Dirty Tricks and How to Avoid Them

After seeing this happen too many times, I have been inspired to make an addition to a popular past article posting “Dirty Tricks and How to Avoid Them.” Specifically, I discuss the practice some parents have of scheduling children’s activities over the other parent’s parenting time.

Parenting Time in Minnesota Divorce and Custody Cases

For those of us dealing with parenting time schedules every day, there is a certain short-hand which becomes part of our vocabulary. To help those who are not familiar with the most common parenting time schedules to better understand and visualize them, I have just included an important addition to my article on parenting time in Minnesota divorce and custody cases, complete with tables, so that the reader will have a better grasp of some of the most typical arrangements that are available. The article is titled: “Parenting Time in Minnesota Divorce and Custody Cases.

Name Changes in Minnesota Divorce and Custody Cases

In response to a request question, I was inspired this morning to write an article on the topic of name changes in Minnesota divorce and child custody cases. This article addresses both name changes for adult parties in divorce, as well as the issues involved in changing the names of minor children. The article is titled: “Name Changes in Minnesota Divorce and Custody Cases.

Recording of Phone Calls Between Parties and Children

Today I have update my FAQ about the recording of telephone conversations between parties, to include a section discussing the recording of telephone conversations between the other parent and the children: See “Recording of Telephone Calls Between Parties and Children in Minnesota Divorce and Custody Cases.

Corporal Punishment of Children

The question often arises in Minnesota divorce and custody cases, whether and to what extent spanking and other physical punishment is permissible. Today’s FAQ addresses the legalities as well as important strategic considerations on this topic: “Can I Beat the Kids?

Child Support Duration and Termination

Today’s posting answers the fairly common question people have about when their child support obligation ends, and whether or not they need to take any kind of legal action to terminate child support once their child emancipates. For the answer to this questions, with citations to legal authority, see my new FAQ: “When Does My Minnesota Child Support Obligation End?

Tax Issues is Minnesota Divorce and Custody Cases

Just in time for the tax deadline, I have finished drafting a new article which addresses some of the income tax considerations involved in Minnesota divorce and child custody cases, titled “Tax Issues in Minnesota Divorce.” (Now I need to get back to finishing my own taxes. Ugh.)

Appeals in Minnesota Divorce and Other Family Law Cases

Today I published a new article discussing appeals of Minnesota divorce and other Minnesota family law cases, which includes discussion of the standards of review and other important considerations for the layperson considering an appeal, such as timing and prerequisite motions which should be considered:
“Appeals of Minnesota Divorce and Other Family Law Cases”

Custody Evaluations in Minnesota Divorce & Custody Cases

Today I published a new article addressing custody evaluations in Minnesota. Among other things, the article addresses the components of a thorough evaluation, and provides some guidance on how to make a good impression on the evaluator, and considerations on how best to involve your attorney in this important process. The article is available here on my website under the title “Custody Evaluations in Minnesota.”

Child Support in Minnesota Divorce & Custody Cases

Today’s entry addresses the ever-popular topic of child support. My new article sets forth in a concise manner the fundamental factors at play in determining child support under the Minnesota Child Support Guidelines, and also addresses the grounds for modification. A link to an excellent child support calculator is included. Click here to read the full article: “Child Support in Minnesota.”

Adultery in Minnesota Divorce and Custody Cases

My article posting today addresses the issue of adultery, and the ways it is and is not relevant to divorce and child custody cases. It is a must-read before daring to raise or respond to an adultery issue. The article is available here on my website: “Adultery in Minnesota Divorce.”

Marriage Annulments in Minnesota

Today’s posting announces my publication of an article on the topic of legal annulments of marriage in Minnesota. Although uncommon, the question does arise from time to time, with enough frequency that I wanted to address it in a formal article, which is available here on my website: “Marriage Annulments in Minnesota.”

