Skip to main content

Eric Carlisle Nelson

Child custody Attorney at Minneapolis, MN

4.8   24 reviews
Free consultation Virtual consultation available
Free consultation Virtual consultation available
  • Licensed for 28 years
    State MN
    Acquired 1994
    Authorized to Practice No misconduct found

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

About Eric

Learn Eric’s areas of practice.

Practice areas
  1. Child custody
    Child Custody is another subset of Family Law. Child custody is a component of any divorce with children and paternity cases, but there are also standalone actions for child custody where paternity has already been established by a Recognition of Parentage.

    29 years, 300 cases

  2. Child support
    Child support is involved in any divorce case involving children, or other child custody case.

    29 years, 300 cases

  3. Divorce and separation
    This involves divorces as well as legal separations, both in cases with children and without, including issues of property division, debt apportionment, spousal maintenance, child support, and all other issues that arise in divorce.

    29 years, 300 cases

  4. Domestic violence
    Domestic violence issues frequently arise in the context of divorce and child custody cases. Order-for-protection litigation is a common component of domestic violence litigation, as are harassment restraining orders.

    29 years, 300 cases

  5. Family
    Family law is how lawyers define the practice area that includes divorce, legal separation, child custody, custody of children born out of wedlock, grandparent custody, child support spousal maintenance, property division, and related issues.

    29 years, 400 cases


I graduated magna cum laude from Macalester College in St. Paul, MN in 1990.  In 1994 I received a Doctorate of Law (JD) degree from the University of Minnesota.  Following that, I spent the next two years as a judicial clerk for the distinguished Honorable Lois J. Lang, Judge of District Court, with a workload that primarily involved the drafting of divorce decrees, orders, and legal memoranda on a host of issues pertaining to divorce, child custody, child support, visitation, spousal maintenance, distribution of marital and non-marital property, valuation of property, domestic abuse and harassment, and the like.  It was through this position that I attained a ready wealth of knowledge in the field of family law.
I opened my practice in 1996, and I practice family law exclusively, with particular focus on divorce and child custody matters, including post-decree modification of custody.  I have successfully handled hundreds of cases of divorce (both contested and uncontested), child custody, visitation (a/k/a parenting time), out-of-state moves, domestic abuse, harassment, child support, spousal maintenance, and other miscellaneous family law matters, both in and out of court. Clients have often expressed their appreciation of my promptness in communication, honesty and candor, and exceptional ability.

Characteristic of my practice is a high level of individual client attention and communication, and the highest standard of professionalism and competence.

With a practice that is concentrated solely on family law, my clients have the advantage of a subject familiarity that many lawyers who practice in more than one field of law are never able to attain. 

I do not charge for an initial consultation of up to 30 minutes (telephone only).
I am a respected member of the Family Law sections of both the Hennepin County Bar Association and the Minnesota State Bar Association, and am admitted to all courts in the State of Minnesota, as well as the U.S. Supreme Court.

