Most divorce cases in Minnesota are now required to go through some form of alternative dispute resolution such as mediation. It has been common to reduce any settlement agreements in writing and sign those agreements at a mediation session. A Court of Appeals case was published this month about which all participants of mediation should know. In that case the parties agreed in writing to a retroactive start date for child support, and spousal maintenance also known as alimony. One party decided the retroactive date was no longer agreeable, and the court ruled that it would not uphold the retroactive date for child support or spousal maintenance. This ruling has come as a surprise to many Minnesota family law attorneys. The attorneys on that case are planning to appeal it to the Minnesota Supreme Court.
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Deciding how you will share your child’s time between parents is one of the first things most parents think about after a divorce is contemplated. It seems like a simple enough question but there really is a lot to consider. Start by considering your child’s needs and use that to help guide your decisions. Next review the questions below with the other parent to help you better plan your parenting time schedule.
- Where will your child live and go to school?
- Is this the home he/she will continue to have as her primary residence?
- What is the time breakdown for your child and each parent?
- What schedule works best for your child?
- What schedule works best for each parent?
- Where will each parent live/What if the other parent lives in a different geographical location?
- Who will be providing the transportation?
- Where will your child spend vacations, holidays, and special events?
- What holidays will your child celebrate?
- Do you want your child to participate in certain cultural events?
- How will your child’s time off from school be spent?
- In what way and how far in advance will you communicate with the other parent about special events or vacations?
- Who will be the physician?
There is a lot to consider when deciding how to allocate time between parents. But, if you discuss these items in advance, and have a plan going in, it could save you a huge headache down the road.
This divorce and parenting legal advice was brought to you by our Minnesota Family Law Lawyers .
If you are a parent in Minnesota, please be aware of the many family education programs available to you and your family. A simple search for “Parenting Classes MN” can give you in seconds resources such as parenting classes in Minnesota, parenting support groups, and workshops for families struggling with divorce or separation.
Because parenting is such a personal topic, you may feel nervous or embarrassed to ask for help. With the number of resources and communities out there however, you should embrace new ideas and group sessions.
We work with families dealing with an array of different family law issues and are able to tailor our experience and knowledge to your case. We want the best outcome for your family and often services such as parenting classes or mediation are a step in the right direction.
Please contact our St Paul family law office if you have a case you would like to discuss with one of our attorneys. 651-222-6341.
Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) is a federal law which protects Indian children who are members or eligible members of a federally recognized tribe. The law allows the child’s tribe to be involved in the child’s case to help keep the community stable and to help eliminate the removal of children from their homes and then placing them in public and private agencies. The tribe may intervene in the case and petition the case be moved to the tribal court.
To find more information on the ICWA law please visit their website here: http://www.nicwa.org/Indian_Child_Welfare_Act/faq/
The alimony amount, how it should be paid, and for how long are up to the judge hearing your case. One of the main reasons for alimony is to ensure the same standard of life can continue for both parties after a divorce or separation.
For more information please visit our Alimony page. We Allen have successfully worked with clients during divorce and separation proceedings in Minnesota. Contact us today for a free consultation regarding your family law dispute.
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As indicated in the previous post, utilizing a Positive parenting style is integral in helping your children build more self-confidence, increase social skills, and perform better in school. If you realized you were using one of the other parenting styles and want to know how to transition into a Positive Parenting style below are some ideas. If you are not doing these, maybe it’s time to re-evaluate and incorporate some, if not all, of these tactics. (more…)
Everyone has a different approach to parenting. How you decide to parent your child can come from a combination of factors, but mainly your parenting style comes from how you were raised. There are four basic parenting styles.
Knowing which one you use can help you to understand why you react certain ways and how each action can positively or negatively affect your child. Likewise, knowing your spouse’s parenting style will help you recognize how they approach situations.
Every child is affected differently by divorce and their needs can heavily depend on their age. It’s important to know what the basic needs are for each age group, what can help them cope, and what situations the child may be facing at that age. Age groups can be classified into four categories: infants and toddlers, preschoolers, elementary middle-schoolers, and adolescents. (more…)
No two people are the same, and chances are, you can see this fact distinctly even between your own children. While they have the same parents, it may seem they have nothing else in common.
With so many differences, it’s hard to know where to start when it comes time to determine a parenting plan. If every child is unique, where can you find guidance?
The good news is, while children’s personalities and likes/dislikes differ, children within certain age groups have similar needs. Here, we’ll describe some of these basic needs and general guidelines for fulfilling them.
Children from Birth to 2 1/2 Years
The over-arching need for children within this age group is trust and consistency.
Children need to learn to trust their world and their caregivers. They need their caregivers to consistently respond to their needs.
A first step, of course, is to be sure children’s caregivers (whether it’s a parent, family member, or a childcare provider) are always there for them. It’s important not only to be there consistently but also to be there in a consistent manner. Deal with challenges in a similar manner, feed them in a similar manner, put them to sleep in a similar manner, etc.
Keep a consistent schedule, as well, with the same feeding and sleeping times regardless of where a child is. Be sure children always have something familiar surrounding them (blankets, toys, etc.)
Finally, this age range is when a lot of decisions about your child’s upbringing are made. Be sure both parents clearly agree on how children will be raised to avoid any conflict in their presence.
Children from 2 1/2 to 5 Years
As with younger children, children in this age group require consistent schedules and familiar surroundings.
But, in this age group, children are also becoming more independent. They need chances to learn and explore, and they need to be able to express their feelings.
Children are aware of an established schedule, so changes to it will be more difficult. Gradually introduce change into their lives.
Children are also more able to understand your attitudes and actions at this age, so even more than with younger children, it’s essential to maintain a positive or at least neutral attitude toward the other parent.
Children from 5 to 12 Years
Children’s independence continues to grow in this age group.
Consistency is still important, especially concerning their school and activities, such as sports, lessons, etc. Be sure they are able to maintain the same activities regardless of the parent they’re spending time with.
A major need with children in this age group is clear communication – communication between parents and between parents and their school.
Another important need during this stage is proper role models. Role models at this age include parents, so maintain respectful relationships. Be sure children have consistent opportunities to spend time with their parent of the same gender.
Children from 12 to 18 Years
As children become the most independent in this age group, it will become more difficult to maintain regular contact and schedules when it comes to time with both parents.
Along with this independence also comes more thoughts and questions. Allow children to question decisions, beliefs, and even your break up.
Consistency in how you’ll handle questions from your children and what rules you’ll have for them is important now. Be sure children know rules are consistent between both parents, so they don’t try to pit one parent against the other.
While there are different needs for children of different ages, many of these needs can be addressed with clear communication and consistency. Be sure to think through your parenting rules and plan carefully, and you’ll be on your way to a much easier transition for your children.
Coping with a divorce is difficult for everyone involved, but it can be particularly difficult for your children. When you’re not even sure how to deal with the situation yourself, it’s confusing to try to help to help your children cope, too.
A good, simple rule is to be as open and honest as you can about the details of the divorce that will impact your children’s lives, while accepting their emotions, even if you’re surprised by these reactions. (more…)