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July 2013 Archives

Alimony and alternative dispute resolution in Minnesota


Like other states, divorce litigation in Minnesota is built on an adversarial system. This means the two parties hire lawyers who file motions and make arguments, while a court makes the final decisions. If the two spouses were not angry with each other before the litigation began, they almost certainly will be before it is over.

Dwayne Wade, ex reach settlement, still fighting over visitation

In high-asset divorces in Minnesota and everywhere else, determining how your money will be divided is often the most contentious aspect. Minnesota property division laws call for equitable, but not equal, division of assets, leaving room for negotiation. Determining who will get what, however, is not always easy. You'll have to determine how to split what you already have and then worry about whether one spouse should receive alimony and how much. As we have seen in many high-asset celebrity divorces, working these issues out can be challenging. 

Filmmaker Michael Moore files for divorce after 21 years

As many in Minnesota know all too well, divorces can happen to all kinds of people and all kinds of marriages. Still, while divorces are rarely easy, for some couples divorces can be more complicated and time-consuming than for others.

Domestic abuse of children, mother, lands St. Paul man in jail

Domestic violence is a serious problem that unfortunately affects many people in Minnesota. Despite the fact that our state has numerous resources for victims of domestic violence, people continue to be harmed by their spouses and partners. While we hope that we can find a way to end domestic violence completely, some may find a small sense of relief knowing that some perpetrators of domestic violence are held accountable through our criminal justice system.

Prenups: Either couple decides how to divide, or the state does

When a married couple divorces in Minnesota, a court requires them to divide their assets in a way that meets the state's guidelines of fairness. This often means the couple just split their marital property 50-50 and go their separate ways, but it could mean one ex-spouse must pay the other alimony, or that neither one of the exes gets to keep the house. It could mean a lot of things that are considered fair under state law but feel unfair to the people involved.

Do sperm donors have parenting rights?

Minnesota parents know that parenthood is a mysterious thing. It comes with great difficulty, great responsibility and great joy. It's a constant learning process, and what works in one family may not work in another. But, for all the ambiguities involved, it's usually pretty clear who's a parent and who's not.

New wrinkles in multi-billion-dollar divorce battle

Several months ago, this blog reported on the divorce of billionaire oilman Harold Hamm and Sue Ann Hamm, his wife of nearly 25 years. Hamm's company Continental Resources made him one of the richest people in the nation, and the dissolution of his marriage could result in one of the largest settlements in the history of American divorces. In the past few months, more details have come to light in the couple's dispute, further illustrating some of the complexities of divorce for high net worth couples.

Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements in Minnesota

Many Minnesota residents see prenuptial agreements as unromantic because it strikes them as self-defeating to contemplate divorce while preparing for marriage. But if that is the case, is a postnuptial agreement better or worse?

Child custody, drug tests and poppy seed bagels

Lakeville readers may have seen a recent story about a woman who lost custody of her newborn baby after a poppy seed bagel apparently made her test positive for drug use. The woman has settled a lawsuit against the county and hospital where the baby was born. While certainly an unusual case, it does illustrate some factors common to child custody disputes.

Court eases same-sex marriage and divorce in Minnesota

When the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the Defense of Marriage Act last month, it was a big boost to Minnesota couples who are hoping to take advantage of the state's recent legalization of same-sex marriage. Amid all the celebrations that came with these recent changes in the law, many may have missed the impact they will have not only on marriage, but on divorce.

Native American father loses custody of child to adoptive parents

Children are often the most important aspect of a parent's life. From the time they are born till they are older with families of their own, many Minnesotans spend countless hours caring for and worrying about their children. When an unexpected life event occurs such as a divorce, it is no surprise that children are often caught in the middle of two sets of caregivers who love the child. Unfortunately, depending on the outcome of a child custody case, some parents may rarely see their children, while others have no say in the child's life and upbringing.

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