Most divorce cases in Minnesota are now required to go through some form of alternative dispute resolution such as mediation. It has been common to reduce any settlement agreements in writing and sign those agreements at a mediation session. A Court of Appeals case was published this month about which all participants of mediation should know. In that case the parties agreed in writing to a retroactive start date for child support, and spousal maintenance also known as alimony. One party decided the retroactive date was no longer agreeable, and the court ruled that it would not uphold the retroactive date for child support or spousal maintenance. This ruling has come as a surprise to many Minnesota family law attorneys. The attorneys on that case are planning to appeal it to the Minnesota Supreme Court.