Photos and videos

Photo dated Nov. 23, 2019

Contact Eric

Eric C. Nelson, Attorney
2915 Wayzata Blvd
Suite 305
Minneapolis, MN, 55405


4.8 / 5.0
  24 customer reviews
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star
Posted by anonymous | March 27, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Reliable, very professional service ...
Eric was my counsel for a long drawn out divorce in which the other side worked a strategy based on lower cost, delay, and lack of cooperation. The attorney for the other side was eventually replaced, and we were awarded a $15,000 judgement for those tactics. Eric's approached of getting strong and strict documentation of the parties finances, and their education and employability was crucial to the outcome, which was achieved in a final mediation. That result was truly fair based the parties contribution to the marriage and prospects for future employment. No alimony was awarded.
Read less
Posted by Lisa | August 17, 2018
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Compassionate, informative, straightforward
After a court order that was not in my favor, I consulted with Eric about my options. He listened intently and with compassion, and offered straightforward, honest feedback that demonstrated a deep knowledge of the Minnesota court system and of family law. He was extremely generous with his time and supremely professional.
Posted by Tim | June 11, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Child Custdoy
This is my first review I have written for anything and my review of Eric is long overdue!!! I regretfully asked Eric to “withdraw” from being my attorney. He did such a great job, he is no longer needed. I kept Eric onboard for 10+ years. He was needed for the first 5 years because of my Ex’s inability to tell the truth and see what was in the best interest of our son’s life. Eric helped me defend my character in the court system. Trust me that was not an easy job. However, I am a family man and my family comes first. My child custody situation is similar to everyone else’s. The feelings we all have are definitely the most gut wrenching. We all have them, Eric will help you understand them. More importantly he cares for what is best for the family. If you are looking for an attorney and reading this review, look no further. Eric is the right person for you and more importantly your family. He will help you make the right decisions and keep a cool head. His experiences and knowledge of the Law unquestionably the best- just ask my Ex- that hired two different lawyers.
Read less
Posted by Chris | August 12, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Divorce/Child Custody
Eric was very forthright and professional during the entire process. He was able to answer every question I had. At the end of the day I was granted everything I wanted in terms of custody of my children.
Posted by Joe | June 29, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Outstanding Service
I was having an ongoing dispute with my ex-wife regarding child support while my children were in college. It turns out that they were not, in fact, in school but my ex was still taking the support and not reporting their situation. Eric worked quickly and effectively to resolve the issue. And some others. Even though we were often working remotely, because of my travel, he kept in touch and delivered on everything I was hoping to achieve.
Read less
Posted by Adam | February 6, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Represents with Distinction and Professionalism
I have met many attorneys in my day. Of those I have met, Eric is the one who truly stands out above the rest when it comes to truly being concerned about my needs and my family's needs. He is an excellent listener, thorough in his documentation, and effectively communicated with me throughout the whole process. It was easy to sleep at night knowing he was diligently at work representing me. Thank you Eric! Sincerely, Adam
Read less
Posted by Eric | February 5, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Excellent and Extremely Competent Lawyer
My divorce was an experience I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy, but Eric provided me with sound advice, and walked me through a very painful OFP and divorce with my sanity and finances intact at the end. Eric was very attentive during the process, often answered his phone at the first ring, responded to emails promptly, and even called me back while he was on vacation. Eric handled both my divorce case and a civil Order for Protection case that was brought against me. The allegations in the OFP case were very serious, but untrue. Eric tried the case and due to his 20 years of knowledge and experience, and got it entirely dismissed. In the divorce case, Eric managed to negotiate a clean settlement that was at the most favorable end of the range of possibilities in my case. I always felt that Eric truly cared about me and about my case, which meant a lot in a very difficult time of my life. I would wholeheartedly recommend Eric Nelson for those that are in need.
Read less
Posted by Lisa | March 10, 2015
Knowledgeable and easy to work with
I'm so happy that I came across Eric on Avvo! From the first, he impressed me with his knowledge and conviction. He listened and went out of his way to make my divorce, which could have been difficult, as smooth and effortless as possible. If I had any advice to give, it would be to 1) be open to your attorney's suggestions; and 2) consider Eric! He's a gem.
Read less
Posted by Nate | September 2, 2014
Great attorney!
