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Anoka Divorce Law Blog

Avoid common mistakes during divorce negotiations

Minnesota residents contemplating a divorce would do well to consider avoiding mistakes that could have a negative impact on their financial situation after the divorce. For example, an individual going through a divorce may feel tempted to share a lot of information about the divorce or about their soon to be ex on social media. Doing this can harm the divorce negotiations.

Some have opted to impose a social media embargo as they are going through their divorce negotiations. There have been instances where one divorcing individual claims that they cannot afford to pay a settlement that is being negotiated. Then they go on lavish vacations or boast on social media about bonuses they are getting at work. All of this information will serve as fodder for the other side.

Why couples divorce

Even though the divorce rate in the United States is falling, divorce still occurs frequently. Couples in Minnesota who are considering getting a divorce may be interested to learn that some reasons for divorce are very common.

Data obtained from a study conducted by the National Center for Biotechnology Information was used to create a list that ranks the most common reasons for divorce. The study involved polling 52 people who had taken part in a prevention and relationship enhancement program before getting married. The purpose of the program was to instruct couples about resolving conflicts and communicating effectively.

Making a successful co-parenting plan

Minnesota parents who are divorcing may struggle with how to handle time with their children. While joint custody is increasingly preferred by divorcing couples as well as family courts, it can be difficult to handle emotionally and practically. Most parents are hesitant to give up any time with their children, and negotiating the logistics of frequent custody swaps can be complex. However, supportive co-parenting arrangements have strong benefits for the children and often help them to adjust to post-divorce life.

While child custody negotiations can be challenging, it's important for parents to remain focused on the children's interests. Some people may want to punish their former partners for relationship failings, but a parenting plan is not the place to hash out those issues. Both parents will often have to make sacrifices and agree to inconvenient schedules in order to develop the best plan for their children. In addition, so long as there is no history of abuse or neglect, children generally benefit from strong relationships with both of their parents.

Minnesota spouses age 54 or more are at great risk for divorce

The overall rate of divorce has reportedly been on a decline in Minnesota and throughout the nation. There's an exception, however. If the year you were born is between 1946 and 1964 (i.e. the baby boomer generation) not only are you at great risk for divorce, but the rate of divorce among your age group has more than doubled in the past 20 years.

People now commonly refer to filing for divorce later in life as "gray divorce." The actual process for petitioning the court and choosing an option to achieve a settlement follows the same path as it would had you navigated the system at a younger age. However, a late-life divorce may have several implications that couples who are younger might not experience, so it's helpful to talk to someone who has gone through a similar experience before you head to court.

Why student couples should consider a prenup

Minnesota students who get married might want to consider creating prenuptial agreements. This may be particularly true for students who are in law or medical school. Even if these students do not yet have assets, they might have significant debt. They may also have a strong likelihood of significant earnings in the future. Both of these things should be taken into consideration when creating a prenup.

The prenup will lay out how the couples expects to divide property in case of divorce. Preparing it can allow a young couple to have an honest conversation about finances. This includes not just their debts and assets but attitudes toward money. It can also be an opportunity for individuals to learn more about their own finances.

Post-divorce life may require new financial pros

For some Minnesota couples, marital arrangements include situations where one spouse is dependent on the other one for financial decisions. Should a marriage come to an end, a dependent former spouse may opt to continue to rely on the same set of professionals that advised their ex. The justification for doing so may be to ease the transition process. However, it can be difficult for newly-single adults to make a clean break while still working with a team they may not have selected or even dealt with personally.

It's often advised that dependent spouses begin to select their new set of financial pros during the divorce process, starting with a financial adviser. This is the individual who can help people determine if they can afford to keep the marital home or whether they may need to go back to work to increase their hours, even if they'll be receiving alimony. They can further help with the process of changing beneficiaries on various accounts to remove the ex's name and opening new banking and investment accounts.

Disparate Levels of Attractiveness Can Spell Marriage Disaster

Like in other parts of the country, marriage in Minnesota is meant to be a lasting and legal bond shared by two people in love. Unfortunately, love and marriage are seldom easy, and in many cases, unforeseen complications can arise that make divorce more likely. For example, Fatherly points out that research has been done into the subject of attractiveness and marriage success. This research suggests that marriages involving men marrying women who are significantly more attractive may result in divorce at a rate higher than the average.

Part of the reason behind these findings is that men who are less attractive than their partners may be more prone to jealousy. As a result, their approach to disagreements within the marriage may include controlling behavior that ultimately leads to disagreements and offense. On the other hand, women who are more attractive than their husbands have also been found to be less committed and more flirtatious because they are testing the waters to see if someone more attractive could be a suitable mate. In either case, the possibility for divorce increases as the levels of attractiveness become less equal.

Joint custody can benefit children of all ages

There are a number of custody options that people can choose when they decide to divorce in Minnesota. While the right solution may vary for each individual family, joint custody is an increasingly favored standard option in most cases where the divorcing parents live near one another and have living situations appropriate for children. Many child psychologists note that shared custody is preferable for children of all ages, including overnight care, so long as abuse or neglect is not a factor. While some people in the past opposed overnight visits with fathers for infants and toddlers, modern approaches recognize equal value for parenting time with both parents.

Joint physical child custody or shared parenting usually means that children spend half of their time with each parent. Many people do a one-week-on, one-week-off schedule, especially when both parents live close enough together that this does not interfere with a child's school attendance or extracurricular activities. In general, children in families with joint custody have better outcomes than those in families with sole custody. This may reflect a number of things, including the fact that joint custody is now a preferred standard in most places. In other words, divergences from shared parenting may point to more serious issues.

What your prenuptial agreement can include

If you are about to walk down the aisle, you naturally may feel that you will stay married to your significant other long term. The reality, though, is that divorce can happen if you and the other party end up growing apart and wanting different things in life.

This is why putting together prenuptial agreements is becoming increasingly common among couples headed for marriage in Minnesota and elsewhere. These agreements establish both your and your significant other's financial rights in the event that you get divorced one day. They also establish people's property rights. Here is a glimpse at what can go inside a prenuptial agreement in Minnesota.

Planning for divorce amid tax law changes

For many people in Minnesota, news of the tax changes to come with the new year in 2019 led them to speed up their divorce agreements in order to finalize by the end of 2018. As part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed in late 2017, alimony tax rules that have been in place for decades will be dramatically altered as of Jan. 1, 2019. While the tax treatment of couples who are already divorced will remain the same, people who divorce moving forward will need to reach a settlement under the new tax laws.

Historically and until the end of 2018, the payer of spousal support could deduct the amount of the payments from his or her taxes. At the same time, the recipient would pay taxes on the income at his or her lower tax bracket. For many wealthy couples with high-asset divorces, this tax arrangement and the accompanying deductions were strong incentives to reach a settlement that included generous spousal support payments. However, this will change when the new provisions go into effect.

Marvin Law Office, L.L.C.

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