Modification of Physical Custody in Minnesota Divorce & Custody Cases

The question of modification of physical custody arises with some frequency, and is the subject of an article which I am posting today on my website here: “Modification of Physical Custody in Minnesota.” The article addresses the grounds for modification of custody -- both the legal standards and the practical considerations for bringing a motion to modify.

Temporary Custody in Minnesota Divorce & Custody Cases

The importance of temporary custody in divorce and child custody cases cannot be understated. For that reason I have authored an article on the subject, available here: “Temporary Custody in Minnesota.” This article explains why temporary custody is important, and how to best go about making one’s case for temporary custody.

Domestic Abuse Orders for Protection Relating to Minnesota Divorce & Child Custody Cases

Domestic Abuse Order-for-Protection cases frequently go hand-in-hand with a marriage dissolution case, about half of the time legitimately. Today’s blog entry announces publication of a detailed article I have written on the subject, available here: “Domestic Abuse Orders for Protection in Minnesota Divorce and Child Custody Cases.” This article explains the legal grounds for an OFP, but focuses mainly on the intersection between Minnesota divorce and child custody cases, and domestic abuse cases, discussing how the OFP impacts one’s divorce and custody case, and providing tactical considerations for persons involved in such cases.

Financial Early Neutral Evaluations in Minnesota Divorce Cases

The Financial Early Neutral Evaluation (or FENE), is explained in an article I published today on my web site: “Financial Early Neutral Evaluations in Minnesota Divorce.” This article explains in a nutshell what the FENE is, and how to best choose your evaluator.

Social Early Neutral Evaluations in Minnesota Divorce & Custody Cases

The Social Early Neutral Evaluation, or “SENE”, has become a routine part of the settlement of contested custody cases in counties which have adopted the program, as have Hennepin and Ramsey counties. Most contested custody and parenting time cases will be settled through this program. For that reason, I’ve published an article on the subject here: “Social Early Neutral Evaluations in Minnesota Divorce and Custody Cases.” Besides describing how the program works, important tactical considerations are discussed.

Harassment Restraining Orders in Minnesota

In cases where your spouse or ex-spouse -- or anyone else for that matter -- is harassing you with repeated phone calls, emails, or other harassing conduct, and you want a court order for no-contact, but don’t qualify for an Order for Protection, the Harassment Restraining Order is for you. I’ve written an article on this subject and posted it here: “Harassment Restraining Orders in Minnesota.”

Legal Separation in Minnesota

Today’s article covers the topic of legal separation -- what it is and when it makes sense to do one. Read the full article I authored and posted here: “Legal Separation in Minnesota.”

Mediation in Minnesota Divorce and Custody Cases

I’m often asked whether it is better to mediate or to litigate. I answer this question in detail in an article posted here on my website: “Mediation in Minnesota Divorce and Child Custody Cases.”

Out of State Moves in Minnesota Divorce & Custody Cases

In the old days, the parent having sole physical custody could move the children to another state for almost any reason. Then around 2007, the legislature changed the law and passed a statute governing out of state moves, which makes it much more difficult, regardless of which parent has custody. The grounds for out of state moves are discussed at length in an article I wrote on the subject and posted here: “Moving Children Out of State in Minnesota Divorce and Custody Cases.

Parenting Consultants in Minnesota Divorce & Custody Cases

The rise in the use of Parenting Consultants in Minnesota divorce and child custody cases prompted me to write an article on the subject, available here: “Parenting Consultants in Minnesota.”

Parenting TIme (Visitation) in Minnesota Divorce & Custody Cases

I’ve drafted an important article on parenting time which addresses: 1) the right to parenting time; 2) typical parenting time schedules; and 3) modification of parenting time. Read the full article here: “Parenting Time in Minnesota Divorce and Child Custody Cases.”

Post-Nuptial Agreements in Minnesota

I’ve had many clients over the years who have anguished over the issue of whether or not to get a divorce, not so much because they wanted one at that point in time, but more because of fear that they would be in a worse position if things continued the way they were going, and a divorce was likely in the future. The post-nuptial agreement can be a perfect solution in this situation. An article I wrote on the subject is available here: “Post-Nuptial Agreements in Minnesota Divorce.”

