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St. Paul Family Law Blog

Co-parenting and the holidays

Spouses who have children and are in the midst of a divorce may face certain challenges during the holiday season in Minnesota. Now that there are two separate households, the kids may feel confused and unsettled about the situation. Parents should work together so they can successfully co-parent their children. This will make it easier for them to enjoy the holidays just as much as they were able to before the separation.

Plan things out

Older children and divorce

In Minnesota, it is not uncommon for couples to split and file for divorce once their children reach a certain age. Legal separations are often seen as less damaging to older children. Younger kids are often the focus for many counseling and therapeutic resources, not older children. However, older kids even those who are well into adulthood are still impacted by their mom and dad’s decision to go their separate ways.

Many older children of divorcing parents find themselves questioning their own relationships. For example, they may feel that because their parent’s relationship did not work out then theirs will not. Also, parents tend to bring their children into the situation, often forcing them to choose sides for emotional support. This can lead to ambivalent feelings from their kids because they are still trying to figure out why their parents have decided to split up after so long.

Co-parenting and spending the holidays together

If you are separate or divorced, the last thing you may want to do is spend time with your ex. However, if you have a child together, you will always have to be in contact and communicate with one another.

As the holidays approach, you may be considering how to split your child's time between the two of you. Some parents decide to alternate holidays or split the hours of each day. One alternative that is least considered is for you, your ex, and your child to spend the holidays together.

How divorce affects young children

No matter how amicable divorce may be between former spouses in Minnesota, it has a major impact on everyone in the family. Young children are more likely to be affected by this situation. Parents should become more familiar with how their legal separation affects their kids to prevent divorce-related issues.

According to Psychology Today, the unpredictable nature of their parent’s behavior during a divorce is enough to alter the trust and dependency young children have on their parents, resulting in feelings of insecurity, instability and unfamiliarity. Their world is mainly centered on their parents until they become older and more independent. Instead of being able to interact with both parents within one household, the kids must learn how to interact with their mom and dad in two different households.

Transitioning to a single parent status

Divorce is a time where two-parent households in Minnesota become one and former spouses must learn to co-parent. The transition to single parent status may be filled with hurdles, but the right parenting plan, approach and actions can make the situation an easier one for both the parents and their children to adjust to.

Release pent-up feelings

Successful co-parenting tips

One challenge that many couples who are going through a divorce in Minnesota encounter is co-parenting. Now that they are no longer together, they need to learn new ways to work together to raise their kids. Doing so can help to strengthen the familial relationship.

Provide structure

Grandparents' rights in divorce

Being a grandparent is one of the joys of growing older. Grandchildren bring life and love to a home, filling it once again with the sound of playful laughter and learning. For many grandparents, learning that their child will be divorcing is difficult. They were likely hoping that their child would enter into a lifelong, positive, loving relationship when they married.

Unfortunately, more than half of marriages in the United States end in divorce, and when contentious divorces happen, custody of the marital children quickly becomes an issue. If the other parent receives full custody, the grandparents, who are the parents of the non-custodial spouse, may be left with a hole in their life that was once filled by their beloved grandchildren.

Divorcing couples should separate finances as soon as possible

Couples who are considering divorce in Minnesota should separate their finances as soon as possible. Divorces can become very expensive. Each party in the relationship should be financially stable enough to support themselves once their separation has been finalized. Regardless of who was the primary breadwinner in the relationship, there are some steps that couples can take to protect themselves from the financial chaos that often ensues with divorce.

Former spouses should consider monitoring any joint accounts they have to ensure the other party is still honoring their financial responsibilities. This can keep them from having to deal with potential consequences if any payments are missed. According to the Wall Street Journal online, debts do not take a back seat when a marriage is over. In fact, couples are still obligated to cover joint expenses whether they want to or not unless some type of agreement has been made with their creditors or their former partners.

Moving out of the marital home

One aspect that some couples in Minnesota fail to completely consider during the beginning stages of their divorce is moving out of the marital home. Both parties may have a lot invested into the property and have valid reasons for wanting to remain put. However, doing so could create some complications in the near future. To avoid having the courts make an undesirable decision about who gets to remain in the home, ex-spouses should work towards resolving the matter themselves.

Divorcing couples should sit down together to discuss their options. They may want to do this with a mediator or counselor present so they can meet their objectives amicably. They should have a clear idea of their post-divorce situation and how it pertains to the house and finances. Other important points of discussion should include whether or not the property will be owned jointly, the exclusivity of its use and boundaries and the right to ownership of appliances, furniture and possessions, states Forbes. Neither party should make assumptions about their living situation.

Divorce and mortgages

Deciding who gets what in a divorce in Minnesota can be tough, especially if the split is not an amicable one. A mortgage is often one of the biggest assets a couple has together. There are some measures that can be taken to keep the situation from becoming messy. According to Time, Inc., divorcing couples should try to resolve their mortgage concerns before their split is final. Any decisions that are made should be done with all emotions and personal feelings set aside. Both parties should not have any expectations and they should be prepared to sell or refinance the mortgage if necessary.

If their home’s market value is down and both parties can reach an agreement without any issues, it may be more beneficial for them to continue to live together. Once the market value of the property improves, they can then decide what to do with the mortgage.

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