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 …

Death Of A Legend: The Kirby Puckett Divorce.

Kirby Puckett

A Look Back at Minnesota Twin Kirby Puckett’s Divorce It was 10 years ago this past month or so so that Minnesota Twins Fans woke up and learned that our favorite little outfielder, the plucky fireplug who was the perfect major league ballplayer, was, perhaps,  not quite so perfect.  Of course, I’m talking about Kirby Puckett and his legal troubles.  Kirby, who needs absolutely no introduction to anyone vaguely familiar with the Minnesota Twins or Major League Baseball, was charged with sexual assault of his past longtime mistress at a dance club in the Minneapolis suburbs (which the stall where …

Making Custody Arrangements Work at a Special Time of Year

Christmas tree

Note: Dear Reader, your author has been in a nearly 2 week long family law trial that has taken a great deal of time prepping for.  I thought I posted this prior to Christmas, but it turns out I did not.  So, instead of being a month late, I like to think I am 11 months early! Home for the Holidays Many divorced parents can attest to the headache and hassle that can accompany a visitation schedule involving frequent shuttling of the kids  back and forth between the parents’ homes.  In the holiday season, these difficulties can be amplified by a hectic flurry of …

Recovering Attorney Fees in a Minnesota Divorce

Tired of paying for the “pleasure” of divorcing? Recovering Attorney Fees in a Minnesota Divorce For a variety of reasons, most states in America follow what is called the American Rule regarding the payment of each party’s attorney fees in litigation:  Which means each party must pay their own attorney fees.  This is in contrast to the English Rule, which generally requires the losing party to pay the winning party’s attorney fees.  The American Rule, however, can bring hours of frustration (and a huge expense) when your ex makes yet another motion seeking to be awarded some obscure item of …

What If You Can’t Afford A Divorce (Lawyer)?

With the economy down lately it’s fairly common I get a several calls during a week from people seeking a divorce, but they say they can’t afford it and just want a few tips. I have to say I always chuckle and think what other profession can you call up and hope to get a few tips, for free? I normally chat for 15 minutes or so and consider it part of my pro bono duty for the week. But, it does lead into a more serious question and that is, what can a person possibly hope to learn in …

Mediation & Divorce

In Minnesota the rules for family law require you to at least contemplate mediation prior to filing motions and going to court. The new rules now (Rule 303) requires that you certify your efforts to the court, that your lawyer and your spouses lawyer have conferred (either in person or by the phone) to talk about mediation efforts. This blog post is going to discuss the benefits and costs associated with mediation and other ADR requirements. BENEFITS costs of divorce We often say that when parties go to trial there are only two winners, the two lawyers involved. And this …

How To Handle Those Mother’s and Father’s Day After the Divorce

We are now officially in Mother’s and Father’s Day season in Minnesota. Normally a time of finding dad that perfect tie or T-shirt or finding mom the new waffle iron or perfume she’s been asking about, but for quite a few more moms and dads, it is now a time of stress and conflict because of the problem with Ex’s. Over the years as a divorce Minnesota lawyer I’ve seen some great parents and not so great parents and and I’ve put together a few tips of what seems to work and doesn’t in the world of blended and divorced …

Divorce and Suicide

Today I learned one of my former family law clients killed himself. He had a 3 year old son. The reason I thought I would share this is because I have had a lot of “high-conflict” clients over the years, clients who I have had serious concerns for their mental health. Angry clients, clients who were aggressive, who hated their ex-spouse and told me about it on a daily basis. This client was not one of those. His case was fairly standard, a few periods of conflict, notably during temporary relief motions, some nasty letters and then we finally settled …

2 Year Waiting Period For A Divorce!?!? (Maybe…)

You can count on some strange laws being proposed every election cycle and 2012 is no different.  A law has been proposed in the Minnesota Senate last week to 1) allow contested divorces with minor children and 2) required a 2 year waiting period if their are kids. If this law goes through it will a monumental change in the way divorce is handled in Minnesota.  Currently, you only need to have lived in Minnesota for 6 months and claim an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage to be divorced.  Or to put it another way, one party says “I want out”. The proposed law …

Changing Your Child’s Name

Changing Your Child’s Name In today’s world with marriage rates down, divorce rates up and many of the old customs gone it’s not uncommon to want to change the name of your child. Maybe the baby paternity was in doubt, your remarried or your ex has remarried, there are many reasons why you may want to change your child’s name. As is often the case we have laws in Minnesota to help decide if this can be done. Minn. Stat. 259.10 gives us some guidance. Generally, you have to be in Minnesota for 6 months and then you can file …