MN

4.7   15 reviews

also known as Chris Vatsaas, Christopher Vatsaas

  • Licensed for 12 years
    State MN
    Acquired 2011
    Authorized to Practice No misconduct found

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

About Christopher

Learn Christopher’s areas of practice.

Christopher L. Vatsaas is a shareholder at Tuft, Lach, Jerabek & O’Connell, PLLC. Chris practices exclusively in the area of family law including divorce, child custody, paternity, asset and debt division, spousal maintenance, child support, domestic abuse (including Orders for Protection), and Harassment Restraining Orders. His diverse family law experience ranges from child custody cases involving child endangerment to dissolution matters involving high net worth individuals and sophisticated non-marital tracing. He also serves in a neutral capacity as a family law mediator, parenting consultant (PC), parenting time expeditor (PTE), Social Early Neutral Evaluator (SENE), and Financial Early Neutral Evaluator (FENE).

Since 2019, Chris has been named a “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers®. Only 2.5% of attorneys in Minnesota receive this distinction. Chris was also named to the 2023 list of Top Lawyer in Minnesota by Minnesota Monthly. In 2018 and 2019, Chris received the North Star Lawyer Award from the Minnesota State Bar Association for his pro bono service.

Chris is an Adjunct Professor at the University of St. Thomas School of Law, where he teaches Advanced Family Law as well as coursework within the school’s Mentor Externship Program. He has also presented on topics such as Orders for Protection, Harassment Restraining Orders, Ex Parte Emergency Custody Orders, estate planning, and the use of technology within a family law practice. He is also the editor of the ADR Chapter of the Minnesota Divorce Practice Deskbook by Minnesota CLE and has co-authored legal articles regarding the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on the practice of family law as well as the impending evolution of child custody issues stemming from cannabis legalization.

Chris is engaged in both the local legal community and the greater Twin Cities community. Chris also has extensive board service experience, including presently serving as President-Elect of the Alumni Advisory Board at the University of St. Thomas School of Law as well as Past President of the Family Law League, a local non-profit organization focused on professional development and networking among family law professionals.

Chris and his family call St. Louis Park home, where he is involved in his local church and community. In his spare time, you’ll find Chris catching a basketball game, hosting a barbeque (ask about his chicken wings), foraging for fun espresso beans at a local coffee shop, or popping open a new bottle of wine with friends. An aspiring wine geek, Chris has obtained his Level 2 Certificate with Merit from the Wine & Spirit Education Trust and dreams of a part-time retirement job of pouring at a local wine bar someday.


Tuft, Lach, Jerabek & O'Connell, PLLC
Tuft, Lach, Jerabek & O'Connell, PLLC
2109 County Road D East
White Bear Lake, MN, 55109

