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Eagan, Minnesota, Legal Blog

Challenges of 50/50 parenting schedules

For divorcing parents, deciding how their children will spend time at both parent's households is a difficult decision. The shift towards joint custody over sole custody has gained momentum as the best option for children of divorced parents. While joint custody can be a viable option for parents and children alike, the arrangement comes with unique challenges for ex-spouses.

In order for joint custody to be appropriate, parents must be able to communicate frequently with each other in order to co-parent effectively. Children should not be used as pawns to exact revenge upon a former spouse. Similarly, lower child support payments should not be the goal of joint custody arrangements.

Dividing assets in divorce with a view to the future

Dividing property in divorce is a difficult and often confusing process for many people. Many factors may influence what is fair and equitable in an individual case. Dividing assets and debts often requires more analysis than merely creating a spreadsheet to identify market values of all of the assets and performing simple math to obtain a result. Emotions often kick in, which may complicate the decision-making process. Listed below are three things to keep in mind when dividing assets during the divorce process.

Determine what is most important

Tips for handling unexpected co-parenting costs after divorce

There is a wealth of information available on the Internet that discusses the issue of child support. Minnesota law specifically recognizes that children have the right to receive financial support from both parents. Child support generally involves three components, including:

  • Basic support to cover costs associated with food, housing, educational opportunities and similar basic needs
  • Medical support to cover dental and medical expenses for the child
  • Child care support to cover day care expenses for the child when parents are in school or at work

Life never seems as simple as the guidance courts use to arrive at a solution to a legal problem. When it comes to co-parenting after divorce, a child support agreement may work well to define the obligations parents have to provide for their children. However, that may not always mean that parents will not face extraordinary expenses that child support does not fully address.

How will your adult child react to your divorce?

In past generations, it may have seemed more common for parents to delay getting divorced until the children reached adulthood. Some couples continue to drudge through an unhappy marriage to protect their minor children from strife. However, as we discussed in July, more couples over the age of 50 are getting divorced. Many of these divorces are not due to a prior conscious decision to delay the dissolution until the kids were out of the house. Marriages break down for a wide variety of reasons, and sometimes couples that have been together for many years grow apart and seek to move on in their separate directions.

When a marriage breaks down later in life, it may seem like the children are no longer an issue to think about in the divorce process. Adult children can react in different ways to the divorce, especially when they have memories of a happy childhood household. The parent child-relationship often changes as the children mature into adults.

Discovering hidden assets in a Minnesota divorce

Dividing marital property can be complex. Couples facing the breakdown of their marriage often do not see eye-to-eye. Disputes over the value of the home or other substantial assets may seem burdensome. However, when one spouse decides to break the rules and hide assets before the divorce papers are filed, it is vital to work with a strong legal team to protect your financial future. Uncovering hidden assets may be more complicated than resolving disputes over market values.

Several years ago ForbesWoman and the National Endowment for Financial Education commissioned a small study of financial deception or financial infidelity among married couples. Harris Interactive surveyed slightly more than 2,000 people. Nearly one-third of the participants (31 percent) admitted to cheating on their spouse financially. 

Three tips to help prepare for divorce

If your marriage has reached the breaking point, you likely know that going through divorce can bring forth a variety of emotions.  Whether divorce comes as a surprise or after a long breakdown in the relationship, the emotional turmoil can seem overwhelming for many individuals. Of course, if your marriage is at the breaking point, you likely are well aware that emotions can peak during divorce.

Taking stock of your individual circumstances, evaluating your future goals, and preparing for the divorce process as early as possible can help you to move forward with a greater sense of confidence. Moreover, having a plan in place from the start can help to look through the cloud of emotions to make important decisions with better clarity. 

More couples over the age of 50 are getting divorced

Many baby boomers are finding emptiness in their marriages, according to researchers. The divorce rate among couples over the age of 50 has doubled in the past 30 years. For those over the age of 65, the spike in divorces is even higher.

Notably, the age bracket we are talking about also has increased in the same time frame. The baby boom generation alone saw higher numbers than previous generations, hence the moniker that has lasted since the end of WWII. Life expectancy has also increased in the past few generations. Some commentators also note that more women are financially independent after having a career - a component that previous generations did not see in large numbers.

Understanding the importance of communication in co-parenting

It is no secret that divorce is often a highly stressful experience. The loss of love, and often the loss of trust, between partners can involve emotional strains that often create barriers to ongoing communication. After the divorce is finalized, the adults often go their separate ways when it comes to day to day activities. Many individuals enter new relationships, or pursue new opportunities for their own personal growth after divorce. At the same time, maintaining a strong parent-child relationship is typically a top priority for divorced parents.

Co-parenting and communication makes a difference

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.

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