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St. Paul Family Law Blog

Co-parenting for a better relationship

When married couples go through a divorce in Minnesota, it affects the whole family. Parents who are able to co-parent successfully are able to improve their relationship with their children and each other. For many divorcing couples, co-parenting is a challenging situation. Emotions are often still running high from the situation and there may still be a bit of uncertainty about all of the changes that are taking place. Children are more secure when there is stability, structure and routine in both households, according to Psychology Today.

There should be rules and boundaries in each household so that the children and adults know how to act towards each other and what is expected of them as far as behavior and responsibility. Parents who find co-parenting difficult are not limited to interacting and communicating with each other directly. Information can be shared through written correspondence, voicemail, text messages and email.

What happens to my health insurance in a divorce?

During your marriage, your spouse carried you on his or her health insurance policy. Now that you are in the middle of a divorce in Minnesota - you may be wondering what will happen to your health insurance once it is finalized. Divorce can affect your health insurance coverage in a major way. Health insurers allow their policyholders to add their spouses and children and dependents to their coverage as family members. However, Forbes states that once you divorce your spouse, you are no longer related or considered family and will therefore be removed from the policy. Your children are entitled to stay on your ex-spouse's health insurance policy.

Once you start the divorce process, you should contact your health insurer to find out what your options are. You may have the choice of filing for legal separation to keep the health insurance coverage you have through your spouse. However, you should know that divorce and legal separation often mean the same thing to many health insurers and there is no guarantee that this step will keep you insured.

Divorced professionals relocating from Minnesota with children

After a divorce, a parent's employment becomes even more important than before, especially if that parent has the children living at home with him or her for a significant amount of the time. It can be a financial challenge, even with child support and spousal maintenance, to provide the kind of home the children were used to before the family split into two households, which must now be funded by the same amount of incoming collective income.

So, when a Minnesota professional in this situation is told by his or her employer that the job is moving to a new location, often out of state and far away, or that a lucrative promotion is available if relocation is an option, that parent may feel that he or she has no choice but to accept the position and make the move, despite the need for a change in child custody arrangements.

How can I survive financially after my divorce?

Whether you are thinking about filing for divorce or in the midst of one, dealing with the situation is never easy. However, there are some ways you can protect your finances so you can improve your chances for a new start after your divorce has been finalized in Minnesota. First, start making preparations before you file for divorce. GWG Life recommends that you should work towards becoming financially independent. To do this you will need to become more organized so you can learn all you can about your financial situation.

Once you start the divorce process, you will need money for a number of reasons, including becoming accustomed to using one income to support your household. Evaluate your entire financial portfolio and look for unexpected sources of money that you may not be aware of or have forgotten to consider. Look over your statements, invest your money into interest earning accounts and do not forget to check into your retirement and life insurance policies.

Understanding mortgages and divorce

The house is one of the biggest assets a couple has. When the marriage ends, so does the joint ownership of the residence. Unless spouses can agree amicably about who gets to keep the home and who is responsible for the mortgage, things can become complicated. The Minnesota Judicial Branch states that all assets, including real estate, must be divided between spouses fairly. Joint mortgages must become individual mortgages and individual mortgages may switch owners.

In the event that the marital home was purchased before the marriage began, the spouse who took out the loan may automatically get to keep it in the divorce, since it would be considered non-marital property. However, if any of the marital income was used to pay the mortgage and to make improvements to the house, the courts will probably consider how much of that property belongs to the owner and how much of it belongs to the ex-spouse. Any money that was used towards the improvement and purchase of the home that was the sole contribution of the owner will be evaluated in conjunction with any money that was contributed by the ex-spouse during the course of the marriage.

How can I protect my child from a messy divorce?

If you are in the midst of a divorce in Minnesota, you may be wondering how to deal with things because there is a child involved. Even if your divorce is turning into a really messy one, here are some ways you can shelter your child from the aftermath.

Fox News Magazine states that the court is not the only entity that should work towards protecting the best interests of your child at all times. It is an endeavor that you and the other parent should work toward as well. Start by putting aside minor differences and disagreements to prevent arguments and to keep negative feelings from festering. Children tend to show their emotions in a variety of ways so you should pay close attention to your child’s behavior at all times. Do not get so consumed with your divorce that you fail to notice any verbal and behavioral clues your child exhibits. These signs may indicate your child is hurting and their interests are being overlooked.

Summer parenting time: tips for avoiding and resolving conflict

When parents divorce with children, one of the biggest issues is naturally how parenting time will be divided. Summer can provide particular challenges to co-parenting by divorced parents.

Children may have lessons, activities and camps to attend, sometimes with irregular schedules or short durations. Each parent may want to take a vacation with the kids. The Fourth of July and family reunions may include grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins on one side of the family or the other who want to see the children (or with whom the kids would like to spend time). In Minnesota, many people also go "up north" to a family cabin or to a small resort, another place parents will probably want to include their children.

Can my parental rights be reinstated?

If you have had your parental rights revoked, you may be able to have them reinstated thanks to the Family Reunification Act of 2013. It used to be that once your legal relationship with your child was terminated, you were not eligible to have it reinstated. As a result, your children may have been a ward of the state and have had a court-appointed guardian making decisions regarding their care for a long time.

According to the Children’s Law Center of Minnesota, this law only applies to you if your termination was issued at least 36 months prior to the filing, your child is a current ward of the state or in a foster home, and you have rehabilitated yourself so that you are now a parent who is capable of seeing to the welfare of your child and acting in the child’s best interest. You may be able to regain the opportunity to provide a better quality of life for your child, along with your legal right to be their parent again as long as your child is at least 15 years old, your parental rights have been terminated for a minimum of 36 months and your rights were not severed because of criminal or sexual misconduct.

Risks of trial may merit negotiation of divorce settlement

A spouse facing divorce can have a range of emotions about the breakdown of the marriage that may include sadness, resignation, anxiety, despair, anger or embarrassment, depending on the circumstances. Some people going into the divorce process feel extreme hostility and even a desire to "win" in court at the other spouse's expense through the traditional, adversarial court trial.

That a court trial is always the best way to divorce, however, is a misconception. In reality, leaving resolution of important issues in divorce to the discretion of a judge involves a level of risk. The bottom line is that there is no way to predict with certainty how a judge will perceive the evidence before him or her or how he or she will exercise the considerable judicial discretion involved in making comprehensive decisions about the legal issues, including child custody and visitation, child support, alimony, property division and more.

Divorce and marital property

Divorce is not just a dissolution of marriage, it also a dividing of marital property and financial assets. Some people in Minnesota find it easy to reach an agreement, while others find the path a bit more difficult. People who want to protect their rights and their assets need to be aware of how the courts handle this type of situation if neither party can reach an agreement amicably.

Splitting marital property can be challenging for couples because there are many different types of material and financial assets involved. Forbes reports that this issue can be complex because it is not always in the best interest of either spouse to divide certain property and assets. In some cases, their worth cannot be determined by their current monetary value. For example, pensions, stock portfolios and life insurance policies must be assessed and accounted for prior to an agreement can be made. Common sources of disagreement between divorcing couples are vehicles, real estate and bank accounts.

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