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Minneapolis Criminal & Family Law Blog

When it comes to household finances, are you and your spouse equals?

All married couples disagree and argue about things. However, according to a 2013 Kansas State University study, money is by far the topic that couples argue about most and, in some cases, arguments about finances can ultimately ruin a marriage.

For many people, money is a taboo topic. Most people prefer to keep details related to how much money they make or how much they pay for certain items private. While it's perfectly acceptable not to broadcast one's financial details to relatives or neighbors, it's another thing when spouses don't openly communicate with each other about finances.

Defending against DUI charges

In previous blogs posts, we've written about the severe penalties facing Minnesotans who are convicted of drunk driving charges. Depending on the circumstances, a first DUI offense may result in fines of up to $3,000, up to 12 months in jail and a driver's license suspension for up to one year. The fines and penalties increase substantially for subsequent DUI convictions.

U.S. criminal laws protect the rights of individuals who face criminal charges and DUI cases should be thoroughly investigated to protect an individual's rights to due process. DUI cases are often much more complex than people realize and there are a number of factors that may influence the outcome of a case.

Obtaining and enforcing child support in Minnesota

Today's American families are very different in composition from those of 40 or more years ago. According to a Pew Research Center, today less than half or roughly 46 percent of U.S. kids live with "two married heterosexual parents in their first marriage." With the U.S. divorce rate continuing to hover around 50 percent and a record number of children, an estimated 41 percent, being born outside of marriage; increasingly the word family is a relative term to many Americans.

Regardless of the marital or relationship status of a child's parents, every child is legally entitled to benefit from the financial support of both parents. U.S. child support laws help ensure that, regardless of child custody arrangements, both parents provide financial assistance to aid in providing a child with necessities including food, housing, clothing and medical and dental care. Additionally child support can also help pay for expenses related to daycare and education costs.

Individuals advised not to make major commitments when "love drunk"

Throughout history; painters, writers and musicians have used their art as a means to express their thoughts and feelings about love and falling in and out of love. Scientists now understand that there is an actual chemical reaction that occurs within an individual's brain when he or she is falling in love.

These feel-good chemicals have been credited with causing people to do all sorts of crazy things. However, when the newness of a relationship fades, some may have regrets about decisions they made when essentially drunk on first love.

Prosecutors face many challenges in child pornography cases

In Minnesota, an individual under the age of 18 is legally considered to be a minor. Both federal and state laws exist to protect minors from suffering exploitation and harm. Laws related to child pornography are among some of the strictest and individuals who either knowingly or unknowingly violate these laws face severe penalties.

Minnesota child pornography laws strictly prohibit the use of minors in any sexual performance and the possession or dissemination of any materials depicting minors engaged in sexual acts. In recent years, arrests related to child pornography have increased across the country as technology now allows law enforcement officials to more easily identify and track the locations of computers where sexually-explicit images or videos that depict minors downloaded or shared.

Why juvenile incarceration isn't the solution

Historically, when it comes to dealing with juvenile offenders, the United States has taken a tough love approach. Punishments for crimes committed by individuals under the age of 18 may include incarceration at a juvenile detention facility. For the kids who end up in these facilities, high school graduation rates drop by nearly 40 percent while rates of incarceration by age 25 increase 41 percent.

Based upon these statistics, it's fairly obvious that the juvenile criminal justice system's approach to criminal deterrence and punishment is not working. Not only does locking up kids and taking them out of school not work, but it also results in many giving up on getting an education and falling back into or developing behavioral patterns that frequently end in additional criminal charges and future incarceration.

For divorcing parents, the wellbeing of a shared child must remain the focus

In a recent post, we began discussing some of the challenges parents who are going through a divorce face when it comes to talking about an impending divorce with a child. Even in cases where divorcing parents are on relatively civil terms, there are bound to be times when strong emotions and hard feelings cause conflict between even the most civil and well-intended co-parents.

Divorcing parents have a lot on their plates to try to cope with and sort out. For many, concerns related to how a divorce will impact or potentially harm one's child, is a chief concern. While there's no way to protect a child from certain realities that accompany divorce, there are steps parents can take to help a child cope with the fact that his or her parents are no longer together and living under the same roof.

What does no-fault mean for divorcing Minnesota couples?

The word divorce usually conjures one of two emotions for many people. On the one side, people associate the word with hurt feelings and a contentious separation. For others though, divorce conjures feelings of relief and freedom. Regardless of this difference in feeling, both sides will agree that there is at least one thing they have in common when it comes to divorce: we all have questions about how the process will work.

Just like with the differing emotional responses, divorce also comes in two forms: fault and no-fault. Minnesota, like a few other states in the nation, uses the no-fault method when determining how the dissolution of marriage process will be governed. But what does no-fault mean for divorcing Minnesota couples? Let's take a look at the law and find out.

Little sympathy for individuals convicted of white collar crimes equates to long sentences

According to The Sentencing Project, an estimated 2.2 million people in the U.S. currently call one of our nation’s jails or prisons home. More than any other country, the U.S. relies heavily upon incarceration as a means of deterrence and punishment for criminal-related activities. However, considering that that the number of people in the U.S. who are incarcerated has increased 500 percent during the last 30 years, locking people up does not appear to be an effective solution to fighting crime.

Most Minnesota residents likely believe that a bed at one of our nation's prisons is reserved for only the most violent and potentially dangerous of offenders. However, in truth, 2011 statistics show that approximately 47 percent of individuals who are incarcerated were convicted of non-violent crimes.

How can a divorcing parent help a child understand and cope with divorce?

Making the decision to file for divorce is not easy and individuals who do so have likely spent months or even years trying to work things out with a spouse. When kids are involved, some parents may attempt to stay in an unhappy or unhealthy marriage. However, doing so is not only unfair to both unhappily wed spouses, but also their children who are likely suffering the ill-effects of living under the same roof with two parents who are angry, resentful and no longer in love.

For spouses and families in this type of situation, divorce is often the best solution for all involved parties. Once parents have made the decision to file for divorce, steps must be taken to ensure for the emotional, physical and psychological health and wellbeing of shared children. In this two-part blog post, we'll examine how divorcing parents can talk to a child about divorce and also help a child cope with the many changes and challenges that may accompany divorce.

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Juvenile Criminal
Defense Strategies

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