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Joseph Marvin

When people in Minnesota get a divorce, they may be prone to making a number of financial mistakes. Some of those errors could happen because of a lack of familiarity with tax law. For example, they may try to liquidate some assets to pay debts, but there could be a significant tax attached to that liquidation.

Another tax-related error is failing to get a qualified domestic relations order in order to take a distribution from a 401(k) if it must be divided as part of the divorce agreement. Without this and an IRA to roll the distribution into, there could be significant penalties and taxes. On the other hand, people should be aware that for divorces finalized after the end of 2018, alimony will no longer be tax-payable or tax-deductible. According to experts, this is likely to lead to less money for both recipient and payer.
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You have decided to file for divorce, and the move has sparked a range of emotions within you. Although you look forward to breaking free from the other party, you worry about how you and your future ex will handle the custody of your children.

In Minnesota, you could have joint custody with the other parent or gain sole custody of the children, where custody is awarded to you alone. Here is a glimpse at what sole custody in particular involves.

What exactly is sole custody?

If the court awards you sole physical custody as well as sole legal custody of the children, you have exclusive rights regarding your child. A sole custody arrangement is rare, but it is certainly possible if the court deems the other parent incapable of caring or unfit to care for your children. For instance, the other party could have a drug abuse problem, or there could be evidence that he or she abused your children.

In a sole custody situation, the other parent is your children's non-custodial parent. This person does not have either legal or physical custody of the children. However, the other party can still visit with your children, although these visits might be supervised -- particularly in a situation involving child abuse or domestic violence.
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Couples planning to walk down the aisle in Minnesota often have visions of spending a lifetime together. Unfortunately, this isn't always the reality with marriages today, which is why it can be a smart idea for two people planning to legally wed to consider a prenuptial agreement beforehand. Yet some couples avoid discussing a prenup because of lingering misconceptions, such as the belief that such a document is only necessary if one spouse has significant wealth they want to protect. In reality, a prenup can cover all types of marital assets, so disputes can be avoided later.

While prenups can include things like stipulations for future alimony payments and debt obligations, agreements with one-sided or unreasonable provisions may not be considered by the court in the event of a divorce. Additionally, many couples are unaware of the fact that prenups can cover more than who gets what if a marriage ends. Such documents can also establish the basics of an estate plan. Also, a generous higher-earning spouse can give their former partner more than what was stipulated in the agreement without nullifying its terms.
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Most Minnesota couples enter into marriage with optimism about its long-term success but are likely mindful of the conventional wisdom that about one half of all unions ultimately fail. The desire to succeed may not in and of itself be a difference maker, but an awareness of specific personality traits, which may point to a greater probability of a split if left unchecked, could be useful in tilting the odds in favor of longevity.

Marital experts and professionals report that extremist behavior in either of the two partners is a recipe for disaster. Where marriage is a fifty-fifty proposition, on average, there seems to be a better mechanism in place for conflict resolution. Continued extremism, on the other hand, appears likely to push one partner away, concluding that breakup is inevitable.
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Many Minnesota couples may be aware that the divorce rate in the United States has been approximately 50 percent for some time. While there are many reasons why couples get divorced, one of the most common is the lack of communication when it comes to family finances.

There are several causes behind poor communication when it comes to money issues. In some cases, for example, one spouse might take the family finances as their responsibility. This may mean that they create the budget and are responsible for paying the mortgage and any other bills. This can leave the other partner in the dark when it comes to how much in savings the couple may have. In some cases, either spouse may open credit cards or make large purchases without consulting the other person, putting stress on the family.
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You and your spouse have decided to call it quits, and you feel a sense of relief. At the same time, though, you feel anxious about how you will support yourself following the divorce.

Fortunately, you may be eligible to receive spousal maintenance, which may help you to stay afloat financially following your marital breakup. Here is a look at how courts handle spousal maintenance, also known as alimony, in Minnesota.
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Minnesota couples considering divorce after the age of 50 might be interested in learning they are part of a growing trend. Divorce rates in this age bracket have doubled in recent years and spawned the term "gray divorce." Older couples suffering financial losses during a divorce have less time to recoup those losses than younger individuals. Unfortunately, statistics show that many spouses still allow their partners to make most major financial decisions. This can cause surprises and long-term money problems after a marriage ends.

A recent survey targeted 600 widowed and divorced women over 50 and 1,500 couples in the same age bracket. In couples, 56 percent of women admitted to trusting their spouse with most financial decisions. Of the divorced and widowed women, 59 percent expressed regret for not taking a greater role in their previous marital finances. Nearly 60 percent of divorced women said they were greeted with unknown information during the course of their marital split. Not all surprises were negative as some women discovered retirement and other investment plans about which they had been unaware.
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When parents in Minnesota decide to end their relationships, the question of child custody immediately arises. In the past, family courts automatically gave primary custody to mothers, which left fathers less time to interact with their children. Gradually, the requests of fathers to maintain parental relationships have shifted views toward greater equality between parents, and a scientific study has shown that children benefit from co-parenting.

Published in 2017, the study examined the psychological well-being of preschoolers whose parents had split. Children living within joint custody arrangements displayed fewer behavioral problems than children living primarily with one parent. Constant moving between households did not produce negative effects for the children.
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Minnesota couples get divorced for many reasons. Sometimes, they fall out of love with each other and decide to part ways amicably. Other times, they argue over finances, especially if one spouse spends beyond the couple's income, or the spouse has an affair. In contentious marriages, the hurt spouse may want to get even or get revenge when filing for a divorce.

Revenge is not the best reason to get a divorce. Is getting even more important than the well-being of the couple's children? Children struggle with divorce at any time, but when a parent airs the couple's dirty laundry in front of them, it only makes the situation worse. Parents should keep their problems to themselves and not force a child to choose between them. Parents need to assure children the divorce is not a child's fault.
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When Minnesota couples decide to divorce, some of the most contentious issues on the table can be the financial matters. Alimony payments have been a particular source of conflict, often leading to extensive negotiations or ongoing court filings. The recently passed Tax Cuts and Jobs Act could have a major impact on how spousal support will be handled in divorces to come.

Federal tax law has had a uniform standard in relation to alimony for the past 75 years. Under these consistent rules, the former spouse who pays alimony is eligible for a tax deduction reflecting the amount of support paid. The former spouse who receives the alimony must report the payments and pay taxes on it alongside their other income. For divorces finalized after December 31, 2018, however, all of this will change. Alimony payers will no longer be able to deduct their payments from their taxes, and spousal support recipients will no longer need to report or pay taxes on the payments.
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