Marian E. Saksena

Top rated Family Law attorney in Minneapolis, Minnesota

DeWalt, Chawla + Saksena, LLC
Marian E. Saksena
DeWalt, Chawla + Saksena, LLC

Practice Areas: Family Law, Alternative Dispute Resolution

Licensed in Minnesota since: 1999

Education: University of Minnesota Law School

Selected to Super Lawyers: 2014 - 2023 Selected to Rising Stars: 2006 - 2009, 2011

DeWalt, Chawla + Saksena, LLC

330 Second Avenue South
Suite 760
Minneapolis, MN 55401 Phone: 612-361-6180 Email: Marian E. Saksena Visit website


Marian E. Saksena is an experienced and creative family law attorney and qualifed neutral.  Marian assists clients and their families during times of transition, with a focus on promoting children's well-being. Ms. Saksena’s legal expertise encompasses family and juvenile law matters including divorce, custody, paternity, parenting time, domestic abuse, child support, spousal maintenance, third-party custody, grandparent visitation, post-decree, adoption, and child protection matters.

Ms. Saksena is licensed to practice law in the state of Minnesota as well as several tribal courts. Attentive to each client's needs and goals, Marian is a resourceful problem solver and a skilled advocate.

Ms. Saksena is also qualified neutral under Rule 114 of the Minnesota General Rules of Practice. Ms. Saksena’s legal knowledge, advanced training in alternative dispute resolution techniques, and personal attributes enable her to be an effective mediator, evaluator, parenting consultant and parenting time expeditor for families who want to resolve disputes without the acrimony, cost, and uncertainty of traditional litigation. 

With over 25 years of experience working with children and families, Ms. Saksena is passionate about helping people to navigate challenging situations and craft lasting solutions.  Prior to becoming an attorney, she worked as a child advocate for Cornerstone and served as a court-appointed guardian ad litem in both juvenile and family court cases. Ms. Saksena received her J.D. from the University of Minnesota in 1998, where she also studied social work and received a Certificate in Child Abuse Prevention Studies.  She earned her B.A. from Grinnell College in 1993.

Ms. Saksena is the co-chair of the Hennepin County Juvenile Law Section and past-Chair of the Minnesota State Bar Association Children and the Law Section. By appointment, Ms. Saksena has served on numerous advisory boards and committees, including the Uniform Parentage Act Task Force, Statewide Advisory Committee on Long-Term Foster Care, and the Minnesota Supreme Court Juvenile Protection Rules Committee.  She has published articles and taught seminars on a variety of topics related to juvenile and family law.  Ms. Saksena volunteers for Children’s Law Center of Minnesota and other organizations.

First Admitted: 1999, Minnesota

Professional Webpage:

