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Social media cautions during the Minnesota divorce process

Social media has become a convenient venue for airing one's life events and opinions, but during a divorce, such activity could have negative implications. An individual might find that this permanent record of their comments and life activities could affect a his or her divorce proceedings. It is a good idea to consider the legal implications before posting certain types of information.

An individual who is alleging that they are lacking resources to meet a requested level of child support or spousal support payments might find that photos of an exotic vacation or new vehicle could undermine such claims. A parent whose posts suggest a party lifestyle might deal with limited access to their child as such posts are presented to support allegations of poor parenting skills. Activity on a dating site could substantiate a spouse's claims of infidelity. Because online and smartphone activities can be used as evidence, it is important that individuals be careful of what they post online or send via text or email both before and during a divorce.

Facts about paying child support

Whether they are divorced or were never married, Minnesota parents should know some facts about child support. For those who are unwed, it is important to establish paternity as early as possible so that the child can begin receiving support from the father. A mother who needs to establish paternity may be able to get assistance from the Minnesota Department of Human Services' Child Support Division.

Both parents are responsible for supporting the child through emancipated. Either the mother or the father may be ordered to pay child support. Payments should be made through the local child support office because this ensures that there is a record. Furthermore, if one parent does not pay support, the office can assist the other parent in getting an order enforced.

When family law cases require the Hague Convention

Minnesota child custody cases can become incredibly difficult when a children or children are taken out of the country and separated from one parent without permission, but the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abductiondetails what happens during international custody matters. More than 90 countries including the United States are signatories to the treaty that deals with wrongful international child abductions.

Such an abduction can when one parent goes against a court order, and action needs to be taken under the treaty to ensure that the child is returned or that the other parent receives visitation rights. The federal statute that implements the Hague Convention is called the International Child Abduction Remedies Act.

Fathers often get less time in custody battles

Some fathers in Minnesota may struggle during and after a divorce to get the same rights to their children that mothers do. One way mothers might do this is by using loopholes in the legal agreement to block access to the children or by fighting to take rights away from the father. For example, one father was granted the right to go to school events and medical appointments, but his ex-wife said that she did not have to tell him when those events were scheduled to happen. Fathers who are permitted to attend such events often feel the mother's word carries more weight then theirs.

Fathers may still fight for equal time with their children when courts are biased toward giving child custody to the mother. Fathers may also fight for needed extra time. For example, they might want to spend Father's Day with their children, or a soldier who has returned from deployment might want some extended time. In some cases, mothers may refuse this because the parenting agreement does not cover that exact situation.

Making child abuse allegations the focus in a custody dispute

Disputes over legal custody of children can turn ugly. It is not uncommon for Minnesota judges handling custody dispute cases to be confronted by allegations of child abuse against one of the parents. When the allegations are supported by the testimony of the children, parental alienation is frequently raised as a defense. In effect, a parent claims that the children have been manipulated or brainwashed into making false allegations in order to give the other parent an advantage in the case.

Those experts who support the idea that parental alienation actually exists argue that it is possible for one parent to cause a child to turn against the other parent. Generally, this might cause a child to avoid contact with or misbehave when in the presence of the parent due to the influence of the other parent. In extreme cases, the same experts assert that a child could be influenced to make false allegations of child abuse against a parent.

Communication can reduce summer stress for divorced parents

Many Minnesota residents are likely happy that the long winter months have drawn to a close and more temperate weather is on the horizon, but this happy time can place divorced parents under a great deal of stress. The long summer school break allows ample time for family vacations as well as other activities, but it can also be a time of animosity and rancor for divorced parents who fail to plan ahead.

As with many other conflicts that crop up during the divorce process, family disputes over summer custody and visitation rights may often be made less bitter, or possibly avoided altogether, by open and frank communication. Divorced parents should also remember that most research indicates that the way parents deal with this type of disagreement can govern how well their children are able to cope with changes in the family dynamic.

Same-sex couples in all states can now adopt children

Minnesota same-sex couples may be interested to learn that a U.S. District Court judge's ruling on Mississippi's same-sex adoption ban has made it legal for couples in all 50 states to adopt children. The judge ruled that, since same-sex marriage in all 50 states was legal, same-sex married couples were entitled to the same rights as other married couples, which includes the ability to adopt.

The ruling was made after four same-sex couples filed lawsuits against the state. Two LGBT advocate organizations joined the married couples. According to the lead counsel for the plaintiffs, two couples had waited several years to adopt the children that they had cared for since they were born.

Minnesota man facing meth possession charges

According to officers with the Owatonna Police Department, a 50-year-old man was charged with first-degree drug possession on March 24 following a traffic stop in the town that happened on March 22. A passenger in the vehicle was taken into custody on a warrant.

The man was formally charged on March 24 when he appeared in court for his first court appearance. The judge set bail for the man in the amount of $500,000.

Can you plan too long for a divorce?

Minnesota parents who are thinking about getting a divorce may be understandably concerned about how the process might affect their young children. Planning for a divorce is an important step in the process, but drawing things out too long can sometimes have unwelcome consequences as well.

Prolonged divorce planning can create new difficulties for children. While taking the time to carefully go over one's options with respect to divorce can have a number of benefits, such as allowing a couple to possibly even mediate their issues, it can also increase a child's insecurity about the future. For this reason, it's important to ensure the lines of communication between parents and children remain open and that such issues are not ignored.

Separate tax returns could make sense during a divorce dispute

As a general rule, married couples filing their income tax returns jointly instead of separately might be able to reduce their federal tax obligation. Minnesota couples might also save on the taxes they owe to the state. There could, however, be other factors, such as an impending divorce, that might weigh heavily in favor of filing separately and should be taken into consideration when making the decision.

Federal tax rules permit couples to file jointly even though a divorce action has been started. Two people may file jointly for a particular tax year as long as they were still married on the final day of that year. In other words, a married couple could file jointly even though they have completed all disclosure requirements of their divorce and agreed upon the division of pensions and retirement plans in their divorce action. The factor determining whether the tax laws treat them as a married couple is the date that the divorce decree is entered.

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