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If you are accused of mistreatment in a daycare

Minnesota day care providers are held to a high standard of care. They are responsible for toddlers and young children who are typically helpless. Because of this, any allegation of misconduct or maltreatment by day care providers can result in severe penalties, including license revocation and jail.

If you or one of your staff members is accused of misconduct, it is important to take the allegations seriously.

Ciara wants sole custody of baby Future

Pop music fans in Minnesota may be interested in the custody battle that is going on between singer Ciara and rapper Future. The parents have one son together, also named Future, who turned 2 years old on May 19. Ciara is seeking sole custody, and Future is seeking joint legal custody. Baby Future is Ciara's only child and Future's fourth child. Future has three other children with three different mothers.

According to sources familiar with Ciara and Future, the California family court judge seemed more likely to grant Future's request for joint legal custody. Though Ciara and her lawyer told the judge that Future is a bad parent and a bad person, the judge rejected Ciara's arguments for sole custody. Family courts in California tend to award joint legal custody when appropriate, even though one parent will likely be awarded primary physical custody.

Rapper Master P ordered to pay child and spousal support

Minnesota parents who have been involved in divorce disputes might sympathize with the issues that have been grabbing headlines in the ongoing battle between rapper and reality television star Master P and his estranged wife. According to TMZ, the wife received a favorable ruling from a judge in the latest round of their legal skirmish. The court ordered Master P to pay his wife $825,000, which totals his salary for the second season of his show "Master P's Family Empire."

Court documents revealed that the amount was intended to cover back child support and spousal support payments. Additionally, the judge said that future financial obligations would be secured from the large payment. Estimates of the value of Master P's estate place its value at about $200 million.

More elderly individuals are heading for divorce

Over the past decade, the divorce rates have remained steady around the country and may actually be declining for the most part. One of the main reasons is because people in Minnesota and throughout the U.S. are generally waiting longer to get married rather than diving into a relationship.

However, it should be noted that the divorce rate among people who are at or over the age of 50 is increasing. The rate for such couples in 2014 was roughly double that in 1990. Life expectancy may be a major contributing factor, as older couples may decide they do not want to spend what could be years in an unhappy marriage. Another reason that older couples may decide to get a divorce is that more women are economically stable. Many women have their own financial resources that allow them to make the transition from married life to being single more readily.

Prenup saves Kaley Cuoco from having to pay spousal support

Minnesota television fans may remember the whirlwind courtship and marriage of Kaley Cuoco and Ryan Sweeting more than two years ago. Now the couple has divorced, and after months of negotiations, a financial settlement has been reached. Cuoco has been ordered to pay Sweeting a lump sum payment in installments, plus cover a portion of his legal fees.

The actress from the popular TV comedy "The Big Bang Theory" and her tennis player ex-husband signed a prenuptial agreement prior to their December 2013 marriage. The divorce settlement calls for Cuoco to pay Sweeting two installments totaling $165,000, according to a report from People magazine. Cuoco will also pay Sweeting's legal fees up to $55,000 and a legal debt of nearly $10,000 that Sweeting owes. In the absence of a prenuptial agreement, it is likely that he would have been entitled to receive a great deal more.

2 charged for heroin sales

Two people in Minnesota were taken into police custody on May 2 and charged for selling heroin. The 27-year-old man and 34-year-old woman were detained when a search warrant was executed at a location in Duluth. Authorities had conducted multiple controlled buys and other surveillance efforts during the week leading up to the search and seizure.

At their arraignments on May 4, each of the accused individuals was charged for one count of first-degree sale of heroin, a felony. The accused man's bail was set at $100,000, and the accused woman's bail was set at $50,000. It is unclear whether either of the accused individuals have prior drug convictions on their records.

The financial ramifications of a divorce

Minnesota couples whose marriages are crumbling may need to take steps to protect themselves from the potential financial devastation of a divorce. On average, it may cost $15,000 to $20,000 for legal and other professional fees alone. People who divorce may need to find a new place to rent and re-equip a household along with paying spousal and child support. It is also necessary for people to protect their share of assets during the divorce process.

Once people know they are headed for divorce, their first step should be to gather financial information. This includes passwords and account numbers for jointly held accounts. They should photocopy all important documents and take photos of the contents of the home as well.

Determining pet custody in Minnesota

According to the American Pet Products Association, roughly 80 million American households have a pet. Many Minnesota married couples who don't want to or cannot have children may decide to get a pet in lieu of a son or daughter. Therefore, those couples may treat their pets like children, and they may want shared or sole custody of that pet in the event of a subsequent divorce. However, courts have said little about the issue.

Traditionally, courts have treated pets as personal property. This is despite the fact that a pet has more sentimental value than any real monetary value on the open market. In many cases, a pet can cost a lot of money to maintain. Typically, it is the emotional attachment that can turn custody of an animal into something worth bargaining for in a divorce settlement.

To divorce, or not to divorce

When a marriage seems too far gone to save, divorce may be an option worth considering. For instance, a Minnesota spouse who is a domestic abuse victim is generally better off getting out of the relationship. The same is true for those who are involved with someone who is an addict in denial or are with someone who harms their children.

Another reason to seek a divorce is if one partner has cheated on the other. While some couples can work past infidelity issues, the lack of trust caused by it could be hard or impossible to overcome. While divorce may be the best option for some couples, it doesn't mean it is the only one. There are times when attempting to work through problems in a relationship is beneficial.

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.

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Juvenile Criminal
Defense Strategies

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