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Eagan, Minnesota, Legal Blog

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.

How to address common fears children have when parents divorce

A divorce can be a confusing and scary time for children, especially if their only impression of it is one they have gained from television. Both parents need to be proactive in helping to alleviate the children's fears during a divorce. A co-parenting plan can help you and your soon-to-be ex to work together to achieve this. Here are some of the most common fears children experience when their parents are divorcing, and how to address those fears.

The divorce is my fault

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.

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Eagan, MN 55122

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