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Minneapolis Criminal & Family Law Blog

The holidays can pose financial challenges for single parents

Keeping up with the everyday expenses of one's family can sometimes be difficult. Single parents in particular can face significant challenges when it comes to this.

Many things can impact how strong of a position a single parent is in when it comes to being able to meet their various family expenses post-divorce. One is what kinds of arrangements are ultimately reached in their divorce when it comes to issues such as property division, alimony and child support. Thus, when a parent is divorcing, it is important for them to not act carelessly or rashly in relation to these issues. Family law attorneys can help parents with giving these issues the attention and care they deserve during the divorce process.

Minnesota's laws on property division in a divorce

Those divorcing under the laws of the state of Minnesota should be aware that the state is not a community property state. Instead divorcing spouses split their assets according to the doctrine of equitable distribution.

Rather than halving the marital assets directly, this nuanced concepts allows for a broader interpretation by the courts. Factor that a judge might consider include:

Unprocessed rape kit statistics show interesting trend

Many rape kits in Minnesota haven't been processed by law enforcement agencies. Over 170 agencies in the state have said that they have unprocessed rape kits. In fact, there are 3,482 rape kits that haven't been tested yet in the state, but agencies only reported not knowing the reason for the unprocessed kits in 329 cases.

Some of these date back into the 1980s. In some cases, it would seem pointless to process the rape kit because of the state's statute of limitations, which is three to nine years for sexual misconduct cases depending on the circumstances of the case.

Keeping the holidays good for the kids post-divorce

Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Many individuals here in Minnesota look forward to this holiday a great deal. For individuals going through a divorce though, the approach of Thanksgiving and other notable holidays can sometimes be a source of significant apprehension.

A divorce greatly changes a family and its structure, so it also generally has a big effect on how a family celebrates holidays. There are many worries a divorcing individual may have when it comes to these changes. One is how these changes will affect their children's holiday experience. Today, we will discuss some of the things parents can do to help their kids with adjusting to the holiday-related changes divorce brings about.

Burglary allegations and a juvenile's future

It is a reality of life: juveniles sometimes make mistakes. Some such mistakes, however, could potentially jeopardize a youth's future.

Take, for example, mistakes that lead to a juvenile being accused of having committed burglary. Being charged and convicted of burglary could negatively impact many things about a juvenile's future, including: their ability to go to the college they want, their ability to have the type of career they want, what education and activity opportunities will be available to them and how they will be viewed in their home community.

Domestic violence female fatalities spike in Minnesota this year

Tragically, it appears that domestic violence is taking a particularly deadly toll here in Minnesota this year.

Reportedly, thus far, 26 women have suffered domestic-violence-related deaths in the state this year. This already far exceeds the total from last year, which was 16. You have to go back a ways to see a domestic-violence-related female fatality total as high as what we've already seen in the state this year. Specifically, you have to go back to 2005.

How expensive of a place is Minnesota for families?

Some places can be more expensive for families than others. This is because area economic conditions and other factors can cause there to be quite a bit of variation between different geographic areas in what sorts of costs families face in connection to typical family expenditures and in the kinds of economic opportunities available to families. 

Recently, a report ranked the states on how affordable they are for families. The ranks were based on a family affordability score the report determined by looking at the following factors for the various states: child care costs, housing costs, food costs, family leave policies and median income. 

Mitigating circumstance may have helped Moorhead mom in drug case

Anyone who has been exposed to the Law & Order television franchise or any other legal drama for that matter has probably heard the term "mitigating circumstances." This is a factor in the justice arena that is intended to give judges some measure of latitude when meting out sentences in criminal cases if circumstances seem to suggest that some measure of mercy is called for.

Experienced Minnesota criminal defense attorneys know the importance of such factors and seek to be sure that they are considered in any proceedings where they might be leveraged. If they can't be employed to get charges dismissed, they might be used to argue for an easing of any sentence that might be imposed.

Sex offender laws challenged outside of Minnesota, too - concl.

We are taking about a lawsuit filed recently against the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation about state-wide restrictions placed on registered sex offender parolees on Halloween. CDCR has conducted Operation Boo for more than 20 years, according to the department's website. The program requires the parolees to observe a curfew on Halloween night and prohibits them from handing out candy or putting up Halloween decorations. They may only open the door to a law enforcement officer -- and law enforcement officers keep an extra eye on parolees' homes to make sure the rules are followed.

As we said in our last post, some counties have added their own items to the list, and that seems to have been the last straw for the anonymous plaintiff. In San Diego County, registered sex offender parolees must post signs outside their homes sending trick-or-treaters away. This, the plaintiff says, is a violation of his constitutional rights by compelling speech.

Sex offender laws challenged outside of Minnesota, too

We are following up on a series of posts from August about the proposed reforms to the Minnesota Sex Offender Program (Changes are gonna come slowly for MSOP). U.S. District Judge Donovan Frank found the program unconstitutional earlier in the summer, and he was awaiting recommendations from the plaintiffs and the state before making his own recommendations for restructuring of and improvements to the program. 

According to the Star Tribune, Frank will hand down his decision by the end of October. What he does not want to happen, Frank told the courtroom, is for Minnesota not to have a transitional plan in place when the offenders at the center of the dispute are released. Frank does not want to make the mistake that California made, he said.

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Juvenile Criminal
Defense Strategies

Christa Jacqueline Groshek
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