I had a harassment case brought against me and to complicate matters it was involved with a family law case. This case was a high conflict case. Mr. Nelson did a great job getting everything together and when the time came he presented a good case. We won the case and he was the first lawyer to actually help me. He did an amazing job and I would highly recommend him for anyone dealing in either family or harassment cases! Thanks again Eric!
Read less
Posted by Brian | May 2, 2014
Eric Nelson changed my world! Gave me back my relationship with my boys that was seemingly lost forever!
I made the worst mistake of my life when I signed my divorce decree without legal representation. I failed my children because I signed away any and all legal rights I had pertaining to their future relying only on verbal agreements that I would be able to be just as involved as if I had full legal and physical custody. I quickly learned that verbal agreements do not hold any weight in the real world. When I contacted Eric, I didn’t know what I was looking for but I knew I needed to do something for my boys. Everything that I did involving my relationship with my boys had to be cleared by my ex-wife. It was so bad that I was actually being denied the right to bring them to their grandparent’s house to visit. I was stuck. Eric’s honesty towards my case was apparent from the first time we talked. He told me it was going to be “a really tough case”. I was explained that when someone signs away their legal rights, it is just about impossible to get them back. He didn’t tell me what I wanted to hear, he told me what I needed to hear. He didn’t fill me with unrealistic hopes but instead directed our focus on what was attainable. Eric’s focus was always on what was best for my boys and me. His integrity as a person was evident every time we talked. He showed genuine concern for my situation and I honestly believe that he wanted to make difference in the current situation. Eric expertise was the difference in my case. It turned out to be a long, hard fought battle which ultimately ended in my favor and then some. Eric and his paralegal John were absolutely amazing. They didn’t miss anything and were on top of everything. It always seemed as though they were two steps ahead. Eric knew what the courts needed to see and made sure that we were ready to present it to them. Eric court etiquette was very professional, he was very well prepared and it was obvious that he did his homework. He didn’t fumble around a stack of papers looking for answers; he knew exactly what we wanted to say. I never once doubted what Eric and John were doing because they always kept me informed with an open line of communication. It can be very costly for a person to contact a lawyer all the time when you have questions. I always knew that when Eric needed to contact me, he would. Eric never treated me like a case, he treated me like a man that needed his help and his willingness to provide me with it proved to be the difference. I would absolutely recommend Eric to anyone looking for an excellent lawyer! Eric and John changed my life, and saved my boys!
Read less
Posted by Bruce | December 21, 2013
Eric helped me navigate through a very difficult time in my life. He was sensitive, knowledgeable, and kept me abreast of what was going on. I did not get everything I thought I was entitled to, but given MN law, I believe the divorce agreement was about as favorable as possible.
Posted by Scott | December 3, 2013
Eric C. Nelson, from Attorney to Friend
I hired Mr. Nelson in early to mid 2006. As all would know, divorce is a VERY difficult time. Mr. Nelson is a gift of easing the stress with divorce. He always shot straight regarding this situation. He was not the lawyer where his client can do no wrong, if there was a mistake that was made, it was instantly noticed and addressed. With Mr. Nelsons personality, I feel that over the course of 7 year we have built a very personal and professional relationship, and as a former client, I can always count on him to run things by him. Scott
Read less
Posted by Ryan | December 2, 2013
Knowledge, Care and Quality
Eric drafted a prenuptial agreement for me with less than a week to go before my wedding date. Over and above, he worked with me to get the document properly and timely executed. Unlike many attorneys I've worked with, Eric showed he cared by being attentive to my needs, he was responsive to my calls and emails, and he made sure I understood the provisions in the document I was signing.
Read less
Posted by Angela | April 2, 2013
GREAT response time and knowledge
I am starting this process and was super impressed with Eric's credentials, past client testimonials, and his responsiveness. He called me back within a few hours of my voicemail, was extremely knowledgeable, and didn't sugar coat anything. I am hoping to avoid litigation, but if I have to, I will be giving him a call.
Posted by Gary | May 27, 2012
the best--
Eric is not only a consumate professional but also has a talent for setting people at ease and listening sympathetically to his clients' concerns. As my wife and I talked, Eric quickly saw the merits and challenges facing us as we struggled to gain visitation rights with our young grandchildren. Eric worked tirelessly and kept us informed almost daily. Any questions we had were quickly addressed. We believe Eric's attention to detail and exhaustive knowledge of family law were crucial to us achieving a positive result with the courts.
Read less
Posted by anonymous | August 1, 2011
Divorce & custody negotiations- thanks Eric!
