Division of Marital Property, Debt and Non-Marital Property – Is it Mine, Yours or Ours?

October 29, 2014  |  Elizabeth A. Schading

The division of marital property can be one of the most complicated aspects of a divorce in Minnesota. For each and every asset or property, there is always a question of whether it belongs to you, your spouse, or both of you. In the state of Minnesota, the property in a marriage will be marital, unless proven to be non-marital. Debt will also be divided equally between you and your spouse, but the reason the debt was incurred will be considered. What is Considered Marital Property? If you and your spouse are like most married couples, you’ve probably accumulated quite a bit over the years. The car you purchased, those nice wine glasses in your cabinet or even the family boat may all be considered marital property. However, marital property extends beyond just tangible items; it can also include pension plan benefits, stocks and land. Any items that were purchased or were given while you were married will be presumed to be marital property. Oftentimes, courts will make an equal division of the property, although this is not always the case. What Happens to Debt? Just like property, debt can also be considered non-marital. Whether or not the debt is considered non-marital will depend on: When it was borrowed Who borrowed the money…

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How Do Minnesota Courts Decide Custody of a Child?

October 27, 2014  |  Elizabeth A. Schading

Minnesota law considers the best interests of the child, so a wide variety of factors are taken into consideration and no one factor takes precedence over another. The courts may award joint physical custody if the arrangement is practical and in the child’s best interest. Some factors that the courts take into consideration are: Where the child goes to school and the local community. If a child is already well adjusted in his or her current school and community, it may not be in the child’s best interest to force the child to move. The opposite can also be true. If a child is not well adjusted in their current environment, he or she may be better off moving to a new community and attending a new school. The parent who will remain in the family’s home. If one parent will remain in the family’s home and can provide a stable environment, they will have an advantage over the parent who is constantly moving from one home to another. How long the child has been living in the family’s home. The parent’s wishes. The parent who has served as the child’s primary caretaker. In some cases, one parent acted as the child’s primary caretaker. He or she was responsible for the child’s day-to-day…

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A Spooky Halloween Tale (True Story!) from BGS

October 23, 2014  |  Scott M. Lepak

People may think that lawyers don’t have ghost stories. While it may be true that no self respecting ghost wants to bother trying to scare someone who is skeptical as a profession (and often does not stop talking long enough to hear ghostly noises), you might be surprised that some lawyers have spooky tales. Anoka, Minnesota is the Halloween capital of the world. It is famous for inventing trick or treating. It also has many interesting ghost stories. The Anoka County Historical Society has ghost walking tours in the summer (it is not really ghosts that do the walking – the people on the tours walk while hearing stories about ghosts). The main fire station in Anoka is relatively new and very nice. It is also reputedly haunted with strange noises and unexplained events. Some say they are from a firefighter who tragically died many years ago when a horse drawn fire wagon tipped over on him crossing rail road tracks. Others think it is someone or something else. I stopped in the fire department this week to visit with the Fire Chief. He was busy giving an interview to a grade school reporter so I thought I would let my secretary Sarah know that I was running a little late. I texted…

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