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St. Paul Family Law Blog

How do I pursue delinquent payments for child support in MN?

When a couple in Minnesota shares a child but is no longer together, it is possible that one will be ordered to pay child support to the other, known as the custodial parent. While most parents want to ensure that their children are cared for appropriately, and that the payments are made in a timely fashion and in their proper amount, there are times when a parent doesn't pay what he or she is supposed to. This can be for a variety of reasons. In this case, the custodial parent has options to pursue the delinquent payments.

If one of the parties involved makes the request, there can be a "6-month review hearing." This can be held at some point in the six months of the initial order for child support. This hearing is when the participants can meet with either a magistrate or a judge to ensure the order is being adhered to. If there is a dispute more than six months after the order, this is not an option. With the initial order for child support, there should be an attachment regarding a review hearing.

Can I deduct my alimony payments on my tax return?

Last week's post in this blog discussed the basics of alimony in Minnesota. This week we're going to take a look at an issue that will probably be on the minds of many divorced Minnesotans between now and April 15: how should I deal with alimony payments on my tax return?

In general, because alimony payments are taxable income for the recipient, they are deductible by the payor. However, certain requirements must be met for a payment to be considered deductible alimony. First, you cannot deduct a payment if you and your ex-spouse are filing a joint tax return. Payments will not be deductible if, at the time of the payment, you and your ex-spouse live in the same household, or if you have an obligation to continue the payments after the death of your ex-spouse. To be deductible, the payments must be made in cash or by check or money order.

Understanding the basics of alimony

The stresses of going through a divorce can make anyone's head spin. There are many elements that must be considered be navigating and understanding them all can be difficult during such an emotionally stressful time. One such element that may be of concern is alimony, and understanding the basics can help formulate a strong plan of action moving forward.

At its core, alimony is meant to assist in the economic gap that may occur for one spouse due to loss of income stemming from the divorce. If a spouse decides to focus their energy on the family instead of a career, a divorce can sometimes be a crippling blow to their finances. Alimony helps in these situations, but unlike child support, there is no set formula or set of criteria for determining alimony amount.

Child Custody Lingering on the Minds of Many Minnesota Families

Life is full of stress. From paying the bills to getting to work on time, there is always some pressure baring down on us. Family, of course, is what makes it all worth it. The stress melts away when your kids are sharing their tales of the day.

For too many Minnesota families, however, have the added stress of child custody concerns that could eliminate this safe haven. Family lawyer Janet L. Goehle understands this pressure and wants nothing more than for you to recover your oasis.

Hollywood to examine child custody issues in new movie

While many of the blockbuster movies that come out of Hollywood these days feature bombastic action, sometimes studios delve into much more real and personal stories on the silver screen. People of all different backgrounds can relate to movies, especially if the movie touches on experiences people can relate to in their own personal lives. One such example for some, may be the upcoming movie featuring Kevin Costner, "Black or White."

While the race issues in the movie are obvious given the title of the film, the child custody aspects may also present some important lessons for parents living in the Minneapolis and St. Paul areas.

Putting a positive spin on divorce

So you are thinking about getting a divorce? Congratulations! The response is not typical but, if you ask many divorced Minnesotans, completely appropriate. Divorce has always had a certain stigma in our society. People apologize and ask how you are holding up. They worry about the kids and wonder how anyone can make it work after a divorce.

The reality, of course, is that you would not be getting a divorce if the status quo was working out. To fix the situation, a divorce may be necessary and is often the first step towards a better, happier life. Unfortunately, it is not a very easy step for many spouses to take.

Why would anyone refuse nearly $1 billion in a divorce?

Media outlets all over the world are having a field day reporting on a divorcee who refused to accept a $975 Million check from her ex-husband as a settlement of their divorce. While many local St. Paul residents who have gone through divorce proceedings would have gladly accepted the money to put the turmoil to bed, there is one critical reason for her to initially reject it. It was not enough.

The women refusing the money is married to an Oklahoma oil magnate allegedly worth billions of dollars. As a result, she believes she is entitled to additional funds, and is engaged in an appeal to do just that. While viewed by many as greedy, divorce resolutions are complex animals that should never be resolved in haste.

Celebrity couple finalize divorce, one year after separation

Celebrity couples get divorced nearly every day. It's not really news. They have different lifestyles and different problems than the average Minnesotan. Nevertheless, sometimes a celebrity divorce has lessons which carry over to the Twin Cities.

Take Taye Diggs and now ex-wife Idina Menzel for instance. Broadway actors Diggs and Menzel announced their split over a year ago but little news trickled out between then and now. It has been discovered, however, that the two have finalized their divorce after a year of hammering out the details.

What are the elements of a child custody decision?

There are many aspects of a divorce that make it a stressful time for all involved. However, when children enter the picture, especially if the matter of custody is involved, the situation can become even more stressful. Parents may find themselves wondering what exactly is figured into the equation when a child custody decision. There are actually several things that are considered.

The decision of child custody can be in the hands of several different individuals depending on the process of the divorce. If parents are settling the matter outside of court, the decision is largely up to the parents in question. This process can also be helped along with the assistance of attorneys, mediators or counselors. If a decision is not reached or if the divorce does go to court, the process becomes different.

Child support available to custodial parents

Minnesota's statutory scheme in family law is built around the mandate to do what is in the best interest of the children. As a result, the laws set forth a detailed regulatory framework that describes how the payment of child support is to be administered. These monthly payments are intended to help a custodial parent pay for the day-to-day expenses of raising a child.

Nevertheless, the laws are often ignored or misapplied. For instance, a separated couple that never legally divorced may never acquire a support order, allowing one partner's obligations to fall through the cracks. In other instances, a divorced couple may settle upon a support amount that seeks to only see the supported ex significantly improve their financial condition years down the road.

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