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Maple Grove Family Law Blog

How alimony tax proposal could negatively impact divorces

House republicans have proposed a change to the current spousal support (alimony) laws that affect divorces all over the country. The change would take away the ability for the payee to have the alimony amount deducted from his/her taxes. In addition the recipient would no longer be able to have alimony count as taxable income.

Breaking down the details

3 ways to protect finances and credit score during divorce

Although you know divorce significantly impacts various aspects of your life, you may not be considering how it will affect your credit score. On the one hand, getting divorced does not directly reduce your credit score because your creditworthiness is not related to your marital status.

On the other hand, divorce can directly impact your finances, which can, in turn, affect your credit score. This could be because of trouble with paying bills, having joint accounts or dealing with a vindictive ex. Here is a look at each of these situations and how to deal with them.

Vital points about paternity and Recognition of Parentage

Paternity in Minnesota is a frequent issue that must be navigated for the good of the parents and the child. One issue that must be understood is 'Recognition of Parentage.' This is a document establishing the legal relationship between a man and his child if he is not married to the mother. However, there are other factors to remember, such as its advantages, disadvantages and how it can be undone.

You planned for retirement -- How do you re-plan after divorce?

The rate of people divorcing over age 50, known as gray divorce, is increasing. This increase may not surprise you, but what may surprise you are the problems that this presents. People who are older usually have more assets to consider during the asset division of the divorce.

One of those assets is their retirement accounts, including 401ks, pensions and social security. Typically, retirement funds saved during a marriage will be considered as part of the marital assets during divorce and subject to some type of division.

Women must consider their financial future when they divorce

For Minnesotans going through a divorce, it will inevitably be a difficult time, with many factors coming to the forefront as they try to adapt. One issue that is worrisome for women is the way their budgets will change after the case is complete. This must be considered during the process so it is addressed and there is preparation for the future.

Statistics show that being married can be beneficial when it comes to finances. The median weekly earnings for women who are married is 20 percent higher than that of women who are not married. This information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Married women were found to earn more than unmarried men at 9.6 percent. They make 23.4 percent less than married men. Post-divorce, the woman's overall income for the home fell by an average of 41 percent. That is nearly double what men lose in a similar situation.

Can there be a license suspension for overdue child support?

Minnesotans who are obligated to pay child support, and the custodial parents who are supposed to receive that support, must be aware that there are certain penalties that the state will assess if there are delinquent payments. Child support enforcement comes in a variety of types. One that can be particularly problematic for the delinquent parent is a driver's license suspension. Understanding when this can come about and how it can be rescinded is imperative to a person's life.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety can issue a driver's license suspension for being behind in child support if the request is made by the child support office. For this to happen, the following two factors must be in place: the parent owes at least three times the monthly support requirement, and there is a written payment plan that had been approved by the office, a child support magistrate, or the court, and the parent is not in compliance with it. The parent will be informed through the mail that the suspension is moving forward.

What is paternity fraud?

The arrival of a new baby in the lives of Minnesota parents is often a celebrated and joyous event. For many, children are a blessing that grow their families and add love to their daily lives. However, in some cases the birth of a child may raise questions about their parentage that are difficult to answer. Although it is very easy to identify a child's mother at birth, knowing who fathered the newborn can be difficult to determine if there is uncertainty regarding the child's conception.

In some cases legal presumptions exist that basically assign parentage to certain men. If a woman is married then it is presumed that her husband is the child's father. If a woman gives birth to a child and her partner acknowledges and legitimizes their parentage of the child then the acknowledging party is presumed to be the child's father. Other circumstances exist that will give presumptive parentage to a man when a baby is born.

Paternity, legal and biological fatherhood, and child support

When a child is born in Minnesota, not every couple will be 100 percent certain as to the identity of the biological father. Paternity can be a complex issue rife with emotional, personal and financial ramifications. It is important for the parents to understand the various aspects of paternity such as the difference between a biological and legal father and who is financially responsible for the child. This can have a long-lasting impact not just on the parents, but on the child as well.

Obviously, when a child is born there will be a biological father. However, that does not mean that the child will automatically have a legal father. The legal father is recognized as the child's father under the law. It does not necessarily have to be the biological father to be a legal father. When a married mother has a child, the spouse will be deemed as the legal parent. It might not be necessary to determine biological fatherhood. If the mother is unmarried at the time of the child's birth, the parentage will not be automatic. A child with a legal father can receive benefits through the father. This includes veteran's benefits, Social Security, health insurance, inheritance and more.

The basics of a child support order in Minnesota

Sometimes, the most basic aspects of a child support case can be glossed over and missed. As Minnesota couples try to hammer out a support agreement, it is imperative to understand of the fundamental aspects of a case. This includes what the child support order will include. There are three types of support that must be provided. They are basic support, medical support, and child care support. All three must be addressed in a case, but it does not necessarily have to be ordered. All three can be reserved.

Basic support entails anything that relates to the child's foundational care. It includes a home, food, clothes, and transportation. The combined income of the parents will be the determinative factor. This is known as the Parental Income for Determining Child Support. Also important is the number of joint children. Not included in the basic support agreement are payments that are in arrears.

Understanding the types of alimony available through divorce

When Minnesota couples marry, they tend not to consider the possibility of the union ending in divorce. Yet, no matter the length of the marriage, if it is clear that a marriage is no longer working, divorce is likely the best option to take if the relationship is unsalvageable. While this means taking the time to consider any and all divorce issues, one thing tends to stand out for most spouses: finances. Ensuring that one's post-divorce finances are in check is essential when moving forward with dissolution, which is why some spouses request alimony during the divorce process.

Seeking monetary support post-divorce does not automatically mean that the spouse requesting alimony was a stay at home parent or the primary caregiver. It could simply be that they did not make as much as their spouse and are seeking to maintain the standard of living they became accustomed to during their marriage. No matter the reason for requesting spousal support, it is important to understand the different forms it could take.

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