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St. Paul Family Law Blog

How much control does a parent have after a divorce in Minnesota?

Recently, Minnesota parents may have been abuzz with lively debates over the pros and cons of various parenting tactics in light of Vikings star Adrian Peterson's legal troubles related to whipping his son. This issue happens to coincide with the 20th anniversary of Attachment Parenting International, a group that actually supports certain levels of corporal punishment for children.

Aside from the punishment issues, local parents debate countless other issues, such as the extent of breast feeding, educational choices and how much time a kid should spend in front of a video screen. Given the myriad of choice that a parent can make, many wonder what type of authority they will have over such things after a divorce. The answer lies in the child custody and parenting agreement worked out between the parents and the court.

Minnesota avoiding same-sex marriage hurdles

As same-sex marriage laws change by the day, novel issues regarding same-sex divorce and same-sex child custody grow more and more prevalent. The truth is, anytime a law is changed or a new law is passed, there are unforeseen consequences that are not addressed. This is the case for hundreds of same-sex married couples seeking divorce in states, which do not recognize their marriage, unlike Minnesota.

Minnesota, though, recognized same-sex marriage, and has relaxed residency requirements. As a result, Minnesota will grant an uncontested divorce. It is a verifiable walk in the park, compared to other states still struggling with the ambiguities in their statutory code. While the issue of same-sex divorce may seem simple here in the land of 10,000 lakes, it carries the same pitfalls as a divorce between a man and a woman.

Child support not a short term requirement for Minnesota parents

A child has the right to be supported through the age of majority. This standard mantra, spelled out in Minnesota's statutory scheme, means that parents must produce the finances necessary to care for their children whether or not the parents are married. As a result, parents across the state are saddled with long-term child support obligations following a divorce.

Given the often onerous nature of this bill, it is not uncommon for a parent to stop paying after a short period of time. While enforcing that payment is generally straight forward, it is more difficult to modify or amend a support agreement which may be just as important. Such a step generally requires the help of an experience child support lawyer like Janet L. Goehle.

What are the extent of grandparents' rights in Minnesota?

This blog regularly focuses on issues concerning divorce and child custody as they relate to parents. Such issues, though, may be just as pressing for grandparents. Unfortunately, their rights are often suppressed by parents or other guardians who have direct access and control of the children. The question arises whether grandparents can do anything to enforce their rights.

The first step in answering this question is to determine the extent of those rights. In Minnesota, grandparents' rights are recognized but are subject to certain limitations. For instance, grandparents may seek visitation rights if a parent dies and they are the parents of that deceased parent. Grandparents may also petition for visitation after a divorce or other separation. Adoption, meanwhile, generally cuts off visitation rights unless the adoption is done within the family.

Minnesota court to train child custody mediators

The Blue Earth County District Court recently held a training session for individuals interested in becoming court appointed mediators. The participants in the training were expected to learn skills helpful in resolving parental disputes. These individuals are turned to when court intervention is not desirable or a court order is ambiguous.

For instance, enforcing a child custody order may be straight forward when it comes to school night versus weekends. Things may get less clear, however, during a holiday. While parental rights are determined by a Minnesota court, a mediator may be able to help parents resolve more minor issues like visitation rights on a specific day or night.

Managing real estate vital in Minnesota divorce

When a married couple decides to get a divorce in Minnesota, they eventually realize that every little bit of property they own will need to be divvied up amongst them. While the smallest items often cause the most stress in a divorce, bigger assets carry more complexities.

Generally, divorcing couples will decide who gets the house or who gets the vacation property first. This makes sense since they are usually a couple's biggest asset. While the decision of who will get to live in the house may be an easy one, managing the real estate issues involved may not be so cut and dry.

Should you speak to an expert about your family law problem?

Minnesota is one of the best places in the world to raise a family. For generations, our children have received the education, opportunity and support needed to be successful. This environment remains encouraging for those raising children in today's society and hoping their kids have it just a little better than them.

These hopes, however, can be put in jeopardy by a variety of situations. From divorce, to a parent's disability or drug addition, to the child's own development needs, a successful future may depend on the administration of a current problem. Fortunately, family law has evolved to protect the best interests of children.

Minnesota parents encouraged to know basics of child custody

We hear all the time that this parent has custody or that parent gets the kids this weekend. Despite the commonality of parenting time arrangements around the state, Minnesota parents often do not know the practicalities of child custody disputes until they are forced to confront them themselves.

For instance, child custody issues can arise in situations other than a divorce or parental separation. Paternity actions, domestic abuse allegations or juvenile proceedings may all call into question the current custody scenario.

Finding All Assets May Be Critical In Divorce Proceedings

Broken down, the basic laws governing property division in a divorce are simple. The assets are to be split equitably, which does not necessarily mean equally. The devil, of course, is in the details. Even still, when all the assets are laid out on the table, property division is relatively straight forward. Spouses are either able to come to a mutually agreeable settlement via mediation or a judge will order the property to be split in a specific way.

In a surprisingly large number of divorce cases, however, including those in Minnesota, where assets are hidden or allegations of asset hiding are made. While this may seem salacious, it is not uncommon for spouses to keep assets separate even when things are running smoothly. When the relationship begins to falter, then, there is more incentive to find a soft landing zone for one's assets.

Minnesota's Judicial Branch helps those seeking divorce

Divorce is a word we hear almost every single day. Despite the commonality, however, many Minnesota residents do not understand simple concepts associated with a divorce. Instead, they are inundated with media that spins a distorted view of reality. Fortunately, Minnesota's judges are committed to helping residents understand what is required and involved in divorce proceedings.

On its website, Minnesota's courts have provided a list of divorce basics. Among them is a note that what is commonly referred to as divorce is more appropriately named a "dissolution of marriage" in Minnesota. Also, the courts inform inquiring minds that to get a dissolution of marriage in Minnesota, one of the spouses must be a resident for at least the past 180 days.

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