Divorce vs. Legal Separation In Minnesota

legal separation

UPDATE: 1-21-2015 This is such a common question I thought I would start out the blog by answering it!  My standard quip is as a divorce lawyer I love legal separations because we get to do the same case twice (and charge accordingly!). A quick summary of what a divorce is, a divorce is a dissolution of the marriage where by you divide assets & debts and deal with custody and parenting time for the kids.  Once divorced you can get remarried, date, etc.  you are truly single. A legal separation is not quite so simple, it is partially the same …

Taxes and Divorce

picture of the IRS

Taxes and Divorce in Minnesota: a Few Common Questions & Answers One of failings that us divorce lawyers have is that we usually focus on family law instead of on tax law.  In fact, many divorce lawyers actually put a bold  disclaimer into their retainer saying that they don’t give tax advice and for that you need to go to a certified public accountant, this is good advice, but the problem is that most divorcing people don’t have a CPA on speed dial when it comes time to either negotiate the divorce out OR file for taxes so you need to at …

Effects of Divorce On Children

Divorce

The Parents Get A Divorce, the Kids Get…?? Effects of divorce on children If you’re one of the approximately 10 percent of Minnesotans who have been divorced at some point, you know, from personal experience, what the effects of the divorce were as far as you’re concerned.  What’s harder to know is how your kids fared. The effects of divorce on kids can be wide-ranging.  First, there’s the psychological impact.  Research in this area has provided a fairly broad array of conclusions, but one overarching theme is that there are at least some negative consequences for children of divorced parents …

Is Mediation Required In MN Divorce Cases?

Mediation

Question: What Can You Do If Your Spouse Doesn’t Agree To 50/50 Custody?

Question: What Can You Do If Your Spouse Doesn’t Agree To 50/50 Custody?

YouTube So… what can you do if your spouse doesn’t agree to 50/50 custody?  First, if we’re going to talk about custody we have to understand that there are two types of custody in Minnesota, legal custody and physical custody and there’s an important distinction between the two. As I pointed out, legal custody deals specifically with religion, education, and medical decision making.  Now, while most of the time everyone gets joint legal custody, that is not always the case.  In some cases the parents may have different beliefs that conflict with each other, something that can make a custody …

What Is ADR Really?

ADR lowers cost

What is ADR really? ADR, or Alternative Dispute Resolution, is an extremely effective way to settle a case out of court, and save on time and money.  The question becomes, is it right for your case?  ADR includes multiple types, such as mediation, arbitration, and neutral evaluation, and depending on the facts of your case, each type has its own merits. Which form of ADR is best? The truth is that none of the “types” of ADR are the best, as each type is uniquely fitted for different situations.  For example, in mediation, an unbiased person is hired as a …

Question: Does Physical Abuse Matter When Determining Custody?

Question: Does Physical Abuse Matter When Determining Custody

YouTube So… does abuse really matter when it comes to determining custody in the state of Minnesota? The short answer is yes, it does, however, the type of abuse also matters and I prompt that statement with the question: “What is abuse?” There have been a multitude of times when people will say that they are “mentally abused” or “emotionally abused” by their significant other, which is very very sad, but it is also not something the law provides for. I do not say this to dismiss the significance, or the pain oftentimes associated with such households, but rather to …

Question: How Much Does A Divorce Cost?

Question: How Much Does A Divorce Cost?

YouTube   This question, submitted by Alex in Mankato, is “How much does a divorce cost?” So how much does a divorce cost?  In the video I use a vehicle metaphor and the truth is, it is probably one of the more accurate ways to talk about divorce since there are so many variables involved, whether it’s property, custody, spousal support, or everything and anything in between. While it might be true that a lawyer can “quote” you a price for a divorce, it simply isn’t consistent case to case and the range, as I pointed out, is “big”.  The …

Question: Do Mother’s Always Win Custody Of The Kids?

Question: Do Mother’s Always Win Custody Of Their Kids?

YouTube   This question, brought to us by Abigail from Wells, Minnesota, is answered by Jason Kohlmeyer, of Rosengren Kohlmeyer. In the state of Minnesota, there is no presumption that mothers or fathers receive any special rights as far as custody of the children goes. However, the law does favor the parent or spouse that is the majority care provider, and the reality in our current day and age, is that mothers are typically the parent or spouse that goes shopping with the kids, takes care of their school lunches, or handles the medial and educational meetings for their children. …

Can I Lock My Spouse Out Of The House?

Can I Lock My Spouse Out Of The House?

Question: Can I lock my spouse out of the house? Can you lock your spouse out of the house?  If you purchased the property together the simple answer is no.  The truth is that your spouse would have every right to kick down the door, as it is half their door, although this could be a crime, depending on the situation. Now, you may ask, “Yes, but can’t I just lock them out anyway?”  Well the short answer is, of course you can, but to do so would be unlawful, as it is every bit as much their property as …