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Eagan, Minnesota, Legal Blog

Electronic communications may be used against you in divorce

Social media has become a part of how we interact and communicate with friends. Posting on Facebook, sending a text message and tweeting on Twitter have become second nature for many when events arise in their lives. These activities have become so engrained in our culture as a way to chronicle our lives that it is easy to overlook that these messages are very public – no matter what efforts people make to limit access to their social media posts.

Updating your friends on Facebook can create evidence for your spouse

Calculating alimony in Minnesota can be cumbersome

Determining whether spousal maintenance should be required in a divorce can be a complicated process under Minnesota law. If alimony is appropriate, calculating the amount of the maintenance award may be hotly contested. Family court judges are given wide discretion in calculating spousal maintenance awards. This kind of financial support is generally thought to be based on need. The purpose is to ensure that the recipient is able to maintain a fairly similar standard of living following the dissolution as he or she had during the marriage.

In many marriages, both spouses enjoy a career and earn income. However, there can be a large disparity in income between the spouses. In today's economy, wages are not always steady. Variable schedules, less than full-time hours, and seasonal variations may make it difficult to compare one income to another. Often, a spouse may argue that their soon-to-be ex is not making the full income she or he is capable of earning.

Spring is the time for divorced parents to talk about change of school plans

Life often takes many twists and turns. After a divorce, each ex-spouse moves on with his or her new life. New job opportunities may make it necessary to move to a new home. New relationships may lead to relocating to a new home. Changes in the needs and interests of a child may require a change of direction. Even if you believe a new school has a program that meets the needs of your child better than his or her current school, does your ex agree with your assessment?

When parents of minor children go through divorce, addressing educational opportunities for the kids is a vital step in resolving custody and parenting time issues. However, the final court order may identify school choice issues as being linked to the address of one parent.

How marriage and divorce may affect women's health after age 50

Most research on the relationship between marriage and health indicates that divorce can be detrimental to women's well-being. However, a study on the effects of marital transitions on women's health after age 50 suggests otherwise.

The Study

The study collected data on over 79,000 women aged 50-79 over the course of three years, according to GoodTherapy.org. Researchers tracked health and lifestyle factors such as weight, waist circumference, blood pressure, alcohol and tobacco use, diet, and exercise habits. Participants were then divided into three groups -- those who married or entered a long-term relationship, those who divorced, and those whose marital status remained unchanged throughout the study.

Five tips for telling the kids about divorce

Telling your children you're getting divorced is challenging. For parents, divorce may represent a fresh start and an end to a painful relationship. For kids, divorce may mean their world is changing in ways they don't understand for reasons they don't comprehend. Children are resilient and the way you tell your kids about the divorce can help them through this difficult time.

Tell them together. When you and your spouse explain the situation to your children together-as a choice "we" are making-you show your children that the two of you can still work together as their parents and that the divorce will not stop either of you from loving them, caring for them, or being their parents.

Resolution: Estate plan

When the ball dropped at midnight, most Americans made a resolution. Some made a silent, personal vow to better their lives: to fix a troubled relationship or to get out of debt. Others said it aloud, proclaiming a desired weight loss or the completion of a home renovation project. Whatever the resolution, odds are good that it involves money, family or both.

As we make adjustments in the new year, updating the estate plan is often overlooked. If there's a relationship or job change in your family, it's likely that you should tweak your plan to reflect your new life.

Maybe, like over half of Americans, you don't have an estate plan at all. Setting one up is a resolution that can't wait until 2018.

Let's split the kids in half!

In child custody cases, many parents go in thinking their goal is to get joint physical custody of their children with each parent getting equal time with the children. They believe that 50-50 parenting time is fair - split the kids in half (figuratively, not literally, of course). Half of the kids' time spent at their mother's house, the other half spent at their father's. Seems fair enough, right?

In reality, joint custody and a 50-50 split may not be what is best, or appropriate, for the kids. What seems fair on the surface may not in fact be a workable or practical solution - and it may also put additional strain on the children and the family dynamic.

Did you know parenting time and child support are interrelated?

Child custody, parenting time and child support are core issues in any divorce with minor children, and they are the key issues at the end of a relationship for parents who weren't married. Because child support and child custody laws differ from state to state, it's important to ensure that you are getting accurate information about what to expect in your family court case. In some states, child custody, parenting time and child support are treated as totally separate issues, but in Minnesota, these issues intersect quite a bit.

Child support basics

Minnesota, like many other states, considers both parents' incomes when calculating child support. The court gathers all income information, including salaries, wages, commissions, unemployment, pension and disability benefits, and self-employment income, for each parent. A credit is given for child support of children who are not part of the existing case. The total of the two parents' incomes, and the number of children in the existing case, determines the amount of combined child support obligation, which is divided between the parents proportionately. Basic support is computed using the guidelines set out in Minnesota law.

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Eagan, MN 55122

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