Property & Debt Allocation in Minnesota Divorce Cases

Today’s article is a very comprehensive one, discussing several aspects of the apportionment of assets and debts in divorce cases, such as: marital versus non-marital property; property that is partially marital and partially non-marital; income and appreciation on non-marital property; real estate; deadbeat spouses; gifts between spouses; debt allocation; and various tips. As always, citations to legal authority are included. The full article is available here: “Property & Debt Allocation in Minnesota Divorce.”

Spousal Maintenance in Minnesota Divorce Cases

I. Initial Spousal Maintenance Awards.

Spousal maintenance is probably the area of family law that involves the greatest amount of uncertainty, and consequently is subject to frequent litigation. I have written an article which discusses the circumstances under which spousal maintenance can be expected, and when it can be modified. The complete article is available here: “
Spousal Maintenance in Minnesota.

Step-parent Visitation in Minnesota Divorce Cases

Contrary to common belief, there are circumstances when stepparents can obtain court-ordered parenting time. That is the subject of an article I have written and posted here: “Step-parent visitation in Minnesota.”

Dirty Tricks to Avoid in Minnesota Divorce & Custody Cases

I despise dirty tricks. Today’s article exposes some of them so that -- I hope -- fewer people will be duped. Read it here: “Dirty Tricks to Avoid in Minnesota Divorce.”

Physical Custody in Minnesota Divorce & Custody Cases

Today’s article is an important one, which I drafted to provide insight into the factors which the court and custody evaluators consider when making physical custody determinations. The so-called “best interest factors” are listed in many places. I give you my elaboration on them, to better inform readers of how each factor is applied in practice. The full article is available here: “Physical Custody in Minnesota.”

Legal Custody in Minnesota Divorce & Custody Cases

Legal custody refers to decision-making power over the major decisions in a child’s life. The article I have drafted on this subject discusses the circumstances under which joint legal or sole legal custody are awarded, and also discusses how legal custody disputes between joint legal custodians are required to be resolved. The full article is here: “Legal Custody in Minnesota Divorce and Custody Cases.

Who Gets the Kids While We Wait to Go to Court?

It is often the case that parties dispute who may have the children during the time period while they wait to get to court, which can be weeks to months away, depending on the county. A have answered this frequently asked question here: “Who Gets the Kids While We Wait to Go to Court?

Who Gets the Dog?

Have a dog, cat or other pet that you and your spouse both want? I have written an answer to this FAQ, discussing how this issue is decided: “Who Gets the Dog?

Who Gets the Engagement Ring?

Unlike many areas of family law, the question of ownership of engagement rings is well settled and definitive in Minnesota. I answer the question here, with citations to authority as always: “Who Gets the Engagement Ring?

Who Gets to Pick The Children's School?

Are you in a dispute over where your child will go to school? I discuss this issue in an FAQ response here: “Who Gets to Pick the Children’s School?

When Does My Paycheck Stop Being Joint?

Wondering how long your paycheck still belongs jointly to your spouse? I answer that question here: “When Does My Paycheck Stop Being Joint?

What Can I Do to Keep Costs Down?

Clients often ask what they can do to help keep down their legal costs. Some suggestions are the subject of an FAQ response which I’ve posted here: “What Can I Do to Keep Costs Down?

Should I Move Out, And If So, How?

Moving out of the marital home is a decision which can have enormous implications for your divorce and/or child custody and parenting time case. Such a move should never be made without consulting an attorney. I discuss some of the strategic implications in the following FAQ: “Should I Move Out, and If So, How?

Should I Get a New Lawyer?

In today’s FAQ response I address the common question of whether or not it’s time to hire a replacement attorney: “Should I Get a New Lawyer?

Should I Empty the Joint Bank Account?

If your considering whether or not to withdraw some or all of your money from a joint bank account in anticipation of divorce, read this FAQ: “Should I Empty the Joint Bank Account.”

