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You’ve had a recent realization. Or maybe you are coming to terms with feelings you’ve had for some time. Either way, you are now aware you need a divorce. You are very likely overwhelmed by facing what you fear to be a painful transition in your life. You know that divorce will significantly impact your future, that it is the kind of event you should not leave to chance. While you may find it difficult to face the divorce process head-on, it needs to happen. But you don’t have to do it alone. An experienced Minnesota divorce attorney can skillfully advocate for your rights and for a resolution to your case that works for you.
The divorce lawyers at Atticus Family Law have decades of experience, and they have seen how clients are affected by the divorce process. In the end, what assets, money, and debt assignments a client is awarded can cause them to thrive, or it can cause them to fail in the months and years to come. By working to secure an agreement that serves the needs of our clients, we help our clients through their divorce efficiently while also leaving them well-positioned to begin the next phase of their lives.
Minnesota is a no-fault divorce state. This means that in order to pursue a divorce, a person does not have to prove that their partner cheated on them or was abusive or neglectful, only that there has been an irretrievable breakdown in the marital relationship.
When it comes to property division during divorce, Minnesota categorizes all property owned by married persons as “marital property” or “non-marital property.” At the start, the court will presume that all property is marital, making it the burden of the party trying to classify the asset as non-marital to produce the required evidence to prove it is non-marital property.
Further, the state must make a “just and equitable” division of marital assets, including debt, without regard to marital misconduct or fault. There are several factors that the court does, however, take into careful consideration in determining the equitable division of your marital property:
In what used to be called “alimony,” spousal maintenance is a serious claim for one spouse to financially support the other after the divorce. No divorce strategy is complete without a thorough analysis of the claims and defenses that the parties have to a spousal maintenance claim or reservation. Click here to read more about spousal maintenance.
Choosing the right divorce attorney to represent your interests can make all the difference in your case. Some lawyers are satisfied to take any case that seems likely to turn a profit. But at Atticus Family Law, we exclusively focus on family law, including divorce and spousal maintenance cases, allowing us to continually build our knowledge and experience in this field. We do what we do because we understand how deeply these cases impact our clients’ lives, and we truly enjoy getting to help clients in need to improve their lives. To schedule a consultation, complete the online contact form or call our office today.
Recently a woman called me about getting a divorce, let’s call her Rachel.* Rachel was unhappily married. From the sound of it, they both were – she and her husband Rob fought like cats and dogs and he was drinking too much. Rachel recognized that over the last decade they had grown into very different people. They needed different things, they liked different things and wanted different futures.
Rachel seemed anxious to me. She was worried about how splitting up would affect their kids, how custody would be split and how living in two different houses would affect them. Plus, Rob’s drinking made Rachel worry about the kids’ safety. Add to that she was clearly frazzled from fighting so much with Rob over money. In addition to the retirement and credit card debt, she was worried about keeping the house (or not). “How will I pay all these bills on my own?” she asked me.
My Executive Assistant Missy had already talked with Rachel before our meeting to go over a few things about our firm and how it worked. During our first meeting, I talked with her about ways we could work to secure her short-term needs (paying the bills, making sure everybody had a housing plan, safety for the kids) and still also protect her long-term interests around custody, financial stability and her children’s wellbeing. As we talked at the meeting, I could see Rachel’s mindset shift. She went from very anxious, almost panicky, to calmer and more capable of thinking clearly. To be honest this is one of the best parts of my job as an attorney – when I can help someone realize that they are going to be okay and that there’s a way through what feels like a big mess. It’s why my associates and I chose family law, those moments with clients.
Throughout Rachel’s case, my goal was to make sure she always had a sense of certainty – that she knew she could reach us and wouldn’t be ‘left hanging’ by anyone at the firm. We helped her connect with a financial planner and created a plan for her divorce process so she would always know what was happening and why.
Rachel’s divorce ended at mediation; she and Rob reached a settlement agreement which was a great result for her because it got her what mattered most and kept the process as short as possible.
When the ink was dry on the mediation agreement, Rachel told me that she felt good about the custody arrangement – she said making sure the kids were safe was super important and she felt sure they would be. I felt great because we’d already worked with her financial planner to make sure she was taken care of and the settlement protected her financially in a way I felt great about.
At the end of every case, I sit down with my client again. Rachel and I met in my office for what we both hoped would be the last time. We circled back to that first meeting she and I had where we went over what her goals and major concerns were. We talked about how her spousal support might change in the future and we went over parenting time and I gave her some pointers about pitfalls to look out for. Before we said goodbye, I made sure to let her know I’d still be here to answer any questions that might come up. I really want to make sure nobody ends their divorce feeling like they can’t pick up the phone when they need to.
Being a divorce attorney has its challenges, but there’s nothing I’d rather do than help people through this important life transition. If you need help with a family law issue, please don’t hesitate to call me – or send a request online and we’ll reach out to you.
Think positively. We’re here to help, and we’ll be with you every step of the way.
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