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June 2017 Archives

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.

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.

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.

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.

Child support agreements

In many cases, one Minnesota parent may be required to pay child support to the other parent following a divorce. There are a few ways that parents can come to an agreement regarding child support. These include informal negotiations, out-of-court alternative dispute resolution proceedings and an order determined by a court.

Financial protection for the higher-earning spouse

There may be a significant disparity in income among some Minnesota couples who are getting a divorce. While in the past it was almost always the husband who made more money, women's incomes are beginning to catch up. Women in particular might want to be careful about protecting their money and maintaining financial independence by establishing credit and a bank account in their own name. However, whatever a person's gender, there are certain steps that can be taken for financial protection in this situation.

Likelihood of divorce may be affected by husband's employment

Minnesota couples who are in a first marriage might be less likely to get divorced than couples in the 1970s and 1980s. About one-third of first marriages end in divorce. Furthermore, only around 15 percent of marriages since 2000 ended in divorce in the first eight years. However, divorce is more likely in second and third marriages.

Getting finances ready for a divorce

People in Minnesota who are considering a divorce might want to review their financial situation. They may find that other people are eager to offer advice, but it can be difficult to generalize based on experiences in other jurisdictions. Professionals such as attorneys and certified divorce financial analysts might be in a better position to answer questions.

An alternative approach to joint custody

In the past, when Minnesota parents got a divorce, a judge might have awarded custody to the mother while the father might have had the children on certain weekends. This was often the pattern in child custody cases, but in more recent years, there has been a shift toward joint custody. Studies show that children usually thrive when having access to both parents. However, moving back and forth between households can be stressful for children. One possible solution is an arrangement called nesting.

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