How Do I Divide A 401k During My Divorce?  (Hint: it’s a QDRO!)

QDRO is short for a Qualified Domestic Relations Order. This is an order that allows you transfer either portions or a whole retirement account between you and your spouse without either 1) the taxes being paid upon transfer and 2) penalty free. It’s very common in Minnesota Divorces to do a QDRO (Hint: we divorce lawyers typically pronounce it as one word a QWAD-RO), but this little beauty is often not talked about very often and many people going through a divorce don’t really understand the mechanism of how retirement money will be divided. My goal is to pull back […]

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Recently, I was at a dinner party and I was asked about how a fairly high profile divorce (where I represent the wife) was going. I responded with a basic “Well, it’s pretty nasty.” A vague but true answer since there had been several temporary relief hearings (which are public in Minnesota) as well as close to 200 pages of pleadings that had been filed in the case and are public. The person listening to the conversation was shocked, his eyes got big and he said “How can you tell me that? It’s attorney client privilege!?” It wasn’t – I don’t […]

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If you are involved in a Minnesota custody dispute, your lawyer or a judge might have brought up the topic of a guardian ad litem with you. A guardian ad litem is someone who is appointed, for the duration of your legal battle, to look out for the best interests of your child. The idea is that while you can make your wishes known, and your ex can make his or her wishes known, your child has no one to advocate for him or her. The guardian ad litem will be an independent, neutral person—so not your ex-mother-in-law, fortunately, but […]

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Updated: 1-08-2020 Is that possible? Can you really get divorced in 7 days in Minnesota? Well, the answer is…sort of. Let me explain a little, in Minnesota, we often call divorces that are settled immediately and without conflict “uncontested divorces” I should note that this is really a misnomer, as a contested divorce technically is what happens when one spouse does not want to get divorced and you live in a “fault” state, which Minnesota is not, but we still all call them uncontested divorces. These types of uncontested divorces are fast, quick and perhaps best of all cheap! Sounds […]

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Wow, pretty dour topic.  As you, my dear readers, probably know this is a bit more intense than my normal headlines.  But, I wanted to discuss a common misconception that is going around Minnesota courthouse these days, and that is that if you have addiction issues; alcohol or drugs come to mind, then you can not get custody of your kids.   That’s not true. What is true is that if you have an addiction and you are not getting help for it, then you’ve got a problem when it comes to custody in Minnesota.  You see, Judges like to […]

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Minnesota Court – Family Law Cases | Pssst, wanna know the secret to winning in a family law case? Ready? Here it is, let the other side think they won… it’s that simple.  If you let the other side think they won, that they pulled one over on you or you gave up, it often ends the conflict and settles the case!  Is it bad to gloat? Well over the years I have had clients or opposing clients do and say silly things that come back to bite them.  Don’t go and parade your new Corvette In front of your […]

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He Said, She Said—But Does It Matter? No Fault Divorce in Minnesota | As much as you might be itching to get into court and explain, in the harshest detail, why it is that your ex was responsible for the breakdown of your marriage and why you should therefore receive more of your joint property, this isn’t the way Minnesota’s divorce laws work.  Instead, we have what is called a no-fault divorce rule. This means a couple of things.  First, neither of you needs to prove that the other did something wrong—like had an affair or abandoned you—in order to […]

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Divorce and Credit | If you have to go through a divorce in Minnesota often the last thing you are thinking about is your credit score, however even during the most difficult times in our lives you’ll still need to purchase a house, a car and probably need a credit card. The unfortunate fact is, divorce can have a significant effect on your finances and your ability to get credit in the future. In the paragraphs below I will explain why you need to be keenly aware of your credit during your Minnesota divorce. You should know the cold reality […]

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Small Business and Minnesota Divorce | With the increase of divorce in Minnesota, divorce lawyers have to become versed in business entities and law.  The days of the general legal practitioner are gone.  But, let me tell you a dirty little secret that most Minnesota divorce lawyers have, they are divorce lawyers….not business lawyers.  They don’t like to look at the books, K-1 statements or god forbid, the taxes!  Let me explain a little more. What often occurs in a divorce involving an S or C corporation or closely held partnership is that the income tax filings often have very […]

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4 Reasons To Stay Calm During Your Divorce.

I think one of the hardest things a client has to do during a divorce is stay calm.  Emotions are often very high during a divorce.  Your case may have infidelity issues, one side always feels like they are being treated unequally, money might be tight and nearly always one side feels that what is happening is not fair.  After 20 years of being a divorce attorney in Minnesota I’ve learned that there are a few good reasons why you need to stay calm, cool and collected in your divorce no matter what happens. Domestic Abuse/Anger Issues:  If you yell […]

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Many folks think that all divorces must end in a trial, aka Kramer vs. Kramer.  They don’t.  The reality is that well over 99% of cases end without any trial, it ends in settlement.  Typically settlements are either 1) done by just the lawyers and clients or 2) at mediation. To succeed at  a Divorce mediation you first you need to understand what mediation is.  Mediation, in the divorce sense,  is when the clients and the lawyers (usually, but not always) go and try and work out a deal.  It’s not  binding and if mediation doesn’t work it usually means […]

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