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Minneapolis Family Law Blog

6 good reasons for having a prenuptial agreement

Prenuptial agreements have become very popular and, contrary to what you might hear, not just for the wealthy. A prenup is all about communication between two people at an ideal time for mutual accord: when they are in love and about to marry.

With the help of an attorney, a prenup is often drawn up by couples who are realistic enough to understand that divorce or the unexpected death of one spouse could actually happen. If either of these events should occur, the agreement will help to make a stressful time easier to bear.

Reasons for requiring supervised visitation of children

Minnesota courts will always honor the best interests of your children in any child custody and child visitation matter. However, what happens if the court's wish for your children to spend time with both parents, and its wish to keep your children safe, seem to disagree?

The fact is, some parents are too dangerous -- due to past instances criminal activity, drug abuse, sexual violence and domestic violence -- to safely spend time with their kids. Even in the case of a potentially dangerous parent, however, Minnesota courts may still feel that there is value in allowing the children contact with the parent. In these cases, family law courts may allow for supervised visits.

Can my ex-spouse take half of my ski lodge?

Most spouses going through divorce will be concerned about child custody first and asset division second. Nevertheless, asset division disagreements are the most likely to result in the breakdown of peaceful divorce negotiations.

This is because we become attached to our possessions, and it's hard to give them up. For example, imagine you have a ski lodge where you enjoy escaping during winter weekends every year. You and your family have enjoyed many happy memories at the ski lodge, and you obviously want to keep it for as long as you're able to ski and enjoy the fresh mountain air. The problem is, your soon-to-be-ex wants to keep the ski lodge too.

Strategies for stopping domestic violence in your community

Many domestic violence victims do not know how to put a stop to their abuse. They feel helpless; worse, they might even feel that they deserve to be abused. Once a domestic violence victim wakes up to his or her power, however, seeking legal protection and making the abuse stop is not entirely difficult. Also, there are specific things that community members can do to help reduce instances of domestic violence in their cities.

What follows is an action plan that community members can follow to eradicate domestic violence:

Divorce, two homes and helping your children adjust

Adjusting to life after divorce is a learning experience for everyone in the family. Explaining the whole situation to your children in a way that they will understand is probably the first challenge you will face, closely followed by helping them make the transition between two homes.

You and your ex may have put together a co-parenting plan, either on your own or with help from an attorney, developed around some basic steps that you can take to help the young ones settle into this new chapter in their lives.

How same-sex marriage become legal

Same-sex marriage has been legal for approximately two years, ever since the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges in 2015. The decision gave the right of marriage to same-sex couples throughout the United States; however, before 2015, numerous individual states had already legalized same-sex marriage locally.

Same-sex marriage is legally defined as the marriage of two people who have the same gender. Ever since Obergefell decision, same-sex couples have received the same benefits and rights that opposite-sex spouses have. This includes the power to make decisions in emergency medical situations, tax benefits, protection from domestic relation laws, workers' compensation benefits, spousal testimonial privilege, inheritance rights and other marital benefits.

4 myths about the ICWA and adopting a Native American child

In 1978, Congress passed the Indian Child Welfare Act to protect the interests of Native American children in adoption and child welfare proceedings. Many people believe that the ICWA is no longer required or is outdated. However, if you want to adopt a child with a Native American heritage, you will want to know how this law can affect your adoption.

Here are some of the misleading myths you may have heard that should be dispelled:

Do pastry chefs have the right to refuse gay clientele?

Same-sex couples have had the right to get married for almost two years now in the United States, but do cake bakers have the right to refuse them business? The U.S. Supreme Court could be facing a decision about whether individuals have the right to say "no" to participating in same-sex marriages when it comes to offering their business services.

The case at the center of it all relates to a man who owns the business "Masterpiece Cakeshop." He publicly refuses to make cakes for same-sex couples based on his religious beliefs. He has lost multiple legal battles regarding this issue and he's now appealing to the Supreme Court to assert what he says is his religious right not to work for same-sex couples.

What's a closed adoption?

Closed adoptions are not as popular as they used to be, but several decades in the past, nearly all of them were closed. "Closed" in the context of adoption means that the adoptive parents and the child never had any contact with the birth parents. The records in these cases were even sealed to protect the confidentiality of the birth parents, so that it would be challenging to find them.

During the era of closed adoptions, parents who wanted to adopt had their names placed on a list. A social worker would then pair them with the appropriate soon-to-be parents. The adoptive parents had to be ready to take the baby as soon as it was born, but they would never actually meet the birth parents. In some cases, the adoptive children didn't even know that their adoptive parents were not their biological parents.

Could a financial specialist help me with my divorce?

When a divorce comes to a close, the larger the marital estate, the more difficult and complicated it will be to divide. In fact, you may not know the correct value of certain assets, or you and your spouse might fight and argue over how much certain assets should be valued. Don't forget about taxes, either, as they could factor into your asset division process as some of your assets will have capital gains taxes associated with them.

All of these financial concerns can add up to become a complicated mess, which is why many Minnesota spouses contract the services of a divorce financial planner to assist them with their asset division proceedings. A divorce financial advisor will have the expertise required to divide one's assets. These professionals often partner up with lawyers in order to keep divorce costs at a minimum, while speeding up the asset division process and making it more accurate.

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