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St. Paul Family Law And Estate Planning Blog

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. 

Creating an estate plan during the springtime

For many people, springtime represents a fresh start and moving on from a long winter. Along with spring cleaning, planning summer vacations and adjusting to more tolerable weather, there are other responsibilities that may need to be addressed, such as creating an estate plan. The spring can be a great time of year for setting up a will or creating a trust, and you should not push off this important decision if you want to have a plan in place to protect your estate.

In the winter, some people feel depressed or hesitant to tackle these issues as a result of the weather. During the summer months, some people feel a lack of energy due to relentless heat and busy schedules (such as children and grandchildren spending time around the house because school is out, summer trips, etc.). As a result, spring can be an excellent time of year to move forward with an estate plan and have peace of mind knowing that assets will be managed properly in the event that something unexpected takes place.

With a blended family, you might need a stronger estate plan

Many Minnesotans don’t have an estate plan, either because they assume they have plenty of time, they assume that inheritances will work themselves out, or both. Unfortunately, you can’t rely on either assumption – especially with the tricky dynamics of blended families.

If you are in a second (or later marriage) with children and stepchildren from previous relationships, it is critical to create a detailed estate plan that specifically addresses everyone you wish to leave assets to. Failing to take these precautions could lead to family strife and even litigation related to the estate.

Maintaining your emotions after a spouse’s affair

In the modern era, affairs have become especially common. Both men and women may be cheated on, and this can lead to a wide variety of challenges, especially when it comes to a couple’s marriage and their children. If you recently discovered that your spouse was having an affair, we understand the multitude of hardships that you may be facing. However, it is essential to try to maintain your emotions and do what is best for your future. Unfortunately, some people make rash decisions when they are angry, which can adversely affect them from a family law standpoint and in other ways.

After finding out about a marital partner’s affair, people may feel as if they have nowhere to turn. Some may become overly depressed, which can have a negative impact on their life in many ways (poor workplace performance, losing friends, eating or drinking excessively, etc.). Some people may also become very angry and others may face high levels of stress, which can interfere with life as well.

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