After doing a great deal of research, I sought out Eric Nelson as my divorce attorney. Ours was a high conflict situation and I was preparing for a long drawn out divorce. I quickly felt comfortable with Eric and appreciated his approach of not asking for the world with the intention of accepting less, but rather one of setting an equitable goal and staying the course. His insight into the process and courts meant that I was sometimes given direction which I did not always wish to hear as a father, but this experience is why I sought him out. His advice was direct and communications very timely. Eric did a splendid job in negotiating a settlement despite an unresponsive and difficult opposing counsel. While he diligently looked out for mine and my children's interests, I was thoroughly impressed by the kindness he exhibited in making sure my ex understood what was going on, even when her own attorney would not. As a father I achieved joint legal and 50/50 physical custody, with Eric Nelson representing me. I highly recommend Eric Nelson.
Read less
Posted by Amy | May 15, 2011
Trustworty, Responsive, Knowledgeable, Kept me Informed - great attorney!
"I had worked with a different attorney to process my divorce proceedings but needed to go back to court to address some very difficult custody and visitation challenges that were not working out per my divorce decree. I needed someone that specialized in divorce and child custody cases and Eric has been a tremendous asset to me with handling these issues. I would definitely recommend Eric to anyone that is looking to hire an extremely knowledgeable attorney. Thanks Eric!
Read less
Posted by Robin | April 7, 2011
Just when I lost all hope...There was Eric Nelson.
If you are reading this testimonial, you are in one of two possible states of mind. First, you may be searching for help without the slightest idea of which attorney to choose. If you fall into this category, stop immediately, and retain Eric Nelson. You will not regret it. Second, if you are like I was, I had already been working with a lawyer, and spent upwards of $8,000.00, and I was dumbfounded by her ineptitude and lack of interest. She went on vacation for our first court date and turned my case over to another attorney who had not even read the case file before meeting me at the court. He was totally clueless. I could not go forward with either of these attorneys. As fate would have it, I found Eric. If there is such a thing as a 180 degree change in my fortunes, Eric was the reason. What I came to appreciate was that a lawyer’s “standing” with the court, aka, reputation, is critical to your success. Eric’s knowledge of the law, respect for the court, his willingness to seek a balanced and equitable solution that took into consideration the concerns of all parties was instrumental in the outcome of the case. The plaintiff hired a big name attorney from a big name firm whose sole strategy was to defame me in the worst possible ways. It was very ugly and very stressful. As a testimonial to Eric’s ability, was the $5,000 in “bad faith” attorney’s fees, I was awarded against my ex-wife and her attorney. I believe it may be the largest award of its kind in this court. I also received a substantial return of assets including the bad faith attorney’s fees. In her case, she did not get what she paid an incredible amount of money for. You do not always get what you pay for; with Eric you will. More importantly, I was rewarded with the restoration of my emotional health and self-confidence restored. Please do yourself a favor: Retain Eric Nelson: it’s a decision you will never regret.
Read less
Posted by Mark | March 16, 2011
Integrity, Prompt, Competent
Eric handled my case of contested child custody. My situation was horrendous. I will spare you the details, but the key point is that "the other side" was liberally paying bribes. The family law system is extremely corrupt, filled with some of society's lowest level people. I know how much was paid and to whom, because "she" later told me every detail. I faced an onslaught of false accusations, including a woman who was paid to give false testimony in court, under oath. Yes folks, there are people who will do such a thing for a few bucks. There are also family court referee's, psychologists, abuse investigators, etc.. who will do anything for a buck. Eric fought back hard, considered every possible angle, every possible technique to defend my position. Eric stood by my side while my world seemed to be melting down. He was always prompt to either answer my calls or return my calls. When you're floating down a dark sewer, trying to tread water, its certainly nice to have someone pull up in a lifeboat and offer you a ride. The guy in that lifeboat was Eric. The main point of my review here is that Eric can successfully do battle in this corrupt system. This story has a very happy ending. We achieved joint physical custody. I would certainly recommend Eric to be your attorney.
Read less
Posted by Nathan | March 15, 2011
I've Got My Girls! Thanks to Eric.
Divorce happens. If you're in it; you know the unimaginable stress involved. Everything in my life was impacted; family, my business, home, and my sweet girls. My situation was made worse with an extremely unhappy spouse. I suspect most people going through divorce share a similar experience. Speaking with Eric Nelson provided near instant relief. His calm manner and keen insight put me at ease. His focus on divorce and custody have given him a wealth of knowledge and expertise. His intelligence and confidence made him a champion at the arbitration table and in the court house. I always felt I was in good hands. My ex-wife was really unhappy. I'll leave it at that. Eric helped me secure a very reasonable settlement. I retained my business. Most important; I share 50/50 custody with my girls. That's what I really wanted. I'll always feel indebted to Eric for that.
Read less
View less reviews


