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St. Paul Family Law Blog

What should I do during a parenting-time evaluation?

When divorces in Minnesota turn ugly and child custody disputes ensue, it often becomes necessary for the courts to order parenting-time evaluations. According to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, evaluators can gather information from multiple sources, such as parental employment history, mental and medical files and school records in addition to interviewing the parents and kids in order to make their decisions. If you are ordered to participate in this type of assessment, you may be wondering what you should do.

Be yourself

5 Digital Tools That Make Co-Parenting Easier

Managing one household is difficult. It is infinitely more challenging to manage everyday life following a separation or divorce.

Apps and software have been developed for seemingly everything, and here is further proof: there are digital tools that make it easier for separated and divorced parents to manage their lives, their time and their children. 

3 tips for parents of young children going through mediation

Child custody battles aren't easy for parents because no parent wants to accept that their young children will be living at least part of the time with their other parent. Children will usually adapt to situations like these, but it is important to do what is best for the child. Since you and your ex know your children the best, mediation might be a good option for working out your child custody agreement. Consider these three tips to help you get ready to negotiate.

What is a collaborative divorce?

When people get married in Minnesota, very few do so with the intention of getting divorced later on down the road. As ugly and contentious as divorces can get, if you and your partner’s situation is still quite amicable, then you may want to consider getting a collaborative divorce.

Collaborative divorces offer former partners a way to end their unions without getting the courts involved. This can shorten the amount of time they need to finalize things significantly. However, collaborative divorces are not for everyone. Couples who have a lot of assets, trouble dividing their property up and children may want to consider other divorce options. This type of divorce requires spouses to disclose everything voluntarily. This can prove problematic for spouses who do not want their partners to know about assets they may be hiding or if there is a history of violence or abuse, states Forbes.

Surviving divorce emotionally

No matter how amicable the split, ending a relationship is never easy. With all the time, money and emotions that were invested into their relationships, many couples in Minnesota find themselves wondering if they are capable of surviving this situation emotionally. Divorce is new territory for many people. The best way for separating couples to start is to be brave so they can learn new skills to face and overcome any challenges they encounter head on, states the Guardian.

For many couples, a conversation needs to take place so they can discover where their relationships got off track. This can help to provide clarity and lessen some of the pain, negative feelings and emotions that they may be experiencing. Both former partners should avoid playing the blame game as it could lead to more feelings of resentment and communication issues.

Types of child custody in Minnesota

Dividing assets and property when a marriage in Minnesota dissolves can be complicated in any circumstance. With 3.2 out of every 1,000 people getting divorced across the country in 2014, courts need to be prepared to handle these cases in the best interest of both parties. When a divorcing couple has kids, the matter of child custody needs to be decided by a judge.

State courts have said that parents must have been residents for six months prior to divorce proceedings unless the situation is deemed an emergency. If one or both parents live in another state, the matter will need to be determined according to that state’s laws.

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.

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