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Joseph Marvin
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Minnesota couples who are ending their marriage and who have young children have a number of options when it comes to making a decision about child support. While child support may be decided by a judge in a court hearing, parents might instead opt to negotiate it in an informal manner. This is usually done with their attorneys.

Another option might be an alternative dispute resolution method such as arbitration, mediation or collaborative law. Arbitration is relatively uncommon in family law situations, but it involves having a third party hear both sides and make a decision. That decision is usually one that can be altered. With mediation or collaborative law, the parents, and possibly their attorneys, participate in the process of conflict resolution in an effort to reach a compromise.




Unfortunately, many couples with children split up. When this happens, one parent will normally be given sole custody. While there are some circumstances where a couple may be able to work together well enough to share custody, the majority of cases involve one person being granted custody of a child.

Child custody is normally determined by a judge or through mediation between the parents. Custody battles can be drawn out and contentious, so if possible, people should avoid them. However, if a parent is sure that their child would be better off with them and they can't come to an agreement with their ex, they will need to present their case in court.




The decision to divorce is best made not in the heat of an argument, but after careful and thorough contemplation. Our family law firm recommends choosing a divorce attorney in the same manner.

There’s no way around it: A divorce proceeding involves a lot of hassle. At a minimum, there will be months of procedural deadlines and negotiations on issues of property division, spousal and/or child support, child custody, and other issues required by the court. Having an attorney that communicates well with you and understands your unique situation will go a long way toward streamlining the process.




Minnesota couples whose marriages are on the rocks may choose to go through a physical separation as opposed to a complete divorce. However, there are issues that they need to consider before they choose to go through the separation process. First, it is critical that an individual understands the financial situation in his or her household. This means understanding how much each person makes, how much goes toward bills each month and other basic facts.

While the separation is ongoing, it may be a good idea to refrain from social media use. It may also be a good idea to refrain from entering into a new relationship while still married. This is something that could put a damper on future divorce settlement talks if they occur. Spending should be kept to a minimum, and a separation agreement should cover what happens to joint debts as well as if either party receives child support.




There are more ways than ever to communicate with other people: calling, emailing, texting, instant messaging, writing on their wall, tagging them in a photo and even the old-fashioned way of mailing them a letter. And no one is more savvy in modes of communication than kids.

With all the ways to communicate, chances are your child can reach out and talk to his or her other parent whenever he or she wants. This can present problems if you are a mom or dad who co-parents, as communication with the other parent can disrupt your time with your child and be considered interference with parenting time. For this reason, it can be crucial to establish some boundaries on communication.




Minnesota couples who are in their 50s or older might be more likely to get a divorce than they would have been 25 or more years earlier. According to research, divorce for older couples is on the rise, and the highest increase compared to previous decades is among people over 65.

Such a change late in life could mean that older people are looking for work and seeking new housing. It is important for them to get a handle on their budgets so that they understand what their needs will be. Getting a job may be necessary because it is more costly to maintain two households than one. People may be unable to afford to remain in the family home, and increasingly, older adults who are single may share a household. It might be possible to claim on an ex-spouse's Social Security benefits.




While some divorces are amicable and people behave in a trustworthy way, some Minnesota residents who are ending their marriage may need to beware of their spouse dissipating assets. This can be a particular problem in relationships where one spouse has worked outside the home and earned all of the income. Asset dissipation is something that can be done easily by those who know that they can simply earn the money back after the divorce, and it can be devastating for those who might depend upon that income to support them after years of caring for a home and children or while they retrain to reenter the job market.

People who are concerned about this type of matter may be able to seek a temporary restraining order. This court order prohibits a spouse from making significant change to the financial status of the marriage. A person who believes the assets have already been dissipated may be able to identify how. For example, credit card statements may have personal expenses under a company name.


Minnesota residents who are getting a divorce should be careful to not comply with an estranged spouse's unfair demands. It is especially important that they don't agree to any demands before speaking with a divorce attorney. 

If you are considering whether or not to divorce your spouse, you may be especially anxious about the effects that your divorce may have on your children and your relationship with your children. One of the surest ways to ensure your own wellbeing and your children's wellbeing is to develop a healthy co-parenting relationship with your children's other parent. This kind of healthy relationship is not always possible. But when it is, it can truly benefit everyone it touches. 



When a Minnesota couple decides to end their marriage, they may be wondering what will happen to the house they share. Typically, a home is one of the largest assets a couple has, and most couples are able to come to an agreement regarding it. However, in some cases, a couple may not be able to reach an arrangement with what to do with a home, so a judge will need to make the decision.

Before a judge makes a decision, a few factors would need to be considered. For example, if a couple has children, the judge may decide to award the home to the parent who has primary custody. This decision is usually made because a judge will try to make sure that the children's lives are disrupted as little as possible. However, if the custodial parent does not have the financial means to maintain the home, then this many not be the case.

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