Educational Background:
  • J.D. from the University of Minnesota School of Law; certificate in child abuse prevention studies from the University of Minnesota Graduate School of Social Work; and a  B.A. from Grinnell College. , 1998
Other Outstanding Achievements:
  • Member Profile, HCBA Blog, 2018
  • Minnesota Super Lawyers Top 50 Women List, chosen for inclusion in this list, 2016-2018, Top 50 Women List , Super Lawyers, 2018
Scholarly Lectures/Writings:
  •   PRESENTATIONS: Co-Presenter, Seven Things Family Lawyers Should Know About Child Protection, 2014 Family Law Institute (plenary session and breakout session), March 2014; Presenter, Making Children’s Voices Heard in International Child Abduction Cases: Role of GAL and Children’s Counsel, International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, June 2012; Faculty, College Costs for Children of Divorce, Minnesota State Bar Association/Minnesota CLE, May 2011; Faculty, ICWA and Third Party Custody, The Indian Child Welfare Act: Women, Children and Families, Indian Child Welfare Law Center Symposium, July 2010; Faculty, Representing Youth in ICWA Cases, Children’s Legal Services, May 2010;  Co-Presenter, Intersection of Family Law and Mental Health Services, In-Service Training for The Family Partnership (formerly Family & Children's Service), April 2010;   Seminar Co-Chair, Juvenile Court Mediation Seminar, Association of Family and Conciliation Courts – Minnesota Chapter, Juvenile Court Committee, March 2010;   Faculty, Preparing for and Testifying in Court: A Primer for Guardians ad Litem, Minnesota Judicial Branch Guardian ad Litem Program, 2009 Annual Conference: Building Pathways for Children in a Changing Word, April 2009; Faculty, There's No Place Like Home: Permanency Options for Foster Children, Minnesota State Bar Association/Minnesota CLC, 30th Annual Family Law Institute, March 2009; Co-Presenter, Third Party Custody, Minnesota Legal Services Coalition, February 2009; Presenter, Third Party Custody Options, Hamline University School of Law, Child Advocacy Clinic, 2008-2009; Faculty, Representing Children in Family Court, Minnesota Custody and Child Support, Minnesota State Bar Association/Minnesota CLE, 2006; Faculty, Juvenile Protection and Juvenile Delinquency Records, Children's Records Law  in Minnesota, Lorman Educational Services; 2006 Faculty, Issues Relating to Minority Children in Delinquency and Child Protection Proceedings, Emerging and Innovative Ideas in Juvenile Law:  Celebrating 100 Years of Juvenile Courts in Minnesota, Minnesota Juvenile Court Centenary Planning Committee, 2005; Co-Presenter, Adoption Rules 101, Minnesota State Bar Association Children and the Law Section; 2004 Seminar Co-Chair and Faculty Member, Best Interests of the Child and Alternative Caregiving Arrangements, Minnesota State Bar Association/Minnesota CLE, 2004; Faculty, When Parents Can't Parent Their Children:  Third-Party Custody, CHIPS Proceedings, De Facto Custodians, Guardianships and Adoption, Minnesota State Bar Association/Minnesota CLE's 25th Annual Family Law Institute, 2004; Faculty, Representing Youth In Foster Care, Children's Law Center of Minnesota, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003; Faculty, Legal Rights of Children: Fact or Fiction, MILE Juvenile Law Seminar, 2002;  Presenter, Uniform Parentage Act Task Force Report: Adoption, Paternity and Assisted Reproductive Technology, Minnesota State Bar Association Children and Law Section, 2002;  Presenter, Legal Rights of State Wards and Long-Term Foster Care Youth, Hennepin County Permanency Provider Meeting, 2002; Panel Member, Media Orientation: Open Child Protection Proceedings, Minnesota Supreme Court, 2002; Presenter, State Wards Project, Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi, LLP, 1999 and 2002 Guest Faculty, Improving Outcomes for State Wards, University of Minnesota School of Social Work, Child Abuse Prevention Studies, 2000; Panel Member, Guardian ad Litem Panel, Guardian ad Litem Training, Ramsey County, 1998;  Speaker, various presentations at schools, churches, and juvenile facilities through Cornerstone Advocacy Services, 1993 - 1995; and, Speaker, various presentations at alternative and charter schools through Minnesota State Bar Association Speakers Bureau, 2005 - 2010. MEDIA AND PUBLICATIONS Author, Child Protection QuickSheet, Minnesota CLE, 2014;   Author, Out-of-Home Placements for Abused, Neglected, and Dependent Children in Minnesota: A Historical Perspective, Polish Genealogical Society of Minnesota Newsletter (Vol. 21, No.1), Spring 2013;   Co-Author, The Intersection of Rising College Costs and Changes in Family Law, The Hennepin Lawyer, November 2010 (identified by Minnesota State Law Library as one of top 25 recently received periodical articles of possible interest to the judiciary, January 2011);   Author, The Interplay of Child Protection and Divorce, Solving the Most Difficult Problems in Divorce Cases, Minnesota State Bar Association/Continuing Legal Education, October 2009;   Guest, Indian Child Welfare Act, Minnesota Law Report,  KYCR AM-1570, December 2007;   Guest, Paternity, Minnesota Law Report,  KYCR AM-1570,  November 2007;   Author, Judicial Profile: Judge Jay Quam, The Hennepin Lawyer, May 2007;   Author, Out-of-Home Placements for Abused, Neglected, and Dependent Children in Minnesota:  A Historical Perspective, 32 William Mitchell Law Review 1007-1049, 2006 (special issue related  to 100 Year Anniversary of Minnesota Juvenile Court) ;  Author, Representing Children in Family Court, The Minnesota Custody and Child Support Deskbook, Minnesota State Bar Association/Continuing Legal Education, First Edition 2006 and updates;   Guest, Teens and Domestic Violence (Phillips Community Television’s teen-produced cable TV program), October 2005;   Guest, Adoption, Meet Your Court (Hennepin County District Court’s weekly cable TV program), September 2002;   Reviewer, Health For Teens in Care: A Judge’s Guide, American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law, 2002;   Contributor, Robert J. Sheran and Douglas K. Amdahl, Minnesota Judicial System:  Twenty-Five Years of Radical Change, 26 Hamline Law Review 219, 329, Spring 2003 (regarding developments in juvenile and family law)., Co-Presenter , Trauma-Informed Practices in Juvenile Court, HCBA, 2018
  • Presentation related to domestic infant adoption , Presenter, Adoption 101 , Bethany Christian Services , Adoption, 2018
Bar/Professional Activity:
  • Co-Chair, Hennepin County Juvenile Law Section Member, Minnesota State Bar Association Member, AFCC - MN , 2018
Pro bono/Community Service:
  • Volunteer Attorney, Children’s Law Center of Minnesota, 2002 - present Volunteer Attorney, Wills for Heroes, 2014 – to present Volunteer Attorney, Volunteer Lawyers Network Juvenile Advice Panel, 2014- present  Member, The Wall Alumni Service Award Committee, Grinnell College, 2014 - 2017 Volunteer Mediator, Hennepin County Juvenile Court CHIPS Mediation Pilot Project, 2009 - 2011 Volunteer Attorney, Volunteer Lawyers Network, 2009 – 2013 Volunteer Attorney, MSBA/Hennepin County Pro Se/Pro Bono Project (Limited Scope Legal Services), 2008 – 2013 Legal Consultant, Behavioral Health Department of The Family Partnership (formerly known as Family & Children’s Service), 2010 - 2011 Contributor, Storyboard Project, Minnesota Juvenile Court Centenary Committee, 2006 Volunteer, Minnesota State Bar Association Mock Trial Program, 2001, 2004     Volunteer, White Earth Land Recovery Project (White Earth Indian Reservation), 2002  Guardian ad Litem, Ramsey County Juvenile and Family Court, 1997 – 1999   Children’s Support Group Facilitator, Cornerstone, 1995 - 1996, 2018
Industry Groups:
  • HCBA
  • MSBA

Office location for Marian E. Saksena

330 Second Avenue South
Suite 760
Minneapolis, MN 55401

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