Divorce lawyers nearby


4.7 / 5.0
  15 customer reviews
Posted by anonymous | May 1, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Excellent lawyer
Chris is an incredible lawyer. He was my attorney throughout my custody case, as well as for my estate planning. I recommended him to friends and family, who ended up hiring him, and were as pleased as I was. He is a very professional, no-nonsense kind of lawyer. It's obvious that he knows what he's doing and is committed to get the results you're looking for. He's also very personable, which is important to me in a lawyer and often not a common trait amongst lawyers.
Read less
Posted by Ron | April 24, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Chris did an excellent job of explaining things and keeping me updated. His co-workers also did a wonderful job.
Posted by Brandie | April 24, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Fantastic Attorney!
Chris was a top notch attorney who was always empathetic to my situation yet professional to my needs at the same time. He Knows his stuff! Chris had many nuances in my case but was always looking out for my best interest. He always figured out the best way to get me what was needed. I didn't feel like Chris was just working for a paycheck I really felt like he cared about my case. I would hire Chris again in the future if needed. I had a great experience under my circumstances.
Read less
Posted by Amanda | December 22, 2015
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Very professional
I met with a few attorneys before meeting Chris and before I met him I was very scared. I was young and about to go through a divorce with 2 young children. I had been judged and put down by many people at the time for even being married let alone going through a divorce and the minute I started talking with Chris I felt much more calm. I was very anxious through the whole divorce and didn't know anything about the process and he answered all of my questions. I would highly recommend him to anyone!
Read less
Posted by Lisa | February 17, 2015
Great Attorney
Mr. Vatsaas was a faboulous attorney. He "LISTENS"!! He hears what your questions are, addresses concerns in a timly manner, and was very patient while working for me and my family. I hired an attorney previous to Mr. Vatsaas for a Family Court matter and there is no comparison. Christopher by far exceeded my expectations in representing me. I wish I had come across Brown Law Firm for my previous court proceedings, I feel things would be ALOT different had I had proper representation as Mr. Vatsaas provided me. Exceptional representation and I would HIGHLY recommend Mr. Vatsaas to anyone needing representation in Family Courts. Thanks, Christopher for all you've done for me and my girls.
Read less
Posted by Mike | January 6, 2015
Messy Divorce
Chris helped me with two problems that came up at the same time. The biggest problem was a nasty divorce. Chris helped me get thru it and got me what I felt was a good settlement. I will use Chris again for happier dealings.
Posted by Isaac | December 31, 2014
Custody Agreement
I was seeking to a lawyer to reach a custody agreement for my son, Caden, when I was referred to Chris by my wife. Unsure of what to expect when I met Chris for my consultation, I walked away knowing Chris was the right choice for me. Throughout the entire process Chris was superb. My questions were answered promptly, updates to my case were provided frequently, and Chris was always upfront about what his thoughts were about what options were best for my needs and within my limited budget. Chris and I were able to reach an agreement outside of court, although it was a difficult and arduous at times thanks to the opposing party. I cannot express how grateful I am to Chris for all of the time and effort he poured into my case. It is an amazing feeling to know that my time with my son cannot be leveraged against me anytime an issue arose between his mother and I. I would strongly recommend Chris to anyone in need of a family law lawyer.
Read less
Posted by Stephen | December 30, 2014
Solid Representation.
I hired Chris to represent me in a child custody/support case. He was very honest with me in laying out our goals and expectations. In court, Chris represented me VERY WELL and we accomplished everything we set out to do, all within my budget. Chris is very friendly and knowledgeable and I would not hesitate to retain his services again if the need comes up.
Read less
Posted by Dana | December 30, 2014
Chris Vatsaas
Chris helped me through every step of my divorce process. I would definitely recommend him for anyone that needs a lawyer.
Posted by Samantha | December 30, 2014
Professional - Responsive - EXCELLENT!!
Christopher Vatsaas worked with me through an extremely complicated and difficult custody dispute. It took over a year to resolve. Chris kept me constantly updated and always reviewed all information with me, gave me options and guided me through the whole process. The process itself was awful, but thanks to Chris it went as smoothly as it possibly could have gone with positive outcome for my family. I will be forever grateful for Chris' help and have recommended him to many of my friends.
Read less
Posted by Tara | December 10, 2014
Excellent Level of Integrity and Straight to the Point
Chris was a great ally throughout the divorce process. His realistic and thoughtful approach to matters I didn't realize would be presented were very well articulated and executed. Chris was very honest and professional in setting expectations and driving to a preferred outcome for all parties involved. It was a pleasure working with him.
Read less
Posted by anonymous | April 17, 2014
Honesty and Integrity
I felt comfortable with him despite my difficult situation. He had discretion and empathy surpasing his years. He was fair and provided welcomed counsel. Honesty and integrity are infrequent in his profession and I couldn't have asked for a better man to represent me.
Posted by Jane | January 14, 2013
Estate planning assistance
My husband and I had an excellent experience working with Chris to develop an estate plan. We had been putting it off, thinking that the process would be arduous and uncomfortable, but that did not prove to be the case at all. Because Chris is so prepared and professional, we were able to achieve a plan that meets all of our goals and we felt extremely confident throughout the process that the advice we received was top-notch. Chris is very knowledgeable in his field and he clearly has a passion for helping clients. We are very pleased to recommend him to others.
Read less
Posted by anonymous | September 24, 2014
Fair and honest
I appreciated Chris' honesty and integrity. I could count on Chris to deliver a message based on truth, and really in my best interest, not his own. I never felt mislead by him or the firm. He tried his best to keep attorney fees to a minimum. I am sure I will use him again in the future if the need arises.
Posted by Isaac | March 25, 2015
Christopher Vatsaas does not have a single creative bone in his entire body or the spine necessary to defend his clients’ interests. Having to lose the house but keep the debt in my name was completely insane. I was presented with the same solution to this question over and over again. He would claim to have spent hours rewriting the divorce decree to protect my interests; only to find the slightest changes that did nothing to protect my interests. Chris' response was simply "I have been involved in a lot of cases and this is the best i was going to get", the underlying tone of just eat it no matter how bad it tasted. This case took over 18 months and more than $10,000 to resolve. After an initial meeting with me and my ex-wife, Chris had promised a case that was simple and would most likely to be resolved in 60 days. After dragging out for so long I had to settle as I was forced to relocate out of state by my employer. His inability to capture my intentions or defend my interests has resulted in a lack of protection which leaves me at a disadvantage to any involvement in my children’s lives
Read less
View less reviews


We have not found any cost information for this lawyer


AVVO RATING 10.0 (Superb)

Work Experience

  • Shareholder
  • Tuft, Lach, Jerabek & O'Connell
  • 2024 - Present
  • Adjunct Professor
  • University Of St. Thomas School Of Law
  • 2018 - Present
  • Partner
  • Chestnut Cambronne PA
  • 2019 - 2024
  • Associate Attorney
  • Chestnut Cambronne PA
  • 2017 - 2018
  • Attorney
  • Johnson/Turner Legal
  • 2015 - 2017
  • Associate Attorney
  • Brown Law Offices, P.A.
  • 2012 - 2015
  • Associate Attorney
  • Tessneer Law Office
  • 2011 - 2012
  • Law Clerk
  • Osterbauer Law Firm
  • 2010 - 2010
  • Law Clerk
  • Guzman Law Firm, PA
  • 2010 - 2011
View all work experience


