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Anoka Divorce Law Blog

Study finds shift in reasons for divorce

Some people might assume that couples in Minnesota and around the country divorce for reasons such as infidelity or substance abuse, but a study that appeared in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy suggests that this is not the case. More than 2,300 people participated in the study, which found that reasons related to emotional fulfillment were the main ones.

Prenuptial agreements are critical when a business is at stake

For people in Minnesota planning a wedding, there are aspects that might not be joyous and can spur outright disagreement. One such issue is a prenuptial agreement. However, as hard as it can be to ask a future husband or wife to sign such a document, those who own certain assets must protect themselves. This is especially true if one spouse owns a business.

Business owners should understand how prenuptial agreements help them if their marriages end in divorce. With a prenuptial agreement, there will be a value assigned to the business as of the date of the marriage. Since a successful company will increase in value, this can shield a certain amount from property division in the divorce. Once the business has increased or decreased in value after the date of the marriage, the prenuptial agreement can gauge the non-owning spouse's contributions. There can also be detailed parameters as to that person's role and amount of compensation he or she will receive.

Financial pitfalls for older adults in a divorce

When spouses over age 50 get a divorce in Minnesota, they may face additional financial and emotional struggles. Since 1990, the divorce rate for this age group has doubled. Thus, more and more people are being forced to recover from a so-called "gray divorce."

For some older exes, there is simply not enough time in life to make up for the financial impact of divorce. According to one study, many people are still recovering a decade after their separations. Women may be particularly hard hit, struggling to get back into the workforce if they took time to raise children. One study found that the standard of living for women drops 45% after a gray divorce compared to a 21% drop for men.

Weddings causing debt often lead to divorce

A recent survey from a major insurance company found that about 45% of couples fall into debt to cover wedding costs. It also found that about half of the studied couples, who were aged 18 to 53, considered getting a divorce because of this debt. Research showed that money was a major source of stress in these relationships. Couples in Minnesota who pay for a wedding on credit cards or other borrowed money can expect the issue to be a possible source of conflict during the marriage.

Married couples who didn't go into debt to cover for wedding bills experienced much less conflict about money in their relationships. Only 20% of these couples said that they argued about wedding-related expenses. Only 9% of them said that they have contemplated divorce because of money problems. These lower rates of conflict suggest that couples who avoid wedding debt may have more well-thought financial objectives and responsibilities.

How to avoid financial problems in divorce

Divorce can be an emotionally difficult experience. Though most people understand this, they may not be fully prepared for other questions that arise due to divorce. One of the biggest areas of concern is how it might affect finances.

If divorce is something you're considering here in Minnesota, you might worry about how to handle your money. One study says that most people need to increase their income by 30% after a divorce if they want to keep living the way they did before. You want to ensure that you will have everything you need as you embark on this new phase of life. Fortunately, experts have several suggestions about how you can make that happen.

Why everyone should consider a prenuptial agreement

While many couples who create prenuptial agreements have wealth, anyone can benefit from such an arrangement. In many cases, it can help Minnesota residents keep the cost of their divorce to a minimum, and this is important because the divorce itself can cost more than a wedding. Divorces tend to be expensive because people often act in an emotional as opposed to a logical manner. They may be willing to spend time and money squabbling over minor household possessions.

A prenuptial agreement makes it possible to clearly establish who owns an asset or is responsible for a debt before a wedding occurs. Generally speaking, assets have not been commingled prior to this event taking place. Therefore, it is typically easier to determine who owns what, and the process of assigning assets and debts can take place in a calm and rational manner.

About supervised visits

Parents in Minnesota who have supervised visitation are only permitted to see their children while being supervised by another person. The visits can take place at a designated visitation facility, like a child care center, or can be arranged at the home of the parent.

The family court will generally require supervised visits in situations in which there are questions about a parent's fitness. For example, if something previously occurred because a parent's abuse of alcohol or drugs, or there have accusations of domestic violence or abuse, supervised visitation will be ordered so that parents will still be able to have contact with their children in a secure environment for the children.

Student loans during a divorce: Separate or joint?

Student loan debt is a significant financial issue for many people in Minnesota, one reason why it has become a major part of the national political debates. When people decide to divorce, they may face additional financial stress, especially as these effects of the end of a marriage may resonate long after the emotional matters have been handled. People struggling with loan debt may wonder how a divorce might affect their obligations to pay their student loans.

In general, people who went to school and accumulated their student loan debt before marriage will also walk away from the marriage with the outstanding balance of their loans. Like other premarital debts and assets, student loan debt belongs to the person who brought it to the marriage. However, the situation can be more complex when people obtain new student loan debt after they are already married. In general, debts acquired during the marriage are considered part of the marital estate and eligible for property division. Because Minnesota is an equitable distribution state, the marital property is not necessarily split in half to be divided between the parties. Instead, the courts aim to achieve a fair outcome on a case-by-case basis.

Co-parents who want low-stress do these things

When you signed divorce papers, you undoubtedly understood that your decision was going to disrupt your children's lives. However, you didn't let that worry you too much because you strongly believed that with lots of love and support, your kids would be okay. Now that you realize that you will be co-parenting on a long distance basis, you understandably want to make sure you and your ex create a solid plan.

Depending how old your children are, you will need to tailor your co-parenting plan to fit their needs. It isn't likely you'd send a toddler across country by airplane, every couple of months. On the other hand, an older teenager might be mature enough to travel alone. As long as you're both willing to work as a team, you can be hopeful that your long-distance co-parenting arrangement will work. If legal problems arise, it's a good idea to know where to seek support.

Dealing with student loan debt during a divorce

Student loans are a major burden for many people in Minnesota, especially as the cost of attending university has gone up dramatically across the country. With student loans forming such a significant portion of many people's debt, they may wonder how their loans will be affected if they divorce. Property division can be a complex process, and the financial impact of a divorce can remain even after the practical and emotional issues of the split have been handled.

If people acquired their student loans before marriage, their debt burden is generally always separate debt. People leave a marriage with the debt with which they entered it. However, the issue can be more complex if people accumulated their student loan debt during the marriage. In some cases, it can be considered marital debt rather than separate debt. Minnesota is an equitable distribution state, which means that marital property - and liabilities - are divided equitably during a divorce but not necessarily equally. There are different factors that can determine whether student loan obligations will be considered marital or separate debt.

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