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Anoka Divorce Law Blog

Important things to do after getting divorced in Minnesota

A spouse who files for divorce may want to take the proper steps to ensure that legal documents are drawn up quickly. Prior to receiving a divorce decree, both parties must make various arrangements to divide their assets and make plans for future finances. The issue is more important if child support is a concern.

Married couples are often insured under the same medical insurance policies. In this common situation, the end of a marriage means that one spouse must have their own coverage. In addition, a recently divorced person needs to contact their insurance agent to remove the spouse from the policy. Changing the last name is another important issue, especially when dealing with government identification cards.

Mediation may help maintain amicable parenting relationships

Before you had your children, you and the other parent likely had many talks and made many promises about how much you would love the children and always care for them. You may have even had the foresight to discuss how you would handle child custody arrangements or divorce matters in the event that you chose to end your marriage.

Now that the once-speculative idea of divorce has become a reality, you and your soon-to-be ex may want to work through the proceedings as quickly and painlessly as possible for the sake of yourselves and, more importantly, for your children. As a result, you may be considering the possibility of mediation strongly.

Spousal support orders in divorce cases

In some Minnesota divorces, spousal support may be an issue. Spousal support, which is commonly called alimony, consists of monthly support payments that are made by a higher-earning spouse to a lower-earning spouse for a period of time after a divorce. It is not ordered in every case.

In order to determine whether to award spousal support as well as how much to award, courts consider several factors. They consider how long the couple was married, the lifestyle that they have enjoyed, the need of the recipient, the ability of the payer to meet the obligation, and the health and age of both parties.

Working together to parent the children after the split

Minnesota residents who are going through a divorce have many things to consider. If they are parents, one of their primary concerns will be raising their children after the split. For many couples, this means figuring out how to co-parent successfully while keeping the best interest of the children at the forefront.

Child custody may be complicated to navigate, but parents can make it work. Communication is the key to successful co-parenting, but it can be tricky when there might be strong emotions related to the divorce. Working to actively prevent miscommunication and confusion by making clear plans for transitions, holidays and other important events can save both parents and kids a lot of heartache. One way to achieve this is by communicating via the internet through email and apps designed for this and setting up online calendars accessible to all.

Dealing with technology during a divorce

People in Minnesota who decide to divorce may find themselves emailing back and forth with their lawyers and discussing the breakup of their marriages using their smartphones, email accounts and other digital devices. Just like with other key events in people's lives, a divorce often sparks a great deal of electronic communication. In addition, it may inspire people to make some changes to their accounts and devices in order to protect their privacy and prepare for the single life to come.

Many married couples share passwords to online accounts. These can range from entertainment options like Netflix and Spotify to joint credit cards, mortgages and online banking accounts. While joint banking accounts should generally be left alone during a divorce, people may want to change their passwords to all of their personal accounts. While married, some people choose to share passcodes for their smartphones, passwords for their laptops or access to their personal email accounts or messenger services. In most cases, people will want to change the level of access they provide to their ex-spouse. Even for accounts that remain joint during the marriage, passwords should be changed if they are kept by one person after the divorce is finalized.

Taxes, Social Security and other late-life divorce issues

You might be one of many people in Minnesota or beyond who stayed in a struggling marriage for decades for any number of reasons. Perhaps, you wanted your children to grow to adulthood with both parents under one roof. Maybe you just kept hoping things would get better between you and your spouse of many years.

The rate of divorce among people age 55 and beyond has greatly increased in the past 20 or so years. While those who end their marriages at a younger age are often centrally focused on child custody issues, older spouses are often concerned about their retirement benefits, long-term financial provisions and other possible consequences that might impede their ability to adapt to a late-life, independent lifestyle. It's a good idea to research finance-related divorce laws before heading to court.

How cryptocurrencies can complicate a divorce

As divorced couples in Minnesota may have experienced firsthand, the process of dividing assets is a difficult one that tends to be contentious. The appearance of cryptocurrencies on the financial scene has only made the whole process all the more difficult, especially since many family law lawyers have little experience with this digital asset.

Cryptocurrencies complicate the divorce process in two main ways: To start with, these assets are easily hidden, and if the owner is a little tech-savvy, they can make their digital tokens untraceable. Granted, if the tokens were bought through an exchange, they'd be easy to track; however, if the owner bought them directly from someone else and moved them offline, these digital assets become very difficult to track, consuming a lot of resources in the process. As a result, it is important for owners to disclose their ownership of the assets during the divorce proceedings. Otherwise, they risk severe penalties, including giving the other spouse a larger share of the assets or going to jail for contempt of court.

Post-divorce taxes and dependents

Parents in Minnesota may already realize the significant financial benefits of claiming children as dependents on tax returns. In addition to being able to file as Head of Household, parents who claim their kids as dependents may also claim credits such as the Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit and Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit.

Even though the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act resulted in the elimination of the personal exemption, parents are still able to claim the Dependent Care Credit. The legislation also retained the Child Tax Credit, doubling it to $2,000.

Direct communication may ease divorce woes for kids

Parents in Minnesota have some valid reasons to be concerned about direct forms of communication like texting and social media. However, a new study suggests such technology may actually help kids feel loved and supported when one parent no longer lives in the same home. It has long been asserted that kids cope better with divorce when divorcing parents get along, but researchers came to a different conclusion.

The team behind the study evaluated data from parents who had gone through divorce with children ranging in age from 10 to 18. Researchers also considered parental warmth, closeness and other aspects of the typical parent-child relationship along with various co-parenting styles. But what ended up making the biggest difference with parent-child relationships was the frequency of communication.

How to find out if a spouse is hiding assets in divorce

Some soon-to-be ex-spouses in Minnesota may take drastic measures to hide assets in a divorce. While this is usually done to subvert the property division process, following a financial trail can also lead a spouse to the discovery of an affair. This was the case for a woman who found her husband had created a second entity for his New York company in Florida. The company never did business in Florida, but he used the address of the woman with whom he was having the affair as the business address.

In another case, a woman became suspicious when her husband failed to file their tax returns for two years. She discovered he had been overpaying estimated tax. His plan had been to wait until after the divorce and get the money back when he filed a single tax return. However, it is not necessary to have a business or an elaborate plan to hide assets. One woman put away $30,000 in a safe deposit box simply by getting extra cash each time she went to the grocery store.

Marvin Law Office, L.L.C.

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Anoka, MN 55303

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