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Saint Paul Family Law Blog

Using technology to simplify child custody matters

Keeping a family's schedule may be quite a daunting task, but when that schedule has to be arranged around two homes, it may be even worse. Shared child custody is often the ideal arrangement for divorced Minnesota parents, but it can be difficult to keep all the different schedules aligned. Even when custody is shared, it often works out that one parent has to take on the majority of the responsibilities regarding the coordination of the child's schedule and to make sure nothing falls through the cracks.

Each parent needs to be informed on what activities take place when, and who drops off and picks up their child when and where. However, modern times bring modern solutions to many problems, and even to this one. Luckily, for the modern-day parent, smartphones allow one to download a variety of apps that can make one's life so much easier.

Understanding the effect trauma can have on a military divorce

If you are going through a divorce with your military spouse, you may feel emotionally overwhelmed by the process. Many of us learn new sides to a person whom we thought we knew intimately, and learning that your spouse will no longer be there for you in times of need can be extremely tough.

Divorcing a military spouse can often be a catalyst for psychological triggers due to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). PTSD is a disorder that is, unfortunately, very common for members of the military. If you are going through a divorce with someone who is suffering from PTSD, it is important to understand the ways that this can affect the process of divorce.

Divorce: a few helpful basic guidelines

Most people experience marriages breaking up in one way or another. It may be part of a favorite television series, in the tabloids and among friends and family, but it is only when one finds oneself in the process of a divorce that one realizes what it really means. Minnesota couples may benefit from taking cognizance of some basic guidelines.

Divorce is not a quick process. In fact, it can be tedious and frustrating, so it is very important to consider if it really is the step to take. Once the process has started, it is difficult to undo the decision. After the decision has been made, it may be beneficial to look into the different paths available. Litigation is not the only path to a divorce; mediation and collaborative law are further options.

A few things to remember after divorce

When you get married, there is a lot that one has to remember to do or change. Things like changing a last name where required, making sure to obtain a copy of the marriage certificate and many others. One may even open joint bank and credit card accounts, or buy a house in the name of both parties. What few people in Minnesota may consciously think of is that the same has to happen in reverse when in the case of divorce.

One of the more important things to do is to change personal information at the bank. The most obvious account information to change is credit card information, but this is not the only change needed. Joint accounts, both savings and checking, have to be closed, while the details on insurance policies should be updated and corrected.

What about gifts received from a spouse in case of a divorce?

Married couples often give one another gifts -- some more expensive than others. Anything gifted during a marriage will be seen as marital property in the case of a divorce. Minnesota couples considering divorce may be surprised to find that decisions regarding marital gifts may be more complex than expected.

The way courts view gifts may depend on when the gift was given. Gifts gifted before the wedding, including an engagement ring, are not considered as marital property, as they were given outside the marriage. However, if any of these gifts, especially jewelry, have been changed or improved while the couple was married, the way it is viewed changes. Gifts improved or changed are seen as marital property and can be included in the assets to be split between the divorcing partners.

Bird nest custody -- a new look at child custody

Like with just about everything else in life, aspects surrounding divorce are changing. The way in which child custody is viewed is trending toward true co-parenting. With a greater awareness of what is truly in the best interest of a child, the views of the courts as well as parents have changed over recent years.

In Minnesota and elsewhere, shared custody has become something many parents consider and courts prefer. To that end the concept of birdnesting is gaining in popularity. In this instance, children remain in one place -- usually the marital residence -- and the parents take turns to live with their children in that home. This type of custody is still quite uncommon and courts will only consider it if the parents both buy into the idea and make a formal request to that effect.

For most families in Minnesota, divorce means shared custody

When a parent considers divorce, they usually understand that their decision affects not only themselves and their spouse but also their children. In fact, many unhappily married couples remain married simply out of concern for how divorce may affect the children.

The truth is that if your marriage is unhappy, your children probably already know. It is often better for children to witness their parents having healthy relationships then to stay in the home with constant fighting and tension.

Retail therapy will not ease the emotions during a divorce

Most divorced Minnesota spouses will likely agree that ending a marriage is both financially and emotionally draining. However, it is crucial to avoid having the emotions rule the financial decisions made at this challenging time. This often happens when one spouse insists on keeping the family home after the divorce. Without proper consideration of all the factors, that person might find that the maintenance, mortgage and other house-related expenses are unaffordable on a single income. Securing a new mortgage on only one spouse's salary might be challenging.

For some people, retail therapy is the only medication for emotional trauma, but buying a new car, having plastic surgery or any other significant expenses can lead to an unmanageable debt load. Furthermore, it could adversely affect his or her credit score. Cashing in investments is another impulsive action that is best avoided because it might solve immediate problems but create future difficulties, and it might even ruin all goals and plans that person had for the future. It might be more beneficial to draft a financial plan.

Divorce while self-employed -- what now?

Being self-employed can be stressful. The idea of "you and you alone" being responsible for the financial contribution one makes to a household can be daunting because being self-employed requires financial and time sacrifices. When a divorce then becomes reality accompanied by a realization of the financial implications it brings, one may become overwhelmed.

Any self-employed person in Minnesota may benefit from considering the aspects mentioned below should he or she be in the midst of a divorce. Firstly, it is imperative to realize that there are many more options than the traditional divorce. While no option guarantees a cheap, fast and painless divorce, the right choice for one's particular situation may lessen the impact on a business.

Divorce -- how does it affect small business owners?

Establishing a business takes time and money and a lot of emotional investment. While it often becomes one's biggest financial asset, it also symbolizes personal achievement. So- what happens in the case of a divorce?

It is a fact that when one spouse owns a business, things will be more complicated and the business affected when a couple decides to part ways. The extent to which a Minnesota business may be affected in case of a divorce will differ, depends on which precautions are in place. Precautionary measures can be taken before marriage or during marriage.

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