Should I Discuss the Divorce with the Children?

Whether and how to discuss the divorce with the children is the subject of my response to this frequently asked question: “Should I Discuss the Divorce with the Children?

May I Record Phone Telephone Conversations?

Under what circumstances a party may record telephone conversations, and how such recordings can be used, is the subject of my response to this FAQ: “May I Record Phone Conversations?

May I Kick My Spouse out of the House and Change the Locks?

If you’re thinking about kicking your spouse out of the house and changing the locks, read my response to this FAQ: “May I Kick My Spouse Out of the House and Change the Locks?

May I Contest the Divorce Itself?

People assume that there’s absolutely no legal basis for contesting the divorce itself, and that they have no alternative but to agree to it. This is DEAD WRONG! I discuss the law and practical application of it in my response to this FAQ: “May I Contest the Divorce Itself?

Is There Bias Against Fathers or In Favor of Mothers?

So many fathers come in thinking they’re done for. So many mothers come in thinking they’ve got it made. I discuss the fallacy in both lines of thinking, in this FAQ: “Is There Bias Against Fathers or in Favor of Mothers?

How Will Mental Illness Affect My Custody Case?

To better understand how mental illness impacts child custody cases, read my response to this FAQ: “How Will Mental Illness Affect My Custody Case?

How Much Compromise is Reasonable?

When compromising to reach a settlement, it’s important to know where you stand should the matter be litigated. Knowing the likely range of litigated outcomes will help you decide how much compromise is reasonable. I have published a detailed answer to this FAQ here: “How Much Compromise is Reasonable?

How Important is the Physical Custody Label?

The importance of the physical custody label (joint versus sole), is a subject that is under debate in the family law bar. I address this frequently asked question at length here: “How Important is the Physical Custody Label?

How Do I Prove My Spouse is Crazy?

In today’s FAQ posting I answer the question: “How Do I Prove My Spouse Is Crazy?

How Do I Protect Myself Against False Abuse Allegations?

Far too often than should be the case, I am asked by a client how to protect against falls abuse allegations, due to legitimate fears of being falsely accused. I answer the question to this FAQ here: “How Do I Protect Against Fall Abuse Allegations?

How Do I Prepare for Imminent Divorce?

If divorce appears imminent, there are a number of steps that one should seriously consider taking to protect yourself and prepare yourself. I discuss these in a detailed response to the following FAQ: “How Do I Prepare for Imminent Divorce?

Does Minnesota have a Divorce Waiting Period?

Minnesota does not have a divorce waiting period, but there is a 6-month residency requirement. I discuss both issues, as well as a work-around solution for the 6-month residency requirement, in response to the following FAQ: “Does Minnesota Have A Divorce Waiting Period?

Can I Close Joint Credit Card Accounts?

Unless you really need the credit yourself, it is generally a good idea to close joint credit card accounts pending divorce, to prevent your spouse from racking up debt in your name in a pre-divorce buying spree, which happens all the time. I discuss this topic and the related law in my response to this FAQ: “Can I Close Joint Credit Card Accounts?

Can a New Spouse's Income be Considered for Support?

I’m frequently asked whether a new spouse’s income may be considered when determining one’s spousal maintenance or child support obligation to a previous spouse. I answer this question here: “Can a New Spouse’s Income Be Considered in Spousal Maintenance and Child Support Determinations?

At What Age May the Child Decide Where He Wants to Live?

Often people ask me at what age their child(ren) may decide for themselves which parent they want to primarily reside with. I answer this question with pertinent citations to legal authority in the following FAQ response: “At What Age May the Child Decide Where He Wants to Live?

Are Verbal Agreements to Change Support Enforceable?

NO! Read on for a more complete answer in my response to this FAQ: “Are Verbal Agreements to Change Support Enforceable?

Am I Entitled To Access My Child's Records (School, Medical, etc)?

Getting access to your child’s important records -- even if you’re not the custodial parent -- is addressed in this FAQ: “Am I Entitled to Access My Child’s Records?