  • Free Consultation 30 minutes
Payment methods
Cash, Check, Credit Card


AVVO RATING 9.8 (Superb)

Work Experience

  • Owner
  • Eric C. Nelson, Attorney
  • 1996 - Present
  • Judicial Law Clerk
  • Minnesota District Court
  • 1994 - 1996
  • Law Clerk
  • Hanley & Dejoras, P.A.
  • 1993 - 1994
  • Law Clerk
  • United States Dept. of Justice
  • 1992 - 1992
View all work experience


  • University of Minnesota Law School
  • Juris Doctor
  • 1994
  • Macalester College
  • Bachelor of Arts
  • 1990
  • Buffalo Senior High School
  • 1986

Legal Cases

  • Olson v. Olson
  • Victory (OFP was upheld on appeal).
  • Johnson v. Iber
  • Victory (COLA reversed on appeal).


  • United States Supreme Court Bar
  • Member
  • 2000 - Present
  • Minnesota State Bar Association
  • Member
  • 1996 - Present
  • Hennepin County Bar Association
  • Member
  • 1996 - Present
  • Condominium Board
  • Member
  • 2000 - 2001
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • English
  • Spanish

Honors and Awards

  • Rising Star
  • SuperLawyers
  • 2007
  • Lead Counsel
  • 2005
  • Phi Beta Kappa
  • Macalester College
  • 1990


View all publications

Attorney endorsements

Received (13)
Given (9)
Endorse Eric
Family Attorney | Mar 08
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. I have been practicing law for almost 20 years and Mr. Nelson is the MOST dependable and honest lawyer I have ever met. I have referred many friends to him for his services and I have no doubt that I will do so many more times in the years ahead. Thank you. Robert A. Bodeau"
Family Attorney | Mar 12
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer.I have found Eric Nelson to be reliable, honest and diligent in his representation of private clients. I would not hesitate to recommend my clients to Eric for all family law matters."
Unknown Attorney | Mar 02
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"I endorse this lawyer. Eric is very professional and does a good job for his clients."
Family Attorney | Jun 18
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I heartily endorse this lawyer. I have been practicing law for 25 years. I have known Mr. Eric Nelson, Esq., for 18 years. He is an excellent lawyer. He is very diligent, very even tempered, and obtains excellent results. These qualities are very important for a family law practitioner. He is also a very good person."
Family Attorney | May 29
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse Eric. He is a highly skilled attorney that is well respected in the legal community."
Unknown Attorney | Apr 10
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Top-notch attorney. Highly respected in the legal community."
Family Attorney | Dec 05
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Eric is the most dedicated family law attorney. I have known him for more than 15 years and have had the pleasure of referring clients to him. He is passionate about the practice of law; his client's interest and very knowledgeable about the the law. I heartily endorse Eric and highly recommend him"
Family Attorney | Apr 02
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"I endorse this lawyer. I was opposing counsel with Mr. Nelson on a matter that was a highly contested custody/parenting time matter. Mr. Nelson was a gentlemen even though he had a very difficult client."
Unknown Attorney | Jan 02
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Eric is a well known and respected Minnesota attorney"
Child support Attorney | Sep 12
Relationship: Other
"Very knowledgeable and helpful. I highly recommend Eric for child support issues."
Family Attorney | May 25
Relationship: Friend
"I have referred multiple clients and friends to Eric Nelson over the years when they needed a Mpls/St. Paul Metro area family law attorney and they have all been grateful. They have universally praised his knowledge, professionalism and advocacy, and never have any expressed regret over their choice. I do not hesitate to recommend Mr. Nelson to those seeking a good family law attorney in Minneapolis."
Family Attorney | Apr 04
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"I endorse this lawyer. Eric is a zealous advocate for his clients. He is very knowledgeable in family law matters and uses that knowledge to achieve excellent results for his clients. He is honest and ethical and does what he says he will do in a timely and efficient manner."
Divorce and separation Attorney | Mar 19
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Eric Nelson is a hard working, disciplined attorney with a good attitude."
View more endorsements
Divorce and separation
Criminal defense
Criminal defense
Child support
Criminal defense
Bankruptcy and debt
Personal injury