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St. Paul Family Law Blog

The adoption of an older child in Minnesota has its benefits

One of the happiest functions of the court system in Minnesota is the bringing together of families through adoption. Many adoptive parents may think that adopting a newborn is the best way for them to form a loving relationship with the child. However, there are many reasons why adopting an older child may also be a good idea.

Rapper receives jail time for not paying child support

Most Minnesota residents know that continuing to pay for child support is important, both for the child and the custodial parent. Failing to pay can really hurt those who depend on it and it can land the delinquent non custodial parent in legal trouble. In a recent high profile case, a famous rap artist has now received a significant jail sentence for nonpayment of child support.

DMX, the well-known rapper and actor has been sentenced to six months in jail for violating court orders, including not paying his required child support. According to court records, he is currently more than $400,000 in arrears in this area. DMX, is currently being held in the Erie County holding center in Buffalo, New York.

How are the best interests of the child determined?

When courts evaluate child custody determinations, the paramount concern for consideration is what is in the best interests of the child. Because of the importance of determining what is in the best interests of the child when evaluating child custody decisions, parents may wonder how the best interests of the child is determined.

The best interests of the child standard is used by courts to determine what types of services, actions and orders will be best for the child and who is best suited to care for the child. The best interests of the child and what services, actions and orders will best serve the interests of the child are determined based on the consideration of a number of factors. Factors that are commonly considered when determining the best interests of the child relate to the child's circumstances, the circumstances of the parents and the capacity of the parents to parent. In addition, a guiding consideration whenever child custody situations and the best interests of the child are being evaluated is the overall safety and well-being of the child.

Child support criteria followed by Minnesota family courts

Most Minnesota residents who have gone through a divorce were either non-custodial parents and had to pay for child support or were custodial parents and received child support. But the amount of money that a non-custodial parent must pay can vary significantly from couple to couple. Here are some basic guidelines that Minnesota family courts use to help determine child support.

The first and most significant factor in determining child support in Minnesota is the level of income for both the custodial and non-custodial parents. Courts will specifically look at gross and not net income for each. Gross income can come from many types of sources including salaries and commissions, unemployment income, military retirement income and bonuses. Family courts will also consider other sources of income such as pensions, disability payments, workers' compensation income and spousal maintenance.

What is considered marital property in a Minnesota divorce?

When a Minnesota couple gets divorced, they must divide up all the property they have accumulated during their marriage. Minnesota is an equitable distribution state, which means that a judge will look at all of the couple's marital property and then try to divide it on an equitable basis. Equitable means what is fair and just under the circumstances, not necessarily an equal split. But how does Minnesota law define marital property for purposes of divorce?

Marital property generally refers to all property either spouse acquired during the marriage, except property acquired by gift or inheritance. It is distinguished from separate property, which is any property a spouse owned before the couple married, or any property acquired during the marriage through gift or inheritance. Separate property is not divided by the court; it remains the separate property of the spouse who owns it.

Comedian and wife set to fight over couple's sizeable assets

Minnesota couples who've been through a divorce know it can be an emotionally draining process. If the two spouses cannot get together and iron out their differences regarding alimony, child support and dividing up their assets, then it's likely the divorce will be a long drawn-out procedure. For one famous comedian, it looks like his divorce will not be a quiet one, at least when it comes to dividing up assets.

Chris Rock, known for his acerbic and profane observations on relationships, now finds himself going through a divorce that may end up costing him a considerable portion of his earnings. In papers filed in court, Malaak Compton-Rock, his wife, is seeking to acquire a sizable portion of the couple's estimated $70 million wealth. Compton-Rock donates a large amount of her time to charitable work.

Types of spousal support in Minnesota

One of the major issues that must be decided during a divorce is spousal support. Setting the proper amount of spousal support is very important to both spouses. For the spouse who needs the support, it can help maintain the lifestyle that he or she had during their marriage and also make it possible to acquire the necessary job skills to become self sufficient. Spousal support is important to the spouse that must pay it because the amount should not be so exorbitant that it financially cripples the paying spouse.

The state of Minnesota recognizes two types of spousal support during a divorce proceeding. The first type is temporary spousal support, which is designed to last only for a limited period of time that is determined by the court. Temporary support is often awarded in order to help a spouse acquire the education and training necessary to re-enter the workforce and become self-sufficient. Permanent spousal support may be essential for a spouse who is older or in poor physical or emotional health, and unlikely to be able to achieve complete financial dependence.

What factors help determine grandparents' rights in Minnesota?

Many Minnesota grandparents share a special bond with their grandchildren. They treasure their relationship and see in these children all the possibilities that life can offer. But what happens if the child's parents become unfit to raise their own children or simply refuse to let their own parents see their grandchildren? Is it possible for Minnesota grandparents to secure visitation rights with their grandchildren?

Minnesota grandparents can indeed seek visitation rights for their grandchildren, if one or both parents of the child have died, or if the parents of their grandchild get divorced or separated, get an annulment or are involved in a proceeding to determine parentage. There is also another way that a Minnesota grandparent can file for visitation rights with their grandchild. That is if the child previously lived with the grandparent for at least one year and was taken from the grandparent's home by the parent.

Methods that can help kids cope with their parents' divorce

It is often said that the real victims in a divorce are the children. A divorce can pull the support structure right out from under a vulnerable child. But there are methods Minnesota parents can use to help children deal with divorce.

A divorced parent should always tell their child the truth. This includes being honest about their own feelings regarding the divorce. It's quite possible a child will have strong feelings about their parent's separation and hearing similar feelings from at least one of their parents will make them realize that what they are feeling is OK. It is also important to be honest with a child and tell them if the divorce has caused changes to the family's financial situation.A parent should refrain from bad-mouthing their ex-spouse in front of the child. Vilifying the other parent can confuse a child because he or she knows they are an integral part of each parent's life. Bad-mouthing by a parent can cause a child to believe those feelings are really being directed at the child.

Does Minnesota allow for the temporary care of a child?

Minnesota allows parents who are unable to care for their children for a period of time to designate another family member or trusted friend to care for the child. This can be done by using a Delegation of Powers document. This document will allow a caregiver selected by the parent or guardian to make all the necessary decisions in the best interest of the child for a defined period of time. And while the Delegation of Powers gives that caregiver the authority to make decisions for the child, it does not give them legal custody of the child.

A Delegation of Powers document gives some important powers to the caregiver. These include providing proper medical care, sending the child to school and providing a home and proper home care. The document does not, however, give the caregiver the right to put the child up for adoption or consent to the child's marriage.

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