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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:

Child visitation doesn't have to be mystifying

The visitation schedule that children follow after their parents divorce can make life easier, but it can sometimes make it much harder. Making the most of visitation is very important because this is the time that you have to build a relationship with your child and make memories.

When you are first embarking on the visitation journey, you need to find ways to make it work. Being upset about the terms can put a damper on the visits with your children, but you shouldn't allow this to happen. Instead, consider these tips:

These steps will help you financially prepare for divorce

Once you decide to divorce, you don't want to wait a single day to review your finances with the idea of making the right decisions at the right time.

There are many steps you can take to help you financially prepare for divorce, including but not limited to the following:

Long-distance parenting is difficult but not impossible

Not being able to see your children on a regular basis is a hard situation for a parent to be placed in. For those who don't live near their children, this is a harsh reality. As difficult as this type of situation is, there are some things that you can do to ease the strain.

It is important for you to have your child custody plan address the issues that come with being a father who lives away from your child. These can include everything from how in-person visits will be planned and how communication between visits should occur. This gives you a place to turn if there are ever questions about what should happen.

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