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Minnesota Family Law & Divorce Blog

Older divorcees often face unique financial challenges

The first years of a couple's marriage may be dominated by love, sex and getting to really know one another. As children are born, financial problems crop up and life falls into a routine; some married couples slowly drift apart. In some cases, after the children are grown and on their own, a couple may come to realize that they no longer have much else in common.

For a growing number of married individuals over the age of 50, the thought of spending the next 20 to 30 years in an unhappy marriage is too much to bear. By analyzing U.S. Census data, researchers at the National Center for Family and Marriage uncovered surprising information about the divorce rate among individuals age 50 and older.

Why today may be the best time to file for divorce

There's a saying related to the belief that when it comes to many things in life "timing is everything." Minnesota residents can likely think of a time or event when this saying rang especially true. From a job offer to a first date, many momentous events in one's life seem to fall into place at exactly the right moment. However, when it comes to divorce, it's often difficult to get the timing right.

While there are certainly factors or events that warrant a quick exit from a marriage, many individuals consciously choose to remain in a marriage long after its demise. For many, children and money are major factors in their decision to put off divorce.

Child custody disputes and a grandparent's important role

Matters related to child custody must be addressed in any divorce where minor-aged children are involved. Ideally, divorcing parents are able to rationally and peaceably sort out terms of a child custody agreement. In many cases, however, parents disagree about what's best for a child and which parent should retain primary custody. As arguments between divorcing parents escalate, other important factors such as the vital role many grandparents play in raising a grandchild, are forgotten.

Many Minneapolis residents likely have fond memories of growing up and spending time with a grandparent. The relationship and close bond between a grandchild and grandparent can play in important role in a child's life. Today, many grandparents help care for and raise grandchildren and many also find that their relationship with a grandchild is deeply and adversely affected when their grown child divorces.

A view into Sherri Sheperd's child custody and divorce disputes

Actress, comedian and television personalit, Sherri Shepherd is accustomed to being in the spotlight for professional reasons. More recently, however, Shepherd's name has been in the news for personal reasons related to two child custody battles she’s fighting with her exes.

The 47-year-old’s first ex-husband recently filed an emergency petition to modify child custody. According to Shepherd's ex-husband, Shepherd is neglectful of their son who is essentially being raised by "inexperienced nannies". As a result of the alleged neglect, the boy is delayed in his physical and cognitive abilities.

Reasons to consider a prenuptial agreement prior to saying I do

Many engaged couples become consumed by the wedding planning process. While ensuring for a memorable and special day to commemorate a couple's union is important to many engaged couples, many fail to address important matters related to finances and property.

Today, more U.S. men and women are putting marriage on hold until later in life. The lives of individuals in their 30s or 40s are very different from that of individuals fresh out of college. In addition to life experience, men and women in their 30s and 40s may own a home or property. Additionally, individuals who marry later in life are likely to be more financially stable and have considerably more assets than those in their 20s. For these reasons, many U.S. couples who plan to marry would be wise to consider a prenuptial agreement.

Should married couples steer clear of divorced friends?

As human beings, we're all affected and influenced by the people and events around us. For example, if a friend announces he or she is engaged; it's likely close friends may also examine their own lives and relationships and seek to become engaged. The same is often true when one couple in a group decides to start a family; soon a whole group of friends and close acquaintances may become parents.

Information from a 1948 study also indicates the same type of so-called peer pressure may hold true when it comes to divorce. In the original study, researchers examined the lives of 5,209 men and women between the ages of 30 and 62 who lived in a mid-sized American city. While the original study was conducted to research heart disease, the detailed information collected has since been used for other studies.

Amid accusations of domestic violence, actor faces divorce and restraining order

Fans of the ABC television series "Scandal" were saddened and shocked when they recently learned that actor Columbus Short will not return for the next season of the show. While Short recently confirmed and issued a brief statement about his departure from the show, rumors are swirling as to whether he was fired or asked to resign in light of recent domestic assault allegations.

The 31-year-old actor's wife of nine years, Tanee Short, recently filed for divorce after citing irreconcilable differences. The divorce filing comes amid allegations that Short threatened her with a knife and used physical force during a domestic dispute. In response, Short stated he's been advised by his attorney to not discuss the allegations and possible pending criminal charges.

The benefits of adding a digital privacy clause to a prenuptial or post-nuptial

We live in a digital age where much of an individual's private and public business is conducted using online accounts and communicated via text messages and emails. Most Minnesota residents have likely heard about or have experienced first-hand cases in which the discovery of communication related to sensitive information via online or mobile technology has had negative consequences.

In recent years, there have been numerous wealthy or famous individuals who have had secrets related to infidelity, personal spending habits and questionable business dealings publically aired in the wake of a divorce. In many cases, an ex-spouse is responsible for the discovery and public disclosure of what often proves to be embarrassing and damning information.

Conscious co-parenting, difficult but possible

Children are curious by nature and have been equated to sponges that soak up information squeezed from the relationships and environments in which they live. Divorced parents can likely relate to this metaphor as they face the many challenges that accompany divorce, childrearing and co-parenting.

A couple may choose to divorce for a number of reasons. In most cases, however, conflict and differences in points of view are ultimately what drive a couple apart. For divorced parents, it can be difficult to let go of feelings of anger and resentment towards an ex-spouse. Doing so, however, is extremely important for the mental and emotional health of shared children.

Tips for divorced parents when planning for a child's summer

Thankfully, summer finally appears to be just around the corner which means it will soon be time to break out the shorts, soak up some sun and solidify summer plans. While the majority of Minnesotans are eagerly awaiting the official start to summer, parents with school-age children often face the dilemma of how to entertain kids during the summer months. For divorced parents, planning for a child's summer can be especially challenging and often requires a lot of communication and compromise.

With younger children, divorced parents are often able to dictate the majority of summer plans. Younger children aren't as likely to object to the plans mom or dad make. However, as a child gets older, he or she may have strong opinions about being away from friends or may not want to go camping or spend a week with their mom or dad and a new significant other.

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