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Anoka Divorce Law Blog

Options for parents in child support decisions

Minnesota couples who are ending their marriage and who have young children have a number of options when it comes to making a decision about child support. While child support may be decided by a judge in a court hearing, parents might instead opt to negotiate it in an informal manner. This is usually done with their attorneys.

Another option might be an alternative dispute resolution method such as arbitration, mediation or collaborative law. Arbitration is relatively uncommon in family law situations, but it involves having a third party hear both sides and make a decision. That decision is usually one that can be altered. With mediation or collaborative law, the parents, and possibly their attorneys, participate in the process of conflict resolution in an effort to reach a compromise.

Early steps for stability after the end of a marriage

Most people have some idea their partner is about to file for divorce, and spouses in Minnesota usually don't seek an end to their marriage without making some plans. If it seems like a possibility, there are ways to prepare financially for the end of a marriage. These steps can minimize fights over property division later on, speed up negotiations and reduce tensions at a time when emotions are clouding judgement.

Complete documentation of all the couple's assets and debts is a requirement for fair property division. It is possible to get these documents after divorce has been filed for, but it may take emotional arguments and litigation to do so. A much better idea is to review a checklist of documents, such as the one put out by the Institute of Divorce Financial Analysts. In a high-asset divorce involving businesses or real estate, it may make sense to contact an attorney for assistance with this step.

Spousal maintenance offers financial stability after divorce

If you have been financially dependent upon your spouse and now you are going through a divorce, your economic outlook may not seem too bright. Figuring out your monetary situation can be a challenge. Thankfully, many Minnesota residents qualify for spousal maintenance, which offers them financial stability when they need it most.

Can I seek alimony? How much can I get? How long will my spouse have to pay?

The nesting approach to child custody

Nesting is one way that Minnesota parents who are getting a divorce can share custody of their children with the least amount of disruption to their offspring's lives. With a nesting arrangement, children stay in the family home and the parents take turns living there. This is in contrast to the typical joint custody arrangement in which children move between their parents' homes. While joint custody is increasingly recognized as an arrangement that is good for children and their relationship with both parents, the constant moving can also be destabilizing.

This movement can be particularly disruptive in the first year or two following a divorce. Nesting does have some disadvantages, so one approach might be to set a limited time in which to do it. One couple spent 18 months taking turns sharing a small apartment while their children lived in the family home. When one of them found a new partner, they decided to end the nesting arrangement, but they reported that the children benefited from the stability and were better able to adjust to the divorce.

Employment strong factor in divorce

Minnesota residents may be interested in the findings of a study correlating divorce rates with employment. A Harvard professor found that since 1975 a husband's employment status has played an increasing role in the likelihood of divorce. While each divorce is unique and comes with its own list of causes, understanding the factors that contribute to the end of a marriage can help to both minimize the risk and prepare for a possible divorce.

The study focused on the employment of both men and women who were married. The overall finding indicated that increasing career aspirations and achievements for women surprisingly didn't have much of an effect on their likelihood to divorce. The employment status of husbands, however, played a strong role. This proved to be a rather unexpected finding, indicating the the greater economic independence of women was less of a contributor to divorce than the continued economic support of men. Despite women's employment gains, men were still expected to be the primary breadwinners in the family.

Political disagreements ending many relationships in the US

Political conversations seem to be center stage at many family dinner tables since President Trump has been elected. Unfortunately, some of those conversations are taking their toll on marriages in Minnesota and across the country. Many couples are even separating over political differences.

Recent poll data collected by Wakefield Research shows that one out of every 10 couples have ended their relationships over an inability to see eye to eye politically. This statistic was the same among married and unmarried couples. Those identified as millennials showed an especially high instance of separation at 22 percent.

Blocking a noncustodial parent from contacting a child

Due to the improvement in communications and technology, Minnesota parents are finding it easier to stay in contact with their child even if they spend the majority of their time with their other parent. However, there may be cases where the custodial parent does not want the child to be in contact with the noncustodial parent. Although custodial parents generally cannot block the other parent from contacting the child, there are certain circumstances where the court may limit communication.

For example, the court may block the noncustodial parent from having contact with the children if the parent is harassing them. The court may also block the parent if the parent has a history of domestic violence or abuse. Otherwise, the court will likely not allow the custodial parent to block the noncustodial parent. This is because blocking the child from the noncustodial parent may actually cause harm to the child, especially if the child and the noncustodial parent have a strong relationship.

Negotiating vacation time for divorced parents

Minnesota parents who are divorced may or may not have vacation plans written into their custody agreement. Whether or not the agreement covers this in detail, there are steps parents can take to try to avoid disputes. One is to plan well in advance and to share those plans in writing with the other parent. There could be legal problems if parents are not clear about the details of the vacation plan. If the vacation deviates from custody orders, a parent should have communication about it in writing in case the other parent later challenges the change.

A parent should also send the other parent regular reminders about the vacation in writing. If despite these precautions the other parent interferes with the vacation and the parents are unable to resolve the situation between themselves, it may be necessary to go to court.

Six tips for co-parenting during the summer break

Summer break comes with the potential for myriad conflicts. Maybe you want to take the kids hiking along the North Shore in August – but your ex said he’s already arranged a trip to Disney World during that time. Or maybe you believe your children would have a great time at a local Minnesota camp – but your ex can’t stand the thought of giving up time with them.

How to obtain custody in Anoka

Unfortunately, many couples with children split up. When this happens, one parent will normally be given sole custody. While there are some circumstances where a couple may be able to work together well enough to share custody, the majority of cases involve one person being granted custody of a child.

Child custody is normally determined by a judge or through mediation between the parents. Custody battles can be drawn out and contentious, so if possible, people should avoid them. However, if a parent is sure that their child would be better off with them and they can't come to an agreement with their ex, they will need to present their case in court.

Marvin Law Office, L.L.C.

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Marvin Law Office, L.L.C.
2150 Third Avenue North
Anoka, MN 55303

Toll Free: 800-585-1385
Phone: 763-200-5754
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