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What can be accomplished during a divorce

Although many Minnesota residents have some idea of what to expect when it comes to divorce, going through the actual process can be difficult and stressful. Furthermore, the prospect of ending a significant relationship and not getting to spend time with the children every day can be difficult to mentally process. As long as a person is realistic about the divorce, however, there is a chance that they'll be able to move on and be satisfied once the separation is finalized.

There are many things a divorce can do. For example, the divorce process will determine what marital property belongs to which person. This involves real estate, financial assets and physical items. The divorce will also determine what financial obligations each person has, such as spousal and child support. In addition, spouses will get a parenting plan that can benefit the children.

Military workers more likely to divorce before they reach 30

Many Minnesota residents who get married end up divorcing by the time they turn 30. While a worker in any field can get divorced, those employed in certain high-stress workplaces may actually be more likely to divorce than others. This is because workplace stress can have an impact on a person's home life.

According to an analysis of U.S. Census data, military workers of all ranks were more likely to get divorced before the age of 30 than those who worked in other fields. The rate of divorce was found to be 15 percent; although, it was noted that about 41 percent of all first marriages did not survive when age was removed.

Common divorce myths involving money

As many Minnesota residents preparing to go through the dissolution of a marriage know, the divorce process can be expensive. In fact, a divorce costs an average of $10,000 to $15,000. Because a divorce usually involves large amounts of money, there are many divorce misconceptions that get thrown around.

One of the biggest myths is that a spouse is entitled to a larger share of property if the other spouse was engaged in extramarital affairs. This is false, as all states have no-fault divorce laws. This means that, while a person can get divorced for any reason, it also means that a person will not be punished for any negative behavior. One exception to this rule is if the cheating spouse diverted marital funds to pursue the affair. For example, a judge may take the affair into consideration if the spouse used marital funds to rent an apartment or to take the other person on lavish vacations.

Bad divorce advice damages financial security

During the emotional turmoil and insecurity about the future created by divorce, many Minnesota couples turn to their relatives and friends for support. However, they often receive well-meaning but ill-informed advice on finances and the law. Much of what passes for divorce advice leads to costly errors and is best avoided.

Financial challenges are likely when one family's resources must suddenly become enough to support two households. A couple seeking no-fault divorce may decide to cut corners on legal fees by hiring one lawyer. The problem is that an attorney can ethically only represent one of the parties to a divorce. The other spouse is left without legal representation and at a significant disadvantage.

Modern fathers have an expanding parental role

Becoming a father represents a significant stage of life for men in Minnesota and around the country. Survey responses collected by the Pew Research Center in 2015 revealed that 57 percent of fathers consider their parental roles to be crucial to their identities, and 54 percent found fatherhood to be continually rewarding.

The attention that men give to their children has increased considerably since earlier generations. In 2015, men performed child care seven hours per week on average, which almost tripled the time that men spent on child care in 1965. Almost half of fathers reported that they wanted to spend more time with their children.

Child custody concerns loom large for immigrants

A number of undocumented immigrant families, fearing the impact of intensified deportation policies, have begun seeking advice to make custody plans for their citizen children. Across the Minnesota and the United States, law students and other volunteers have been assisting immigrants with creating paperwork to designate custody arrangements for their children in case of deportation.

These parents want to ensure that their children are cared for by family and friends rather than placed into state custody. For citizen children of undocumented parents, the United States is often the only country they have ever known. As citizens, they have a full right to remain even if their parents are deported.

Blended families should consider financial and legal concerns

Minnesota residents who are remarrying and are looking to come together in blended family situations have important financial and legal considerations to keep in mind. More and more families are being formed in this fashion. Indeed, a 2015 report showed that 16 percent of children live with a step-parent, step-sibling or half-sibling. However, taking financial precautions can be of great help in protecting all sides of the family.

These transitions are quite common, and children are very resilient when the situation is guided with patience and love. However, there are also a number of practical considerations regarding assets to consider when forming a blended family in the event of a subsequent divorce or separation.

Shared custody can benefit children's health

Shared parenting is increasingly preferred by both divorcing parents and courts in Minnesota and across the United States. While a preconception has existed for many years that mothers should receive custody of their children, the current ideal model involves both parents sharing equally in custody and decision-making for their children.

This preference is strongly evidence-based, with many studies and the input of numerous child development professionals affirming that shared parenting is in the best interests of the child. When fathers express an interest in custody in court, they have a far better chance of getting at least a liberal amount of parenting time than in the past.

Modifying a child support order due to financial changes

If a Minnesota parent responsible for paying child support suddenly gets a new job that pays less, they should be aware that their support payments will not immediately change as well. Failing to meet child support obligations could result in legal consequences. If the parent can no longer afford the original child support amount, however, there are steps that can be taken to lower it.

Before the support amount can change, a request to modify the child support order must be submitted to the court. It should be noted, however, that a new lower-paying job does not automatically mean that the child support amount will be lowered. The court will still take a variety of factors into consideration before approving the request. For example, courts may consider debt and medical expenses.

Common behaviors of domestic abusers

Domestic violence is pervasive throughout Minnesota and the rest of the country. People who abuse their partners and family members can come from any socioeconomic level, race, culture or religion. To people outside the home, they often appear to be nice and law-abiding. In one study of domestic abusers, 90 percent of them had no criminal record.

Although no single profile describes people who act violently toward others in the home, their behavior reveals their similarities. They often fail to acknowledge the seriousness of their violent behavior and blame it on having a bad day, being drunk or something their partners did. A domestic abuser tends to view a partner as sexual property and holds old-fashioned views about the social roles of men and women.

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Juvenile Criminal
Defense Strategies

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