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St. Paul Family Law And Estate Planning Blog

Do I need to write my ex out of my will?

The question of whether you want to change your will or other estate plan documents during divorce would depend on your intentions. However, it also depends on how far you are along into the process. Minnesota law has some rules that automatically come into effect when you begin a divorce, and some that take effect when you finish. 

Please bear in mind that some documents may mention your spouse by name without regards to the marriage relationship. This circumstance, along with many others, could result in an exception to the statutory law discussed below.

Are you a Minnesota father who is concerned about custody?

When you got married, you likely assumed you'd be with your spouse for the rest of your life. As time passed, however, some of the very things you liked about your partner to start may have become irritations or problem issues that you were unable to resolve. If that's the case, you might be one of many Minnesota couples who are currently preparing for divorce.

As a father, you undoubtedly place your children's best interests above all else. If you're feeling worried or anxious about child custody, visitation or child support, you're definitely not alone in your struggle. Most dads have similar concerns when they decide to sever their marital ties. A key to successfully adapting to a new lifestyle is building a strong support network early on.

How do you deal with college planning during divorce?

In Minnesota, there are no formal requirements for parents to send their children to college. Similarly, there are very few rules about how college funds or college expenses should be handled when a marriage dissolves. However, there is also probably nothing stopping you from putting these types of details down in writing when you draft of the terms of your divorce.

If you and your spouse have planned ahead, you may have significant assets in college funds. One popular example, detailed by the Research Department of the Minnesota House of Representatives, is the tax-advantaged 529 plan. Depending on how you hold your funds, you may want to take action when you divorce in order to preserve your children's future as you both intended. 

What are co-parenting apps?

You may not be surprised, given the number of apps available for smartphones, that there are indeed co-parenting apps for divorced couples. Whether or not you would use them in your own divorce process could depend on a number of different factors.

Believe it or not, judges across the country have ordered parents to use apps to resolve their disputes; whether your Minnesota judge would order such a solution would depend on your case. Please read on for a brief look at some of the ways these apps might help you work together with your spouse. 

Can my ex take my retirement fund?

Your spouse could be entitled to part of your personal retirement plan if you get a divorce. However, you probably only have to divide the portion you learned while you were married. 

Furthermore, Minnesota courts would probably not require you to divide your assets completely in half. There are many things that go into asset division, among them being each of your respective contributions to the asset in question, the portion that is marital property and several other factors.

How is custody determined in a divorce?

When parents separate or file for divorce in Minnesota, children are often the unwilling participants of the separation as well. In most cases, small children do not have a say as to which parent they would prefer to live with. Instead, the court may determine what is best for the child and order child custody accordingly. You may also design your own child custody schedule through mediation. Whatever the case may be, there are certain factors considered when choosing what type of custody is best for your child. 

The first thing a judge may consider when determining child custody is which parent was the primary caretaker of the child during the marriage. Did one parent stay home with the child while the other parent worked? Was one parent more involved in the child’s education, extracurricular activities and social life? This is often the parent that will receive primary physical custody of the child. 

Will divorce leave you paying your spouse's student loan?

As you and your spouse prepare to divorce, you undoubtedly have many decisions to make. Whether you are settling your issues out of court or going through the litigation process, you want to make sure you get your fair share of assets to ensure you will not struggle financially in your post-divorce life. In addition to your assets, however, don't overlook your marital debt.

No matter which of you acquired the debts, the courts often assume the debt belongs to both of you, especially charges on a joint credit card or a loan signed by both spouses. However, you may have questions about your student loans.

Consider your green options for an estate plan in Minnesota

In Minnesota, eco-conscious living reflects the beautiful landscapes and natural resources that make up the state. Thanks to the “green” cultural movement, consumers challenge every industry to provide alternatives to wasteful or polluting practices. The funeral industry is no exception.

If you would like your funeral to be as eco-conscious or environmentally responsible as you are, all you need is to get creative and look for available options in your area.

Identifying how divorced parents may affect a future marriage

There has been researching centered on how children are affected by their parents' decision to divorce from each other. Other studies focus on the effects of a divorce on a person's ability to have a successful marriage in the future. However, what about children whose parents are divorced, how could that dynamic affect their own marriages in the future? This question may be a concern of many people in Minnesota and is certainly valid in nature. 

Despite the "newness" of the topic for some people, assessing the connection between divorced parents and the likelihood that their children will also get divorced,  has been part of some studies spanning as far back as the 1990s. Results have shown a strong connection between divorces continuing through generations, but not consistently so. There are undoubtedly cases where children from divorced parents are able to maintain a successful, healthy and thriving marriage in their future despite the conflict of their parents' relationship during their childhood. 

Will your estate plan be executed the right way?

When you are finalizing the details of your estate plan in Minnesota, you may be feeling a sense of accomplishment and relief that you have some direction for your family members when you become incapacitated. You can rest easy knowing that you have put in the effort to make designations and arrangements so your family will know what your wishes are. However, now you need to ask someone to be the executor of your plan to guarantee that everything goes smoothly when you pass away. 

Because designating an executor is an important aspect of estate planning, you should not simply hand off the job to any random person. You should also not discuss the possibility of someone being an executor if you are not serious or if the conversation is too casual and the receiver does not take you seriously. When you are considering asking someone to be in charge of executing your estate plan exactly as you have written, it is imperative that you have a discussion with him or her about what the responsibilities will be. You should receive a verbal answer from the person of your choice before you make it legal. 

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