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Divorce vs Legal Separation - What is the difference?

Recently, I have been presented with the same question on multiple occasions: "What is the difference between divorce and legal separation?" First, it is important to clarify the terminology. Dissolution of marriage is divorce, it is the process of terminating the marriage, including the rights, benefits, and privileges that the spouses share. Legal separation, at least in Minnesota, preserves ...

Furnishing alcohol to a minor

Our client was charged with selling alcohol to a minor while working at a popular restaurant.  The charge was the result of a sting operation where law enforcement worked with a 20 year old to determine if they would be allowed to purchase alcohol.  This is a gross misdemeanor offense, meaning our client was facing maximum penalties of one year in jail and a $3,000 fine!

Three tips for effective co-parenting

Divorce may be the best solution to a struggling marriage, allowing both spouses to go their separate ways according to their individual needs. When you have minor children, however, your divorce might not be as simple as you may want it to be. Being a divorced parent means you and your ex-spouse will likely have to continue interacting and working together as co-parents.

As difficult as it can be to create an effective co-parenting plan with someone you are trying to build a separate life from, it is important to center your efforts around your child's well-being. Consider the following tips to help overcome any tense emotions towards your co-parent to provide the best possible upbringing for your children:

When parallel parenting can be a good alternative to co-parenting

If you are no longer in a marriage or a relationship with the parent of your child, it is likely that you have heard a lot of advice on how to co-parent. Co-parenting is defined as the act of collaborating and communicating with the other parent of your child, so that you can both act in their best interests. For most parents, it is a challenge, but it can be achieved through continuous efforts in establishing healthy boundaries and ways to communicate.

However, for some parents, successful co-parenting is simply not a possibility. This may be because your ex was abusive toward you in the past or because you cannot communicate constructively. If you believe that the other parent is a risk to your child, it is vital that you express these concerns to the courts.

Is it time to seek a Minnesota child custody modification?

Life has a way of changing drastically in the wake of a major event, such as a divorce. The situation you are in when the courts finalize your divorce is likely to be much different than your situation six months or a year later.

During that time, you will have likely worked through some of the emotional consequences of the end of your marriage and taken steps to improve your stability. Depending on your circumstances, you may now be in a position to request a modification of your child custody arrangements.

Watch for warning signs that your ex hid assets prior to divorce

Regardless of how long you have been married, getting divorced is often a difficult prospect. Not only do you have to tell everyone that your marriage failed, you also have to handle the details of untangling your life from your spouse's. This can be a daunting prospect, and some people rush through it just to get it over with.

However, speed is not necessarily your friend in the situation. Accuracy and attention to detail are the best tools you have to help ensure the outcome of your divorce is fair to everyone. You need to keep a watchful eye out for any potential signs that your ex might be hiding assets to skew the divorce in his or her favor.

Defending yourself against a domestic violence accusation

Household disputes can get heated in any home, and although disputes are common or even inevitable, they must not lead to violence, abuse or assault. Many people believe they can only be charged with a domestic assault if they physically harm a member of their household, which is incorrect. A person can be also be charged with domestic assault if they put a household member in reasonable fear of bodily harm, even if they never actually touch the other person.

If you have been accused of domestic violence, you are likely to be devastated and fearful of what the consequences could be. While domestic assault charges are typically misdemeanor offenses, the collateral consequences of a conviction are equal to and in some instances, more serious than a felony conviction. If you are not a citizen of the United States, a domestic assault conviction will result in your deportation. And even if you are a citizen, a conviction for domestic assault will result in a lifetime ban on the possession of firearms or ammunition. It is important to stay calm and make sure that you are committed to taking rational steps in order to defend yourself and your actions.

Listen to your children during a child custody case

Many different aspects are involved in child custody cases. For many parents, working together to come up with the arrangements is the preferred option. Doing so gives them a chance to consider the unique factors in their case instead of asking a stranger to step in and make the decisions.

For some parents, the question of whether to consider the child's wishes may arise. This isn't an easy decision, but here are a few things to consider if you need to make the call about this matter.

Do you understand Minnesota's ignition interlock program?

Facing serious criminal consequences is only one of the major issues related to a driving while intoxicated (DWI) charge in Minnesota. While offenders may face some time in jail, as well as fines and a criminal record, all of that often proves secondary to another consequence. Losing your license is one of the administrative penalties associated with a DWI conviction or guilty plea.

The length of license suspension is related to the amount of alcohol in someone's body at the time of the arrest, as well as the number of previous offenses. It can range from 30 days for those who plead guilty to a first DWI offense to two years for a second offense, and loss of licensing completely with a third or subsequent charge.

It's time to tell your kids about your divorce: Now what?

There is never a good time to find yourself in the middle of a divorce case. Even if you realize that this is best for your future, you know that you're sure to face a few challenges along the way.

If you have kids with your soon to be ex-spouse, you know that there are even more details to think about as your divorce pushes forward.

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