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How does a child in Minnesota benefit from having a legal father?

When a child is born to unmarried parents in Minnesota, certain steps can be taken to establish legal fatherhood. While each child in the state has a biological father, that is different from being a legal father. A legal father is the person that the state recognizes as being the child's father, with all the rights and duties that entitles him to.

There are very good reasons to establish fatherhood. Not only does it allow the mother to seek child support, but it also allows the father to be listed on the child's birth certificate and pursue custody or visitation with the child. However, there are many benefits that the child receives when a man is established to be the child's legal father, beyond financial support.

Keeping the holidays for the children post-divorce

The holiday season, for many in the Twin Cities, is a time for family. However, families are complicated, particularly if a couple is divorced. And, the more complicated one's family situation is, the more complicated the holidays become. This is especially true if children are involved. Will the child eat turkey with mom and leave cookies and milk out for Santa with dad? Will the child try to split each holiday between each parent? All of this can be a headache and a heartache during what is already an emotional time of year.

Ultimately, a well-crafted court-ordered child custody plan will address holiday schedules. People should review this schedule if it's been a while since they looked at it. Holiday scheduling may preempt normal child custody and visitation schedules. If a change is necessary, people should discuss this with their ex-spouse sooner rather than later, to ensure that everyone is in agreement.

What will one's financial picture look like post-divorce?

Minnesota residents may be surprised to hear that since 1990, the divorce rate for couples over 50-years-old has doubled. This is especially significant because many of those couples are nearing retirement and have built up a significant amount of assets. There are ways, however, to preserve one's finances after a divorce.

First of all, before taking the leap into divorce makes sure one has a good idea about what is going on in their bank account -- both earnings and expenses. Also, take the time to educate oneself about how their spending will change post-divorce. Some expenses may go up once one is single, such as auto insurance.

Attorneys in Minnesota can help parents understand child support

After parents in a Minnesota divorce, they still both share the duty of providing for the child financially. If the child resides with one parent, that parent is providing for the child financially by giving the child food, clothing, shelter and paying for the many incidental expenses that come with a well-rounded childhood. In addition, the noncustodial parent also contributes to the raising of the child through child support.

In the state of Minnesota, there are three separate components of child support owed. These include basic child support, medical support and costs relating to child care.

Birds-nesting: a unique child custody arrangement

Parents in Minnesota divorce may decide that they want to share joint custody of their child. If this is the case, they may assume that the child will have two homes, one with each parent. However, some find that the constant back-and-forth between households is hard on the child and hard on the parents. Therefore, some may choose a more unique child custody arrangement: birds-nesting.

In this arrangement, the child will stay in the family home the whole time. Instead, it is the parents who will take turns living in the family home with the child. When it is not their turn, they will live in a nearby apartment or home. It is hoped that such an arrangement will provide more stability to the child, who does not have to sleep in two different beds at different times of the week or month.

Can a parent in Minnesota move with their child out of state?

It is not unusual these days for people to move from one state to another, or even to move across the country. For example, a person could be offered a better job in another state, or a person who has moved away from the state he or she grew up in, may later decide that he or she wants to move back to his or her home state to be closer to family. However, what happens in child custody situations where a custodial parent wants to move to another state with the child?

Under Minnesota statutes, a child's custodial parent cannot move with the child to another state unless the noncustodial parent consents to the move, or there a court order allowing the move. Moreover, if the reason the custodial parent wants to move is simply to interfere with the noncustodial parent's parenting time, such a move will not be allowed.

Genetic testing and establishing paternity in Minnesota

Children born in Minnesota deserve to know who both their parents are, even if they are only being raised by one parent. While establishing parentage when a couple is married is easy, as it is assumed the husband is the child's father, for unmarried couples, parentage must be established to name a man as the child's legal father.

Sometimes, unmarried parents are in agreement as to who is the child's biological father, and will sign and file a Recognition of Parentage to establish the man as the child's legal father. However, sometimes, there are uncertainties as to the identity of the child's biological father. One or both parties may want proof that the man is the child's biological father, which can be done via genetic testing.

Is there a 'perfect' time to file for divorce?

Some people in Minnesota may notice that certain months of the year have more divorce filings than others. For example, one study reports that August and March see the most divorce filings, while others report that January has so many divorce filings that "Divorce Monday" is a common occurrence experienced by many family law offices.

Many of these popular months for divorce are based in part on emotion. People want to wait until after the winter and summer holidays to divorce, not wanting to disturb what should be a happy time for family. However, basing your time to file for divorce purely on emotions may not be the best idea.

Same-sex partners wishing to adopt may still have difficulties

Same-sex partners in Minnesota, just like any other couples, may someday decide they want to start a family, and some feel that adoption is the right choice for them. After all, adoption provides a means to give a child a loving home where he or she can grow and thrive.

According to some estimates, there are approximately 500,000 children in our nation's foster care system and 100,000 children in need of a permanent home, making same-sex adoption more essential than ever. In fact, as of the past 10 years, anywhere between eight and 10 million children are growing up in a household with two gay or lesbian parents.

Calculating child support using the 'income shares' method

The state of Minnesota, like every other state in the nation, recognizes that it is both parents' responsibility to provide for their child financially. If a child's parents are divorced or are no longer in a relationship with each other, this generally means that the noncustodial parent will pay child support to the custodial parent.

Child support in Minnesota is broken down into three parts. First, basic support is meant to provide for the child's everyday expenses, such as clothing, food, housing and education. Gifts to the child do not constitute child support. Next, medical support involves providing the child with health insurance and dental insurance, as well as uninsured expenses. Finally, child care support includes costs associated with child care when the parents are working or when the parents are in school.

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