  • University of St. Thomas School of Law - Minneapolis
  • Juris Doctor
  • 2011
  • University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
  • B.S.B. - Bachelor of Science in Business
  • 2008


  • Mentorship Program, University of St. Thomas School of Law
  • Mentor
  • 2014 - Present
  • Minnesota Family Law League
  • Board Member
  • 2017 - 2022
  • Cradle of Hope ... motherhood fund
  • President, Board of Directors
  • 2013 - 2018
  • Minnesota Magic Basketball
  • Coach
  • 2012 - 2015
  • Minnesota State Bar Association
  • Member
  • 2011 - 2024
  • Minnesota Heat Basketball
  • Coach
  • 2010 - 2011
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • English

Honors and Awards

  • North Star Lawyer
  • Minnesota State Bar Association (MSBA)
  • 2018
  • Dean's Award, Legal Research & Writing
  • University of St. Thomas School of Law
  • 2010

Speaking Engagements

  • 19th District OFP/HRO CLE at Northfolk Winery
  • Orders for Protection, Harassment Restraining Orders, and Ex Parte Motions in Family Law Cases
  • 2016
  • Education Minnesota Conference (Spring 2012, College of St. Benedict)
  • Estate Planning 101
  • 2012
  • Education Minnesota Professional Conference (October 2011)
  • Estate Planning Basics
  • 2011
View all speaking engagements

Attorney endorsements

Received (15)
Given (24)
Endorse Christopher
Unknown Attorney | Apr 28
Relationship: Co-worker
"Chris is immaculately prepared and sees all the angles. He solves complex problems and will push hard for his clients."
Family Attorney | Nov 28
Relationship: Co-worker
"I fully endorse Chris Vatsaas in the area of family law. In the time I've worked with Chris, he has demonstrated a significant breadth of knowledge in the family law arena, commitment to clients, and common sense approach to issues. If you have a family law issue, you should contact Chris."
Family Attorney | Nov 28
Relationship: Co-worker
"I endorse and trust Chris. Chris is a family law powerhouse, helping clients with dissolution, child custody, mediation, and much more. I feel privileged to work alongside Chris, and to know him personally. You are in good hands with Chris."
Family Attorney | Oct 26
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"I have worked with Chris on several matters. He approaches issues directly and maintains a level head even in tough situations. Chris' clients have a dedicated advocate on their side."
Unknown Attorney | Oct 26
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Chris is a forward thinking and dedicated attorney. He’s easy to work with and I highly recommend him for estate planning as well as family and business law matters."
Family Attorney | May 24
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Chris is a great attorney with a big heart. His values and skills are a great asset to his clients."
Family Attorney | May 01
Relationship: Co-worker
"Chris takes a thorough and thoughtful approach to his cases and strives to achieve the best possible outcome for his clients. He truly is a trusted adviser and knows how to achieve the best possible outcome in each case."
Family Attorney | Apr 28
Relationship: Co-worker
"Chris is an exceptional lawyer. He has the ability to remain calm during difficult cases while still effectively advocating for his client's interests."
Estate planning Attorney | Apr 28
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer.Chris is very versed in options and can serve clients very effectively."
Mediation Attorney | Apr 27
Relationship: Co-worker
"Chris is an exceptional mediator, who truly cares about the outcome for the parties involved. He puts his whole heart into reaching a resolution, and his background in finance is extremely useful and helpful."
Family Attorney | Apr 24
Relationship: Co-worker
"Chris is a thoughtful, passionate attorney who treats every case as if it was his only case. He offers creative solutions to his clients, and zealously advocates for them in the courtroom."
Family Attorney | Apr 22
Relationship: Co-worker
"Chris will always understand the complicated details as well as the big picture of every one of his cases. His clients appreciate his ability to analyze their cases, and provide detailed options to help them achieve their goals."
Family Attorney | Apr 20
Relationship: Co-worker
"Chris is an extremely conscientious and dedicated attorney. His clients regularly see better-than-expected results thanks to his hard work and passion."
Family Attorney | Dec 11
Relationship: Other
"I acted as a mediator in a case in which Mr. Vatsaas represented one of the parties. Mr. Vatsaas came to the mediation well prepared and was an excellent advocate for his client while maintaining professional civility."
Family Attorney | Jan 15
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Christopher and I work in the same area and I have had the privilege of having him as opposing counsel on a family law matter. Christopher is passionate about family law and extremely dedicated to his practice and clients. Christopher is honest, straight forward and reasonable. In the case we had together, he was a strong advocate for his client yet was focused on settlement. I believe that Christopher has a great deal of integrity and would be an excellent choice for anyone looking for quality legal representation in a family law matter."
View more endorsements
White Bear Lake Divorce and separation Lawyer Christopher Lee Vatsaas
Christopher Lee Vatsaas
Divorce and separation Attorney
White Bear Lake, MN
Licensed for 12 years