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Minnesota Family Law & Divorce Law Blog

Can a search warrant be challenged?

The media spends a lot of time discussing warrantless searches and the exceptions to the warrant requirement. Some people may overlook the possibility that even when police obtain a warrant that any evidence seized as a result of a search may not be fair game for trial. It is important to note that law enforcement and judges can make mistakes in the warrant process.

A recent case from the East Coast highlights how important it is to have a criminal defense lawyer review not only the evidence the prosecution is relying on, but also the procedures used to obtain evidence. In 2011, police opened a homicide investigation that continued for a roughly a year or more. Law enforcement began to suspect a man of being the driver of a getaway car linked to the murder.

Guiding you through the divorce process

Ending a marriage is anything but easy. However, if it is clear that it is the right time and it is best for spouses to part ways, couples can usually move forward with the process with a good perspective. Whether spouses are able to approach the process open-minded or with much spite and anger, a divorcing couple has to address certain divorce issues before finalizing the process.

Even in a union that lasted only a few years, the same divorce issues of a marriage that lasted decades will likely need to be addressed. While this typically includes issues surrounding property division, it can also involve disputes concerning alimony, child custody and child support. It is import that spouses take charge of this process, ensuring they understand their rights and options. Our law firm is dedicated to serving spouses in Minnesota, helping them reach a fair and workable divorce decree.

Child support and child custody are separate family law issues

Some parents in Minnesota are faced with financial problems when it comes to their custody arrangements with an ex-spouse. When visitation is awarded to one parent, child support is commonly put in place. However, divorced parents are often confused about this co-existence, sometimes failing to recognize the distinctions between these separate family law issues. Whether you are the parent awarded primary custody or the non-custodial parent awarded visitation, it is important to understand your parental rights in these roles and how child support interacts with these roles.

The courts see child support and child custody as different issues because each issue results in an order that details the rights and obligations of each parent. For example, child support dictates a parent's financial obligations despite parenting rights, abilities and experiences. On the other hand, child custody orders are focused on the best interests of the child and protecting these interests based on various factors in the matter.

How could a prenuptial agreement be invalid?

As previously discussed, some couples in Minnesota carry out specific steps to protect his or her financial wellbeing. Prior to even getting married, couples could execute a prenuptial agreement. While drafting such a document can be a difficult task, it is also overwhelming to have this legal document apply to dissolution proceedings. This is especially true if one spouse seeks to contest the validity of the document.

How could a prenuptial agreement be invalid? While the ultimate goal of including a prenup in a marriage is to have a valid and enforceable agreement between spouses, this is unfortunately not always the case. Thus, spouses need to be aware of the most common reasons why a prenup could be invalid and how to best proceed with the divorce process.

What counts as income in the child support formula?

Many Eagan residents probably realize that, as in other states, Minnesota courts will use a mathematical formula to determine the correct amount of child support it should order a parent to pay.

However, some might not realize that the fact there is a formula does not mean there will be no courtroom debate about child support, even if the judge has every intention of going by the formula and not deviating from it. The reason is that there are always questions about what number should be put in to the formula in the first place.

Why enter into a prenuptial agreement?

Planning and preparing for marriage involves making a lot of decisions about the big day. This typically includes decision about centerpieces, food, music, and guests to be invited. However, decisions related to marriage are not limited to the wedding day itself. In fact, many couples find themselves thinking about the future of their finances and how they could be affected should the marriage not work out. Divorce is not something couples like to consider, especially before they are married, but considering the important role a prenuptial agreement can play is crucial for any couple in Minnesota.

While a prenup is not romantic by any means, it is about as real and as rational as a person can get with their spouse-to-be. A prenuptial agreement is all about assets and the protection of them. This legal document can better define how a couple's new and growing assets will be treated in the event of death or divorce.

Three Common Myths About Divorce

When someone decides to divorce, they often confide in family or friends about their situation. These conversations can be important in defining goals and finding support during an emotional time. However, moral support is a far cry from solid advice and guidance. Commentators and divorce lawyers often discuss the myths and misconceptions that many people have over divorce.

While no blog post could possibly cover every myth and misconception that may loom on the internet -- or in conversations between friends -- this post will present a few of the common myths that may impact some important decisions when creating a divorce strategy.

Why you should fight for shared parenting during divorce

When joint parenting is not agreed to in a divorce, the parent who is left with just visitation rights will often fight for more parenting time. Because having less time with a child is not always best for a child, parents will often fight for shared custody. Such an arrangement can be extremely beneficial. However, this requires either parents to agree to such an arrangement or a judge to award such an order. Unfortunately, many fathers are faced with the fight to obtain shared parenting. This is not only fueled by their parental rights, but also for the best interests of the child.

More than 50 studies prove that children in a shared parenting arrangement post-divorce lead better lives than those living in the sole custody of one parent. Even though jurisdictions across the nation seek to uphold legal equality for mothers and fathers in custody battles, data from the U.S. Census indicate that family courts still favor mothers 80 percent of the time when it comes to awarding sole custody.

What are the benefits of shared parenting post-divorce?

Filing for divorce induces a wide variety of thoughts and concerns. This is especially true for Minnesota parents considering the needs and interests of a child or children during the process. While no parent seeks to split up his or her family, in some cases, this is the best option for everyone involved. Thus, it is important to consider how best to parent following divorce and how to ensure the best interests of the children can continue to be met post-divorce.

Ultimately, the best way to accomplish this is by developing a strong and fair custody agreement. Custody arrangements from one family to another can look vastly different. That is even true when they are joint-custody arrangements. In many cases, co-parenting or joint custody is looked at as a fair and beneficial arrangement. And when it is a workable order to meet, parents and children find this to be the most effective way to meet the ongoing needs that may develop over the years.

Helping you resolve property division disputes during a divorce

No two divorces are the same. Thus, no two divorces should be treated the same. Nonetheless, there are common divorce issues that should be noted, as well as frequently used mechanisms to resolve them. Keeping these tips in mind could help some Minnesota couples address problems in the dissolution process. Obstacles divorcing couples often face relate to the property division phase. This is one of the most contentious issues in a divorce because spouses cannot fully agree on who gets what and what is rightfully considered separate property.

Categorizing property can be challenging, especially if a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement was not included in the union. While these legal documents often detail who is entitled to what in the event of a divorce, without these documents divorcing couples are left to the state laws to determine whether property is considered marital property or separate property.

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