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Eagan, Minnesota, Legal Blog

Sending your kids back-to-school after divorce

Back-to-school season is upon us. You can’t walk into a store without seeing a multitude of backpacks, post-it notes and lunch boxes. As summer stands on its last legs, sending your child back to school after you have just gone through a divorce can be daunting.

This situation is uncharted territory and can be tough on both you and your children. Believe it or not, back-to-school may be more frightening for your child than you. Several questions could be going through their head, such as “what do I tell my friends and teachers?” and “who will help me with my homework?”

Is A “Nesting” Arrangement Right For Your Divorce?

If you are a divorced parent or a parent planning to divorce, you already know your children’s well-being is at the top of the list of your concerns. That concern normally takes shape when it comes to deciding parenting time, which child goes with what parent and when.

In the past, parenting time was considered strictly in terms of which parent’s house the children would go to for a given period of time. In other words, each parent has a house and the children come to the parents.

Planning For Divorce Means Starting Now

Divorce is not something that can happen at the drop of a hat. The courts are busy and no exceptions are made for people who want a divorce immediately.

In fact, you could even say there is such a thing as Divorce Season. The fall, for instance, is a very busy time for divorce courts. Summer vacation is over. The kids are going back to school. The holidays have not started yet. Those circumstances create a window commonly used by many, many couples to take the first steps toward reorganizing their family lives.

Tips for avoiding badmouthing as co-parents in divorce

It is no secret that emotions often increase the stress of divorce. Even in a fairly amicable separation, divorcing adults may have some animosity toward their soon-to-be ex-spouses. When a minor child is involved in a divorce, it may seem tempting for one parent to badmouth the other parent. In other situations, a parent may learn that their spouse or some other family member, is making negative comments about how the person is parenting. When a custody dispute is hotly contested, talking down about the other parent is often more pronounced.

Researchers and mental health professionals say that badmouthing a parent in front of the children can have a negative impact on a young child’s life, that can linger into adulthood. Children are not divorcing their parents, and continue to need to feel safe and secure with each parent. Moreover, children know that they are part of both mom and dad, and speaking against the other parent is personal to the child. Moreover, putting the child in the middle of an adult dispute may suggest to the child that he or she must choose a side.

Divorce after 50: Financial considerations for women

Recent divorce demographics point to a concerning trend for women over 50 years old. According to a Pew Research Study, the divorce rate for those crossing the half-century mark has doubled since 1990. Now being called “gray divorce,” a growing number of divorced women are being blindsided about the financial decisions many had left to their husbands.

Many married women are not making financial decisions

How the new tax law affects divorcing couples

With the tax filing deadline upon us, many couples have taxes on their agenda, if they have not filed them already. For families in the midst of a divorce, tax season can present unique challenges.

One such challenge is the passage of the federal tax overhaul in December of last year. Many people are still unsure of how these changes will affect their tax returns, but the new regulations will have a significant impact on those considering divorce. Here is how.

What if your business partner is your ex?

When you start a business with your spouse as your partner, you hope for the best. However, if the business sours, the strain placed on the marriage can be overcome. But is the reverse true? If you get a divorce, will your business soon fall apart? It does not have to.

Many couples who share the dream of owning their own business are mutually supportive in the beginning. It was a give and take enterprise, but if the marriage ends, it is possible to apply some family law thinking to keep your business alive.

Keeping in control of emotions during divorce

Most people know that going through a separation or divorce frequently includes an emotional roller coaster. When a marriage falls apart, or spouses simply decide to go their separate ways, tensions can rise. Many of the issues divorcing couples need to address have long-term consequences. Property division, child custody matters, and spousal maintenance issues are best addressed with reason and a rational mind. Unfortunately, remaining focused is often easier said than done.

The following are some tips that may provide you with outlets to ease tensions during an emotional time:

What is a child custody modification and when is it used?

A custody modification is a change to the existing custody arrangement. As parents face life changes -- or children's needs change -- a modification to the original agreement may be necessary. For parents seeking a custody modification, the process can be arduous and filled with more than a few hurdles.

Timing limitations

Parents cannot request a modification to the original arrangement within the first year unless certain exceptions are met. If the child is in danger, or the custodial parent is willfully denying parenting time, a modification may be requested.

The importance of having a properly drafted QDRO

Retirement plans are often significant assets in households. When a marriage comes to an end, some people may overlook these assets. In other situations, divorcing couples may agree to divide a retirement account in their property settlements. It is vital for people who are facing divorce to understand that the divorce decree, standing alone, may not be sufficient to properly transfer the right to receive retirement account benefits.

Employer sponsored retirement plans generally are not bound by the terms of a divorce decree. If you and your spouse agree to apportion retirement assets while dividing marital property, you will likely need to have a separate court order that addresses the issue directly. These documents are known as qualified domestic relations orders (QDRO). The order must be accepted by the retirement plan administrator to become a fully qualified order.

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