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Minneapolis Business & Real Estate Law Blog

Many changes to new tax laws affect divorcing couples

Are you awaiting a final judgment of divorce? Or maybe you are only beginning to consider ending your marriage. Regardless, the implications of the new tax laws take effect in January 2019. Some projections have the government taking in nearly $7 billion in the next decade due to the implementation of these laws.

What does that mean to divorcing Minneapolis couples? Like others around the nation, the implications are considerable and could potentially lengthen your divorce negotiations. Below is information of which all divorcing couples need be aware.

The right attorney can make your divorce easier

It is important that anyone who works with an attorney during a divorce can trust that attorney. There are situations in which your attorney may not have your best interests at heart, and in those cases, it's usually advised to work with someone new.

If you are working with an attorney and are not happy with the time it takes for them to respond to you or the way they're approaching your case, then it's possible to change your attorney. However, before you do that, there are a few other things you can do.

Special considerations for divorced parents this holiday season

The holidays are right around the corner, which means that it is time for parents to start making plans. If you aren't in a relationship with your children's other parent, you have some additional considerations.

This is a good time of year to teach your children about being considerate and staying on the high road. Here are some tips that might help your child enjoy the holidays this year:

Prepare for divorce and mediation sessions

Mediation is one of the most common ways to resolve a divorce. You should be prepared for this process if it is how you are going to work out the terms of the split. Many couples choose this option because it is often faster than having to go through a trial, and it is usually less expensive.

There isn't anything easy about going through mediation. You and your ex must sort through a variety of issues, including support payments, child custody and property division. Each should be handled separately. This can be a lot of work that will usually occur over the course of several sessions.

Are custody orders flexible?

When two parents choose to raise their child separately, most choose to protect their rights by establishing a custody order through a court. If the parents were married and get divorced, the courts require them to create a parenting plan and reach a custody agreement as part of the divorce process, which the courts take very seriously.

Many parents do not have a firm understanding of just how important it is to obey a custody order, and may assume that the custody schedule is more of a suggestion than a legally binding order. Some parents may work together to create their own "home-brew" custody order, agreeing that as long as they both work together, disobeying a custody order is acceptable.

These co-parenting mistakes can get in your way

Once your divorce is final, you'll turn your attention to establishing a new normal. While you have to focus on yourself, it's critical that you do whatever is in the best interest of your child.

There are many things you can do from a co-parenting perspective to feel good about the future. Conversely, there are a variety of co-parenting mistakes that can get in your way, including but not limited to the following:

  • Losing your temper: As frustrated as you may be, it's important to keep your cool in all situations. You never want to lose your temper when communicating with your ex-spouse or your children. Know your triggers and learn how to control them.
  • Putting your children in the middle: Even though your marriage is over, you may still be at odds with your ex-spouse. You should never put your children in the middle, as doing so will create a divide that is hard to heal in the future.
  • Fighting in front of your children: No matter how difficult it is to bite your tongue, it's something you need to do. Fighting in front of your children can cause trouble now, while also leading to issues for them in the future. If you're going to argue, do so when your child is not around. Even better, find a way to avoid this altogether.
  • Avoiding communication: If you can't get along, you may assume that the best approach is to avoid communication altogether. It's okay if you cut back on how often you speak, but you can't eliminate this entirely. Good co-parenting means staying in touch, asking and answering questions and doing whatever it takes to keep your child in a good place.
  • Violating your parenting agreement: You created a parenting agreement for a reason. You need to follow it, no matter what it takes, as this will ensure that both of you are always on the same page.

Protect your retirement benefits in divorce

While the divorce rate for most age groups in America continues to plummet, for one demographic group, the numbers are on the rise: senior citizens. Divorce rates have doubled since 1990 for those over 50, Bowling Green State University's National Center for Family & Marriage Research reported.

This is significant because divorcing affects individual's finances. If you are about to retire and get divorced, you must take every precaution to protect your retirement assets and pensions.

How does divorce mediation help when dissolving a marriage?

Divorce mediation involves the use of a third-party mediator who is neutral to both sides. During mediation proceedings, the spouses and their respective attorneys will work with the neutral mediator over the course of several meetings to settle different aspects of their divorce.

During all the mediation meetings, the mediator will facilitate peaceful communications and help the spouses see the benefit of various solutions to different areas of disagreement. When successful, the spouses will conclude the process with a divorce settlement that resolves asset division, child custody, child support and spousal support.

Custody concerns: Keeping your healthy parent-child relationship

For many parents, there is a concern that divorce will change the way their relationship is with their children. Of course, there is some amount of change that is going to happen regardless of anything you try to do to stop it, because your family dynamic is changing. However, that doesn't mean your relationship with your child has to deteriorate.

Instead, there are ways to help your relationship grow. Use child custody to your benefit during this time, so you can forge a strong relationship with your child in the future. Here are three things you can do to maintain your relationship.

Dealing with contentious matters in child custody

Some parents have co-parenting situations that are stress free. Others have to deal with contentious issues that cause a lot of anxiety and stress. When you are in the latter group, finding ways to work through the problems can be a challenge.

Child custody is one area where both adults likely have very strong feelings. This can make negotiating difficult because it is easy to think that it is your way or no way at all. Instead of stalling and being unable to figure out a solution, try using these tips:

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