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Maple Grove Family Law Blog

What is required if parents cannot agree on child custody?

Sometimes, despite their best efforts, parents who are going through a divorce simply cannot see eye-to-eye when it comes to making decisions regarding child custody and visitation. If this happens, they must take classes. Two are required, and then they have a choice as to the third.

One of the required courses is the Hennepin County Education Video With Mediation. This course comes at no cost to parents. It takes place at a number of locations and dates, and lasts three hours and 30 minutes.

Modifying a parenting plan in Minnesota

As discussed in the past on this blog, parents in Minnesota who have gone through a divorce, or are no longer in a relationship with each other, can work together to create a parenting plan, rather than have a court make a child custody and visitation order. However, life rarely stays static and there may be times when a parenting plan needs to be changed to meet the needs of one parent or the other, or to meet the needs of the child. Minnesota statutes recognize this, and address the issue of modification of parenting plans.

Parents who have created a parenting plan can make an agreement that modifies how much time they each spend with the child. They can also make an agreement that modifies the decision-making abilities of each parent. In order for such modifications to be enforceable, they must be approved by the court. Moreover, a modification of the time that each parent has with the child cannot be made more than one year after the entry of the decree unless the parents agree to do so in writing.

Cohabitation can affect spousal support in Minnesota

In the past, this blog has discussed what factors a Minnesota court may consider when awarding alimony. However, a law that took effect on August 1, 2016 may limit the circumstances in which an ex-spouse can receive spousal support if he or she cohabitates with another adult.

Under Minnesota law, an award of spousal maintenance may be modified if the spouse receiving alimony cohabitates with another adult after their marriage has been dissolved. This means the alimony award could be reduced, suspended or even terminated.

Minnesota fathers should be a part of their child's life

Unmarried fathers in Minnesota who are no longer in a relationship with their child's mother still often want to play an active part of their child's life. They want to go to special events such as their child's soccer games and dance recitals. They want to celebrate holidays and birthdays with their child. But even more, they simply want to have dinner with their child and then tuck their child in at night.

However, before an unmarried father can take the steps to seek child custody or request visitation rights, he first needs to establish paternity. The purpose of a paternity action is to establish fatherhood for legal purposes. There are a number of ways to do this. One way is to sign a recognition of parentage (ROP). After a ROP is signed, the father can seek custody or visitation rights. If an ROP is not in place, the father needs to file a court action to prove paternity, which may involve DNA testing. Of course, unmarried mothers who are seeking parental rights, such as child support, can also seek a paternity action.

What are some forms involved in a Minnesota divorce?

Minnesota residents seeking a divorce may want the whole process over with as soon as possible, so they can move on with their lives. However, it is important to keep in mind that there are lot of steps in the divorce process that must be completed before the divorce can be finalized.

Modifying an existing child support order in Minnesota

Sometimes, months or even years after a child support order is entered into, the financial circumstances of either the paying parent or the receiving parent have changed. For example, a parent may have lost his or her job or, on the other hand, may have seen an increase in his or her income due to a promotion or a new job. The child's financial needs may have changed too as the child grows older. For example, the child may no longer need child care during the day or the child may have incurred additional educational expenses. Whatever the reason, there are times when either the custodial parent or the noncustodial parent in Minnesota may wish to modify their current order for child support.

What factors may Minnesota courts consider when awarding alimony?

One hotly contested issue in many Minnesota divorces is that of spousal support -- also referred to as alimony. Some spouses may feel they shouldn't have to pay alimony, but other spouses may feel that such payments are necessary for them to get by financially. Fortunately, Minnesota statutes address the issue of alimony in a divorce.

Same-sex couples can face unique issues during divorce

Over a year has past since Obergefell v. Hodges, the landmark case that made same-sex marriage legal across the nation, was made part of American law. However, same-sex couples in Minnesota may face certain issues should they decide to divorce than opposite-sex couples do not.

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