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Neighboring state's high court comes to divorce decision

The former CEO of the Dakota, Minnesota and Eastern railroad has won his divorce case before the South Dakota Supreme Court. The state's highest court upheld the lower court's determination that the man would have joint custody of the couple's children. In addition, the court lowered the amount his ex-wife had requested in child support.

The mother had asked for $25,000 a month in support because one of the children has special needs. She also wished to move to New York to allegedly get the child better medical care, to no avail. The conclusion of the divorce ends a bitter battle for now and sets a road map for the couple's post-marital relationship. St. Paul residents share similar divorce procedures with their western neighbors.

After a divorce is initiated, the couple jockeys for positioning on everything from airline miles to the future school for their children. Spousal support, child support and property settlements are all items that need to be resolved. Sometimes exes can reach amicable compromises that do not require much participation from the court system. Other times, couples must have a judge divvy up the marital estate, determine custody and calculate support.

When this occurs, a dissatisfied divorcee can appeal the decision to a higher court. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to upend a judge's decision at this point in the proceedings, as the South Dakota case shows. As a result, ex-spouses want to get it right the first time.

Local St. Paul attorneys can help couples negotiate for their rights in a divorce. If things cannot be settled amicably, local attorneys can advocate for a fair ruling in court. When this is challenged, these local specialists can also represent a divorcee in appeal and either preserve a favorable ruling or undo an unfair one. From start to finish, an attorney can help ensure that little is forfeited in a divorce.

Source: Keloland Television, "SD Supreme Court Makes Decision is Divorce Case," Jan. 24, 2013

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