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Putting a value on a business during a divorce

Property division discussions between divorcing spouses in Minnesota often become contentious, and these negotiations can be particularly challenging when one or both of the parties involved owns a business or holds a major stake in one. Placing a dollar value on a commercial venture is not always straightforward, and experts may sometimes be called in to untangle complex financial records, partnership agreements and other documents.

This kind of auditing can be expensive when the business involved is well-established, and spouses may sometimes opt for a basic calculation of value rather than seeking a more involved full valuation. When divorcing spouses are unable to reach an agreement and family law judges or arbitrators are called upon to make property division decisions, a full valuation of a sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC or corporation may be warranted. However, calculations of value could suffice when negotiations are more amicable or in less formal settings such as mediation.

Judge denies motions in custody case against Chris Brown

R&B fans in Minnesota who have been following the highly publicized custody and child support case involving Chris Brown may be interested in knowing more about the results of a court hearing that took place on Aug. 12. Sources indicate that motions brought against the R&B artist by his child's mother included a request for full custody, a motion that Brown be required to submit to a drug test, and motions for monitored visitation for Brown and no visitation for Brown's mother.

All of these motions were denied by the court. In addition, the mother was ordered to reimburse Brown for attorney fees that he had previously paid on her behalf.

Athletically gifted children and child support

As Minnesotans watched the Summer Olympics, they may have been interested in learning that several of the gold medal winners on the U.S. Olympic Team were raised by divorced parents. With training, trips and equipment costing hundreds of dollars each month for children who are at the top of their games, people may wonder which parent is responsible for footing the bill for athletes who are pursuing Olympic dreams.

The child support guidelines include a portion of child support that is allocated for extracurricular activities and entertainment. If a child begins taking lessons after a divorce, that portion of the ordered child support may be used to pay for them if the parent who receives the support chooses to do so. If the child was already showing great promise in his or her sport before the divorce, the parent who will receive the support may argue for additional amounts to be added to the base child support on the basis that the gifted child has extraordinary needs.

Fewer people moving out of state because of divorces

Over the years, many Minnesota residents have moved to other states, and people from other states have relocated to Minnesota. This pattern of migration replicated across the U.S. has shaped the country's history as people move to new places in order to better their lives. In the last 50 years, the migration rate has declined, and demographers have not been sure why.

One researcher at the University of Connecticut believes that divorce and child custody cases are linked to the falling migration rates. Fifty years ago, courts most often gave custody of children to their mothers, leaving men to move to other states in the search for new opportunities while seeing their children during the summers. At that time, fathers also were more likely to view child rearing as the job of mothers.

Unpaid child support triggers arrest warrant for Andre Rison

Minnesota football fans might be surprised to learn about the legal difficulties of retired NFL player Andre Rison. Despite his 11-year career playing for seven different football teams, he racked up approximately $300,000 in unpaid child support. His inability to keep up with minimum payments of $1,000 per month have resulted in the issuance of an arrest warrant.

Additionally, he failed a drug test and admitted that he takes marijuana candy to treat his pain. He told a newspaper that he experiences pain every day because of his NFL career. The league pays him a disability benefit of $3,300 per month. This income, along with the $9,000 a year that he earns working as an assistant high school football coach, has proven insufficient for him to keep up with his child support obligations.

What to do with the home and other shared property

Some Minnesota residents who are getting a divorce may face particular challenges if they have not traditionally been very involved in the family finances. They might find out that the family is not as well off as they thought, or they may simply lack the skills to untangle the financial situation and make the best decisions moving ahead.

For example, one woman's husband offered her about $50,000 of the retirement account and the house. The mortgage on the house was paid, so this might have seemed like a good deal. On the other hand, the house was big, and it would be costly in terms of utilities and upkeep. An attorney can be helpful in working through the pros and cons of an offer like this.

Top 5 Daycare Licensing Violations in Minnesota

Everyone involved in a daycare situation has a personal stake in its day-to-day operations, including the owner/operator whose livelihood depends on things running smoothly; parents who entrust caregivers with their most precious assets; and vulnerable youngsters who need safe and healthy environments.

The Minnesota Department of Human Services has identified five daycare licensing violations that occur with surprising frequency, along with ways to prevent precarious situations with potentially grave consequences. Daycare providers can avoid license revocation and suspension by avoiding these common violations:

Common divorce misconceptions

Minnesota, like all other states, has a no-fault divorce law that allows couples to end irretrievably damaged marriages without having to prove wrongdoing, but that does not necessarily mean that behavior like infidelity or domestic violence is without consequence. Family law judges across the country may take the egregious actions of spouses into consideration when making spousal support rulings, and this can be particularly true when spouses have attempted to conceal assets or used marital funds to pay for affairs.

Another common family law misconception is the belief that spouses are released from their mortgage obligations when their former husbands or wives are awarded the family home in a divorce settlement. Banks expect to be repaid, and they will rarely be deterred by divorce documentation when mortgages fall into arrears. If homes or other secured assets cannot be refinanced, the best way to avoid these issues may be to insist that those who receive them sign a statement that makes their responsibilities clear.

Unemployment may indicate a high chance of divorce

Minnesota couples may have heard that the divorce rate in the U.S. is at about 50 percent, but it can be difficult to understand why the number is so high. There are myriad reasons why a couple decides to end their marriage, and while infidelity and substance abuse issues may be a factor in divorces, studies show that employment, or lack thereof, is a major cause of marital strife and emotional stress. According to a study by a Harvard sociologist, however, employment seems to be a one-sided issue in matters of divorce.

The study, which included data from about 6,300 heterosexual couples, indicates that divorce is more likely when the husband is not employed full-time. The wife's employment status did not seem to significantly impact divorce rates or overall marital endurance. The study also concluded that, even though more women are employed outside the home than in the 1960s, when the national divorce rate was at 30 percent, wives still perform about 70 percent of household chores.

The financial aspects of a divorce

The primary objective in a Minnesota divorce when it comes to finances should be to achieve economic security for both parties to the extent possible. Where such security is not possible, a workable plan may allow piece of mind before, during after the stress of the process. It is sometimes helpful to think of the process as divided into preparation, negotiation and agreement.

The first stage is preparation for negotiations. Living expenses should be reduced to numbers and projected out into the future, with allowances made for inflation. Income earned from work may be an important source of funds toward living expenses following divorce. The value and ownership status of all marital assets should be determined. If necessary, they should be professionally evaluated or appraised.

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Juvenile Criminal
Defense Strategies

Christa Jacqueline Groshek
© 2012 Aspatore Books from
Thomson Reuters Westlaw.
Reproduced by permission