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Divorce - General, Laws and Process
The availability of health insurance coverage is a concern for many people contemplating a divorce. This is especially true for people with children or those insured by a spouse’s health insurance policy.
A divorce can take as little time as 2 months or it can take several years. Typically, a divorce takes about 6-8 months. The duration of your divorce depends on the how complicated your case is and more importantly how well you and your spouse work together to reach an agreement.
If you have been served with an Order for Protection, it is important that you consult with an attorney immediately to discuss your rights, as in most cases you only have five days to request a hearing after you are served with an Order for Protection.
When determining whether to terminate a parents rights to his or her child, the court looks to the child’s best interests. The judge must look at each child as an individual and cannot merely assume that a parents prior conduct will automatically justify termination, even if that conduct resulted in termination of rights regarding a different child.
Under Minnesota law, as long as you yourself are a party to the conversation, it is lawful for you to record that conversation, even secretly. Furthermore, it happens often enough in family practice that you are wise to assume that any telephone conversation with your spouse is in fact being recorded, and to temper your speech accordingly - i.e., no anger, name-calling, or spiteful speech of any kind.
I am often asked whether it is permissible to kick ones spouse out of the house and change the locks. The short answer is: NO. Furthermore,It doesn’t matter that the house is titled solely in one spouses name or neither spouses name.
Cases where only one spouse wants the divorce are fairly common. People often mistakenly assume that they cannot contest the divorce itself. This is simply false. You certainly do have the right to contest the divorce. No fault divorce does not equate to divorce on demand.
Judges, evaluators, and guardians will often pontificate about the virtue of compromise and settlement, as if this were the ultimate objective of any reasonable person, rather than as a means to an end. They speak as if both parties are equally to blame for a failure to settle, when in fact such failure is often the result of only one of the parties, who is being excessively greedy, obnoxious, stubborn, or selfish.
If divorce appears imminent, there are a few things that one should consider doing to prepare (ideally after consulting an attorney).
This article discusses civil annulments of marriage in Minnesota. Religious annulments, such as those granted by the Catholic Church, are beyond the scope of this article. Unlike a divorce, which terminates a marriage as of the date of entry of the divorce decree, an annulment is a judicial determination that the marriage never validly existed at all. Annulments in civil law are a rarity, because the legal grounds for granting them are quite narrow.
Lesson: Donít agree to trial separations without first consulting a lawyer, as it will be very important to arrange the trial separation in a way that doesnít prejudice your rights should you still end up in divorce.
The days of factual disputes over paternity are long gone, as the issue of biological paternity is now decided by DNA, which is hard to argue with. Disputes may still arise as a matter of law where, for example, one man is presumed the father because of DNA, and another is presumed the father by reason of marriage. For reasons of public policy, the biological father does not always prevail.
In equal numbers, prospective clients come to me either excited about a perceived ace-in-the-hole because of the other spouses adultery, or worried about his or her own adultery. Neither attitude is warranted.
In order to commence a divorce in Minnesota, one or the other spouse must be a resident or domiciliary of Minnesota for 6 months immediately preceding commencement of the divorce.
From time to time a client will come to me, excited that he or she has figured out a sure-fire way to win custody, because he or she has personally diagnosed the spouse with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS), or some other mental illness.
The generally accepted view of the courts is that children are to be kept out of the divorce as much as possible. Discussions of court proceedings with the children are discouraged.
Emptying the joint bank checking or savings account in anticipation of divorce would ordinarily be frowned upon, unless you had a very justifiable reason. Be warned, however, that your spouse may beat you to it.
Clients often ask whether they should move out of the marital home prior to or during the commencement of divorce proceedings. The answer is that it depends.
Don’t make your attorney justify every single decision. We’re happy to do it, but it takes time, and time costs you money. The point is not for you to acquire a law school education. The point is to represent your interests with excellence and efficiency. If you cant take your lawyers word for something, its time to get a new lawyer.
In our modern world, an annulment tends to be more a creature of religion than of law. Annulments are rarely granted and when they are, very specific circumstances must exist. Often people believe that they may annul a marriage simply because it was of a very short duration.
It is difficult to determine how much a divorce will cost. However, after reviewing the likely issues, your method for resolving those issues, and hearing your philosophy of the case, a lawyer may be able to give you a range of expected expenses.
Simply by being organized and remaining actively involved in your case you may significantly reduce your legal fees. Your lawyer will provide you with a number of documents received during the proceeding. This may include correspondence, court notices or other legal documents.
How is that for an indecent proposal! Imagine how much more indecent the proposal becomes if after the abortion, the promising party fails to follow through on the other promises.
The Minnesota Court of Appeals recently ruled that a man could sue his wife after their divorce for fraud and infliction of emotional distress, when he discovered that two children born during their marriage were not his.
Minnesota courts look at many factors in deciding spousal support amounts. A spouse may be entitled to maintenance if he or she cannot support himself or herself despite any marital property received after distribution. Financial resources, employment, education and the personal circumstances of each spouse are considered. A court examines several factors to determine if maintenance is appropriate, and if so, how much and for how long. They include (1) the duration of the marriage, (2) the standard of living enjoyed during the marriage, (3) each spouse's age and health, (4) each spouse's assets, income or ability to earn income, (5) the time needed for the requesting spouse to receive training or education and obtain sufficient employment in order to support himself or herself and (6) the owing spouse's ability to pay. A court can order temporary support while the divorce is pending. Most maintenance is ordered for a specific length of time. Once maintenance is ordered, it can be modified upon a showing of a substantial change in circumstances.
|Your Right to Child Custody, Visitation & Support
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"A Plain English Guide to Protecting Your Children"
Author: Mary L. Boland, Attorney at Law
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